Let's face it: Superhero movies have never been bigger. With massive budgets, high-stakes action and world famous stars, it's arguably the most lucrative film genre right now, and for a film studio with money on their mind, it could be very easy to churn out an emotionless, by-the-numbers 90-minute romp and watch the dollars roll in. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of films like this (I'm looking at you, Fantastic Four), but today we're going to take a look at five superhero movie moments that completely subverted this, and actually showed some emotion — namely, they made us smile and laugh like idiots. As always, this is just my opinion and you're welcome to disagree, and beware for potential spoilers for all discussed films.
1. Guardians Of The Galaxy — 'Star-Lord, Man!'
James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy took everyone by surprise, as the film many were expecting to be Marvel's first misfire ended up becoming one of its most popular, which is in no small part down to its quirky humor. This is first displayed in the film's opening credits sequence, as Chris Pratt's Star-Lord comes face to face with Djimon Hounsou's villain Korath. Initially a seemingly dark scene, the tension is broken as Korath, bemused, questions "Who?" after Star-Lord's name reveal. Followed up expertly by a bereft "Star-Lord, man," this scene set the tone for what is one of Marvel's most rib-tickling entries.
2. Deadpool — The Whole Thing
Now, there's very few moments in this year's Deadpool that don't have a joke inserted somewhere, so instead of a single moment, we'll take a look at it all. Almost all of the laughs arise from Ryan Reynolds's terrific performance and the superb script. From a hilariously self-aware opening sequence that delightfully pokes holes in the superhero movie formula, the countless references to other genre films ("no green suit" being a personal highlight) and some on-the-nose but charming physical humor, there's very little about Deadpool that doesn't arise a chuckle.
3. The Dark Knight Trilogy — Bruce And Alfred
Now, this one might be slightly less in-your-face as the other entries, but its nonetheless spectacular. Yet again, the camaraderie between Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne and Michael Caine's Alfred is down to their performances and some brilliant writing from the Nolan brothers. The exchanges between the two, for the most part, are witty, lightning-fast and endlessly watchable. It's just like looking into a conversation between two lifelong friends at times, which is hugely refreshing in a superhero film, and brings some high-quality laughs to an otherwise dark and gloomy series.
4. Captain America: Civil War — Spider-Man
One of the most anticipated elements of Civil War was the inclusion of Tom Holland's Spider-Man, and many were wondering if it would be the best yet (even us). Just minutes after meeting Peter Parker, it became apparent that he just might be. Spidey's humor — especially during the airport fight — is just perfect, with references to The Empire Strikes Back particularly sticking in the mind, yet it's his chemistry with the other Avengers that might just trump it, with great exchanges between him and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Tom Holland's wall-crawler is always quipping, which is exactly what I think a cinematic Spidey should be like.
5. Super — Rainn Wilson
Another James Gunn hit, Super has more than its fair share of dark and pretty sickening moments — from rapes, abductions and assault with a wrench — but Rainn Wilson's protagonist Frank Darbo manages to lighten the tone brilliantly. This is mostly thanks to the delightful naivety of his character, from his oblivious disregard for human life, his classic catchphrase ("Shut up, crime"), and his blatant lack of compassion. On the surface this could make for an unlikeable or boring character, but Wilson's performance and Gunn's writing help make this one of the funniest cinematic superheroes yet.
Check out all the times the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy broke character and had a laugh themselves in the video below:
There you have it, five superhero movie moments that got a laugh from us. Have any other moments that made you giggle? Be sure to drop a comment because we'll always reply, and if you enjoyed this article and want more like it, feel free to follow us. Thanks for reading!
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