Exploring New Fun Places (ENFP)

Blogging about the places we travel to both in our minds and in reality. Topics include: travel, comic book movies, superheroes, mixed martial arts, and personal insights.

Ranking the 2011 Comic Book Movies

Being a huge comic book fanboy, I am rewatching every comic book “superhero” film from 2008 until 2017 to mark the decade since Marvel Studios took the genre to new heights. We are not limiting it within the MCU and DCEU. We added films that have enough elements of being in a superhero film setting: its own intrinsic fantasy world or “alternate reality”, humanly impossible action sequences, and characters who possess near-superhuman or supernatural abilities.” We see how these films have endured the test of time in comparison today’s lofty standards. Here’s how 2011 stacked up:

6. Green Lantern

To the movie’s credit, it remains moderately entertaining and managed to cram in the gist of the Green Lantern mythology. But it fails to capture the adventure of the mythos and is corny. There is chemistry between Ryan Reynolds as the titular character and Blake Lively, his token lover but she is terribly miscast. Even the effects was bad like the ill-advised CG Lantern suit. The movie left such a bad taste in everyone’s mouths DC waited a decade to release a much-needed reboot.  ★☆

6. The Green Hornet

While not originally a comic book, the popular franchise that started in the 1930s in a radio program that gave birth to a comic book series in the 1940s. This film adaptation combines the comedy of Seth Rogen and the martial arts of Taiwanese film star, Jay Chou to bring mildly cool and funny moments but it’s all negligible. Christoph Waltz steals the show again as the bad guy and it’s campy but not that funny. Green Hornet can be fun and cool at times but it does so by marginalizing its core material. ★★

4. Cowboys & Aliens

The topnotch cast lived up to its billing. Daniel Craig channels his 007 lone wolf badass character and shoots up aliens while Harrison Ford plays his counterpart, a mob boss saving his kid from the aliens. The movie has an identity crisis. Director Jon Favreau scrapped 3D ideas and maintained an overly serious Western throwback. The film is equal parts campy and dark but not in a good way. The premise fails to live up to the title with the sci-fi portion feeling more like an add-on to Western movie. ★★

4. X-Men: First Class

When this movie first came out, both fans and critics lauded its solid script, youthful energy, andimpressive performances from the two leads, James McAvoy as the idealistic Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Michael Fassbender, the rage-filled Holocaust survivor Erik Lensherr (Magneto). The two carry the film and keep it from being just another superhero movie. Recency bias may also be part to blame as it is an improvement over the pointless X3 movie. Not unseen are some unnecessary sexploitative moments centering around female characters. ★★☆

3. Thor

Thor is derivative but has the right mix of charm, wit, and human drama. Chris Hemsworth captures Thor’s youthful vigor and majestic charm while Marvel’s token light-hearted humour is plentiful. Tom Hiddleston has a breakout performance as the complex Loki, part-brother and part-adversary to Thor. The mythical world it introduces is kept to the background for a more prosaic story on Earth. Thor is simple in its delightfulness but for a movie with demi-gods, frost giants, interdimensional travel, and Anthony Hopkins a one-eyed almighty god, it is too painfully average. ★★★

2. Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America has a wholesome script anchored by the solid performances of its lead, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, the heroic skinny boy from Brooklyn who becomes Cap. Stanley Tucci shines in a brief role and Hugo Weaving is a classic villain as the Red Skull. In its release, it was lost in the whirlwind of MCU films but it stands as one of the underappreciated origin stories that isn’t anything mind-blowing but does the character justice and showcases some of the best action choreography. ★★★

1. The Adventures of Tintin

This list didn’t intend to include animated features but Steven Spielberg’s take on Tintin harkens back to his Indiana Jones days. Tintin is a finely crafted adventure piece that follows the titular character (Jamie Bell), his dog, Snowy, and Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) on a wild adventure as he follows his journalistic instincts. On his trailer is Red Reckham (Daniel Craig). The action is plentiful, frenetic and becomes tiring at some point but the wonderful set pieces is just too good to ignore and the several twists and turns make this the year’s best. ★★★☆