There were superhero films before the 90s, but it wasn't until the 90s where we began to see numerous superhero movies released every year. Ever since then the genre has gone to strength to strength. Trawling through a list of American Superhero films I am staggered by the fact that over the course of five years Marvel have yet to make an objectively bad film with Thor: The Dark World propping all post 2008 Marvel films with a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It's perhaps a testament to the talent involved that Marvel have still yet to bore everyone to tears with their endless list of Superhero films. Thus, it is not surprise a Marvel film makes an appearance in my pick of top three superhero movies.
I tried to add a bit of spice to my picks because I don't want it dominated by the big boys, such as The Avengers and the Christopher Nolan Batman films because I expect these films to make frequent appearances in many blogger's lists. So I tried to limit my choices to one from three subgenres of the superhero genre.
1. Comic book movies - Batman, Superman, The Avengers.
2. Non Comic Book superheroes - Unbreakable, Jumper.
3. Average person inspired to become a superhero by other superheroes or the idea of superheroes - Kickass, Super.
My personal favourite Marvel movie is Guardians of the Galaxy. The main villain may be a bit rubbish, but the snappy and witty dialogue and superb character interactions not only makes Guardians of the Galaxy one of the best superhero films ever made but one of the funniest films I have seen in a long, long time.
The pick for superhero movie not based on a comic book goes to M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable. M.Night Shaymalan has made some absolutely dreadful films so it's easy to forget he used to know exactly what he was doing and he was once the hottest prospect in Hollywood (he was tipped to direct the first Potter film).
Unbreakable is a good film and one I think is about depression. Throughout the film, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) claims he has never been ill but throughout the film he wakes up every day with a sadness and becomes distant from his wife and son. He is depressed and this is very much an illness, and I think the film is about how on the surface someone may appear fit and healthy and fulfilled and happy but inside they are fighting a battle.
I'm not an expert on the subject, but from what I gather depression can be caused by sense of worthlessness. By giving David Dunn these powers and allowing him to realise his powers the film gives him a feeling that he is important to this world and he does serve a purpose, this can construed as his first step to recovery. It's simplistic viewpoint, but I think it's an interesting and touching theme well examined in Unbreakable.
I kind of cheated here, but instead of picking Kick-Ass for my final pick (where an average guy is inspired to become a superhero) I will pick Pixar's The Incredibles even though the person in question didn't become a superhero but a villain instead because of the lack of attention his heroes gave him. Much like Marvel, Pixar's hit rate is astoundingly high, much to our pleasure.