For all the whining people do from year to year about there being too many superhero movies, I give you 2015. It was a year in which there were only three major ones released into theaters. Three. That’s an average of one every four months. If you can’t handle that sort of oversaturation, you’re just being intellectually dishonest about it, I think. Even in years when we get 7 or 8, that’s still less than one a month. Out of something like 170 wide releases every year – plus all of the limited/VOD movies. That’s too much? Please.
This preamble provided by: only three major superhero movies being released, therefore providing little to talk about. Thanks, movies!
Here’s how 2015’s superhero movies played out:
Advertised as the hilarious “Fant4stic,” and pronounced fan-four-stick by many wanting to make fun of it, 2015’s Fantastic Four somehow managed to be worse than every Fantastic Four movie that preceded it, and I’m including the one in 1994 that was made solely to retain the rights to the franchise and was never officially released. At least that one (1) wasn’t made in an era with a ton of great competition and (2) didn’t waste $155 million which could have gone to much, much better projects.
The film is another origin story for the superhero team. It’s another fight against Doctor Doom, the foe I gather is their biggest. It’s got a muddled plot that takes forever to get going, it’s so dark and gloomy that it removes any potential element of fun, the effects are poor, and it was just another movie made to keep the rights at Fox – hilarious, given how just a couple of years later Disney/Marvel would come to terms with Fox on a purchase that would give them the rights back anyway.
The Make-A-Wish foundation is amazing. For those unaware, it grants wishes to severely ill children in hopes of giving them exactly what they want to try to take their mind off their sickness. One kid wished to be Batkid – the other sidekick to Batman, I guess – and the city of San Francisco, partnering with Make-A-Wish, delivered. Thousands of people and some businesses turned significant portions of the city into Gotham City and allowed the child to go around the city, teaming up with the Caped Crusader to fight crime. It’s a sweet story you may have remembered hearing about on the news one morning. And that probably should be all.
The movie documents everything that went into the project and is cloyingly sentimental from start to finish – a movie genetically engineered to make you weep. It doesn’t work that much as a movie. Cool story, though.
One of the things I’ve liked about some of the solo Marvel Cinematic Universe movies is how they’ve been allowed to be different genres underneath the superhero categorization. For example, Ant-Man is, in effect, a heist movie. Sure, it’s got a superhero and a supervillain and other staples, but at its core it’s a heist movie. And that’s pretty neat.
It’s also pretty funny – that’s what happens when you cast Paul Rudd in the lead and hire a director known for comedies, I guess – has some solid and creative action, and doesn’t feel like it’s just building up to the next Avengers, which is a problem some of the solo films have had.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Speaking of Avengers movies, here’s Age of Ultron, the best of the major superhero movies from 2015. It’s basically the first Avengers movie again but with more heroes in it and … actually, no, that’s pretty much it. It lacks a bit of the freshness of its predecessor, I suppose. It’s still a lot of fun, and if you like these movies then it’s absolutely worth seeing, but in a lackluster year for superhero movies, I guess it makes sense that the biggest one is also slightly disappointing.
“So if Avengers: Age of Ultron is the top of the major superhero movies, what’s another entry doing after it?” Good question. Turbo Kid is a post-apocalyptic movie that only becomes anything resembling a superhero movie midway through when its protagonist finds a costume and becomes, well, Turbo Kid. Technically Turbo Rider, but since he’s the kid version, Turbo Kid. You know, like Batkid from earlier.
He has to use that suit in order to defeat a villain who is doing unspeakable things to people. It’s funny, it’s a wonderful homage to ’80s movies, the action is solid, and it does it all on a shoestring budget. I adore this movie so much.