The internet has allowed the public to be more vocal with their opinions, no matter how critical or unforgiving they can be. This can especially be seen in the comic book community. If fans don’t like a cinematic adaptation, they will voice their criticisms online.
Sometimes the criticisms can be so brutal that other people assume that the film truly is terrible, even if the film has some positive elements. In this article I will looking through five despised superhero sequels that aren’t as god-awful as the fans claim. I’m not saying these films aren’t flawed, but I am going to praise their strong points.
5. Spider-Man 3
To be honest, the only issue with this film is that it has a dozen subplots that don’t fit together.
However, some of them are so well developed I think they’re on par with the first two films. For example, the one subplot that runs through most of the film is Peter Parker’s struggle with his ego.
At this point in the trilogy everyone in New York knows Spider-Man. Peter becomes cockier and his arrogance affects his relationships and eventually his performance as Spider-Man. If that wasn’t enough conflict, his suit is infected by an alien substance that feeds and grows off his id, making him more aggressive.
This subplot is the most engaging; its original, its a development from the first two films, it puts our protagonist in a grimmer situation. Spider-Man 3 is certainly the worst of the trilogy but this subplot should’ve save it from being remembered as a god-awful sequel.
Remember Spidey for his victories in the video below, and see 10 times that the Web Head saved the day:
4. The Dark Knight Rises
While it could’ve been better, this is still a decent conclusion to Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
It completes Bruce Wayne’s arc in a partly satisfying way; he saves the city at its most chaotic state, he leaves an image for the people to aspire to and, in a rather far-fetched fashion, he manages to find happiness.
The Dark Knight Rises also conceives an antagonist who, in my opinion, is better than the Joker. Bane is stronger than Batman in multiple ways with his great experience and large army — he weakens Batman more than the Joker did in The Dark Knight.
The numerous plot holes prevent The Dark Knight Rises from going down as a great sequel, but I think audiences should pay attention to the film’s strengths and remember it as a flawed, but appropriate, conclusion.
3. Iron Man 3
Apart from a couple of issues, Iron Man 3 is a solid film. It’s a good example of how a franchise like the MCU can be as effective as a TV series.
Most franchises usually skip over large story events and try to conjure another big event. The MCU however shows how these big turning points affect all the characters. Iron Man 3 explores Tony’s life following The Avengers, showing how his abilities, relationships and health has been weakened. The film is about him trying to be a hero without his suit, relying only on himself and his wits.
One of the biggest criticisms of the film is its interpretation of the Mandarin — many fans thought it was awfully inaccurate to the comics.
Without spoiling anything, I didn’t like who the Mandarin actually turned out to be, though I thought the build-up and the twist was courageous as well as funny. I can agree that the climax is the film’s weakest point, but everything else in my view is pretty damn good. Iron Man 3 should be remembered as a good, strong sequel.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron
All the subplots in the film are great, if they had the time to all develop to natural conclusions this could have been a good follow-up to The Avengers.
Tony’s desire to stop Ultron is great; it expands on his anxiety from Iron Man 3 about being a good hero and protecting people. Scarlet Witch has a fascinating journey, wanting to kill Tony Stark and avenge her parents and then betraying Ultron and switching to the Avengers.
Unfortunately these arcs, along with a dozen others, are all put in to one story where they don’t really develop. Since they can’t reach their conclusions beat by beat, they have to skip a couple so there’s still room for the other plots.
Like The Dark Knight Rises, Age of Ultron has a much stronger antagonist. As well as being more powerful, Ultron is a lot more fun than Loki. He’s witty, cocky, determined and brutal. Age of Ultron is a cluttered film, but there are clear elements of greatness among the clutter.
1. Batman And Robin
Bear with me! I have my reasons!
Parts of Batman and Robin can be enjoyed as a big, fun romp like Flash Gordon. The giant, operatic sets, exaggerated costumes, exposition-filled monologues, cheesy one-liners and excessive action sequences suggest an avoidance of a thought-out, emotional narrative.
Batman and Robin wants fun. Nothing else. If the film maintained this silliness I think it would have been better received. The dramatic subplots such as Alfred’s illness and Freeze’s quest to cure his wife spoil the film, slowing the pace and making it pretty boring. Batman and Robin is a bit of a mess, but it’s a sexy mess and I think anything that’s sexy deserves some acclaim.
So which of these panned sequels are the best? Can you think of any others? Do you agree with the list? Vote and let me know in the comments!