I originally thought that this would be a top ten list but I had to expand it three slots. You see, I had the idea that I would write a blog about the top 10 performances by an actor in a Super Hero movie/franchise but I realized that there were more than 10 performances that I have truly enjoyed over the years.
Now I know I will catch a lot of flack for my list and for some that I include, as well as those that I leave off the list but people….this is MY favorite performances. As I was putting this group together I began to realize early that I would have some personal bias in it. You see, I am much more of a Marvel Comics fan than a DC Comics fan. I think the reason for this is that I find DC characters a little too boring for me. Like every kid in the world I liked Batman but it was not until the introduction of Jean-Paul Valley as Azrael did I ever really love a DC character. When DC killed him off, they killed off any last thread I had to the DC Universe.
So here we go peeps, my favorite performances in a Super Hero movie/franchise. They are not in any real order, just as they come to me:
I was very nervous about a Thor live action movie and how Marvel may change the character to allow it to be more appealing to the general movie viewing audience. Luckily they picked the perfect director in Kenneth Branagh and the perfect actor to play Thor in Chris Hemsworth. Although Hemsworth knew very little of the character, he read as many of the comics books in the Thor library as he could and was able to channel what he read into a great performance. Thor is a touch character to put out there on film as he is a God who is very powerful. Hemsworth was able to convey that in his performance and nailed every aspect of the character. This movie made me a fan of his and I will watch anything the man is in going forward.
The Crow has been my favorite movie ever since I originally saw it on video many years ago when it first came out. The story was such an emotional, sad and passionate one but the movie did not lose any fo that. If anything, it actually added much more to it. Brandon Lee had the terrible accident on set that took his life during the shooting of the final scenes of the movie. Although he didn’t finish the film, the director was able to use body doubles to finish it. Lee was phenomenal in this movie and I do not think that anyone else could have played this role. We actually can see proof of this in each sequel afterwards, as no one can captivate you with their performance in the way that Lee did. I still watch this movie quite a lot.
I will admit it. I was one of the people who was not sold on Heath Ledger’s selection to play The Joker. I thought that he was too much of a pretty boy who did not have the mean streak in him to play such and over the top and insane character. I will gladly admit that I was wrong, very wrong. Ledger finally brought to the big screen The Joker that I wanted to see. I loved the way that he was a dangerous and chaotic character but he was so very calm in how he conducted himself. I also truly loved the idea that the Joker look was something that he chose to do, that the face paint was put on by his own hand and not by some chemical accident. I never truly got into Jack Nicholson’s Joker as it was too campy. Ledger was vicious and fun.
I went into the original X-Men movie with very low expectations. At that point and time, Marvel did not have the strong movie accomplishments that they went on to achieve, so I did not want to get my hopes too high. I was worried about how my favorite Canadian mutant would be played by Hugh Jackman. The guy hit it out of the park! Jackman was born to play this role and it was the first time in my life I felt like a comic book character jumped right out of the book and on to the big screen. Jackman hot all the marks to being a great Wolverine. He had the attitude, the mean streak, the moments of berzeker rage and the stepping up and being a hero. I look forward to more Wolverine in the future! SNIKT!!!
I have to put this out there right away and I am sorry if I offend anyone who reads this next comment. I hate Superman. The character is very unlikable to me. Why? Well, I just can not become emotionally involved in any story he is in. DC Comics has painstakingly gone out of their way to make him as powerful as possible. He has almost every super power available and has no major weakness. Well, except one. Anyway I am off track here. I will say that the only Superman stories I could ever get into were the original Superman movie and the follow up Superman II. Reeve was a great Superman and is what I think of when I think of what good I have found int he character. So just for Reeve’s performance alone, I don’t swear him off forever, but almost.
I have always been on the fence about Captain America. Being Canadian I never really cared for him but I will say that I respected him alot more than I ever did Superman. Cap has had some great stories and eventually won me over, especially when Bucky Barnes took up the mantle. Chris Evans had his work cut out for him with this role. His last Super Hero role was Johnny Storm in those dreadful Fantastic Four movies and there were some people extremely upset that he won the role. I was more curious and was wanting to see what he brought to it. Evans was great in this movie and had some of the best lines in the finals scenes of the film in any Super Hero movie. He made me care about the character and that is a good thing!
