…at least according to Entertainment Weekly:
I have to agree with many of the choices, from Ghost Rider to The Phantom (there are several people I know who think this film has been unfairly slighted over time. I do not. To me, this film is not unlike The Shadow and Judge Dredd and therefore share several commonalities: Good actors, fairly big budget, a pretty good “look”, but a story that is so lethargic and uninvolving that you can’t help but shake your head at what a missed opportunity it is).
Swamp Thing, the original film, is also listed, but I would have replaced that movie and instead posted its far, far worst sequel, Return of Swamp Thing. While the original film might not have been any great work, neither was it anywhere near as bad as the campy sequel.
And speaking of sequels: Supergirl and Superman IV. My only question: What kept Superman III off this list? All three of these later Superman films should be in the comic book movie hall of shame. I recall when Superman IV came out I went to the theater the day after it was released, a Saturday, and finding the theater completely empty except for me. Clearly, everyone else in town had a better idea of how bad this would be…
Now, getting back to Judge Dredd. EW.com places that movie at the top of the list of worst comic book films, and I don’t disagree that the film was a disappointment.
But…worst superhero movie ever?
No way. It was a very mediocre film that made some very silly decisions regarding how to interpret the Judge Dredd comic strip…but it is nowhere near as bad as Superman IV. The two hours or so I spent in that empty theater watching the crumbling remains of what was once the most promising superhero movie franchise go down in flames was one of the most excruciating movie experiences I have personally ever experienced. The effects in Superman IV were amateurish (and that’s being kind), the acting was stilted (even Gene Hackman, who I thought was excellent -others may differ- as Lex Luthor in the first two Superman films, seemed embarrassed here), the main villain was laughable, and the plot alternatively very stupid and too earnest.
The movie was also very obviously cut down in length, and sequences were disjointed. I bought the comic book adaptation of the movie a week or two before the movie’s release and there was plenty of stuff there that didn’t make it to the film.
Not that it would have helped!
Such a shame.
Originally posted June 2009