I am a huge Ron Perlman fan. Ever since I first saw him in the television show “Beauty And The Beast” with Linda Hamilton, I was hooked on anything he acted in. He was the best part of Blade 2 to me and was fantastic in Season Of The Witch. When I found out he was in Hellboy, I already made up my mind I was buying the movie no matter what. The first Hellboy was such a fabulous mixture of fantasy, history and mythology and Perlman was believable as a demon from another dimension that worked for a secret section of the Government. That pretty much sums up how great he was, in that he pulls off the role flawlessly. The comedy was something he delivered with as much ease as he did with the action scenes.
The other character with the Thor movie I had major worries about was Loki and who they would get to play him. Loki is not your typical comic villain and has many complex levels to his personality and motives. He is well trained in hand to hand combat, weapons, magic and is very manipulative. Hiddleston embraced the part and it showed on the big screen. He lost weight to become, as he put it “look hungrier.” According to many sources, he read many of the Loki comics in the Thor library, specifically the Loki mini series by Robert Rodi. Loki was a real threat at the end fo the film but it was the evolution of the character from loving brother to evil Lord of Asgard that gave the movie it’s climax.
I have never been a huge Iron Man fan, but my brother, oh doctor he is as big an Iron Man fan as I am a Thor fan. I went into this mother with a real “meh” attitude and was won over right away. Downey was great as Tony Stark and nailed all of the aspects of the character, even hinted at the alcoholism he suffered from in the comic books. Downey had the comedic timing DOWN to a science and came off exactly as Tony Stark needed to: cocky, egotistical, intelligent and somewhat of a bumbler with things that aren’t on an intellectual bumbler. It will be a real treat to see him play off of the heroes in The Avengers movie and I will enjoy every damn second of it.
I was debating if I really wanted to include this performance in the list. There have been so many people play Batman over the years I just didn’t know if I liked Bale’s performance more than the others and one thing swayed it in his favor. His portrayal of Bruce Wayne. The other side of the Batman coin is often neglected and his story not fleshed out but Bale gives us a very likable Bruce Wayne and I actually couldn’t wait to see him on screen, way more than I wanted to see Batman. The scene that sold his Bruce Wayne to me is the party scene in the Mansion when The Society Of Shadows show up to torch his mansion and Bruce acts like he is a drunk and ungrateful host to get the people to leave for their safety. That one scene was amazing.
I was not sold on the idea of this movie and bought it on DVD for a few dollars on eBay but didn’t watch it for a few weeks. When I finally did, I found it to be a fairly entertaining movie with the best part of it being McAvoy’s Xavier. Don’t get me wrong, Patrick Stewart did a fantastic job in the previous X-Men movies but McAvoy added something else to the role. He made Xavier feel human in a sense, like he could have been any intelligent young man. To see him drinking at a pub and the way he handled the comedy just added more layers to an already complex character. I seriously can not wait to see if they decide to do a sequel to First Class, as I really want to see more of McAvoy’s take on Professor X.
I love Todd MacFarlane’s comic book character Spawn and thought that a live action movie about the character could be awesome. Although the movie was hit or miss, well miss for the most part, there were a few things that I remember to this day about the movie that I enjoyed. The one thing that still stands out the most was Leguizamo’s performance as The Violator Clown. He was charming in a creepy way and also had some really funny bits, especially in his interactions with Spawn. Although the overall movie was not as good as it should have been, Leguizamo was one of the bright spots that was extremely over the top but in this case it really worked well for the character.
Another character I was concerned about in how he would be portrayed was The Red Skull. My fears were alleviated the moment that I found out that Hugo Weaving was going to be playing the character. This man chews up any scene that he is in and owns any movie that dare cast him in it. He made the Red Skull as much of a physical threat to Captain America as he was an intellectual threat to the world. The make up person was smart in that they tailored it to really show his facial expressions, which gave the character an edge that could have been seriously lacking. Weaving is rumored to be returning in The Avengers as an ally of Loki and I truly hope that this is the case as I need to see more of this character.
They we go guys, let me know who you would have in your list!