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The Very Worst Superhero Movies of All Time

| July 2, 2019 12:00 am PDT

Betting on entertainment is extremely fun and can be pretty profitable.

A burgeoning entertainment betting market gives us the ability to predict and bet on how blockbuster movies will fare at the box office.

That raises the collective eyebrow of the betting world. After all, who doesn’t like going to the movies, enjoying the thrill of betting, and making some cash on the side?

You can combine those loves with box office betting, but there are also entertainment prop bets out there that focus on what a movie’s grade at RottenTomatoes.com will be.

The over/under is actually often very palatable, too, so if you feel like you have a good instinct for how a new project will turn out, you could make your way to some easy profit.

One way to do that is to use the past as a tool. Especially with comic book movies being ever popular and new ones being created every single year, it could pay to reflect on how things went down with older films.

That got me to thinking about some of the best superhero movies ever, and now I’m back to discuss the comic book films that were just terrible. Feel free to add to this list in the comments below and use this analysis to mold future wagers.

Without further delay, let’s dive into nine of the worst superhero movies of all time.

Green Lantern (26% Rotten Tomatoes Score)

Ryan Reynolds and his sharp wit in a superhero movie? Sounds awesome, and it totally can’t fail.

Well, it worked years later for Deadpool, for which the wise guy was perfectly cast, but it was an utter disaster in the 2011 trash heap that comic book fans know to be Green Lantern.

They painted on his suit via CGI, and to be frank, I’m not so sure I need to go all that more in-depth than that.

In all seriousness, Green Lantern was a miss of epic proportions thanks to bad writing and awful CGI. Ryan Reynolds even admitted as much years later.

Reynolds suggested that the film had promise initially, but rushed production may have doomed it from the beginning. Sadly, the final product sure did give off that feeling. That won’t stop a reboot, though, while you can bet on who will be the next Green Lantern.

Hint: Rumors suggest it might be Tom Cruise.

Catwoman (9% RT Score)

Halle Berry is better than this. Halle Berry deserves better than this.

Even she couldn’t save this trainwreck, however, as Catwoman ditched the intrigue of the snarling Michelle Pfeiffer and delivered a watered-down product that failed in just about every regard.

I’m sure a lot of DC fanboys were all for seeing the sultry Berry in the iconic role, and showing some skin probably didn’t hurt the movie’s marketability. But what was ever logical about a superhero running around town with nothing but thin leather straps holding her body together?

This movie made a mockery of an underrated female hero and wasted Berry’s acting talent in the process. The story, direction, and poor choreography doomed this superhero flick before it ever had a chance.

Sadly, this killed the demand for future Catwoman movies. Even with Anne Hathaway impressing in The Dark Knight Rises, the desire for a reboot just hasn’t been there thanks to this epic whiff.

Fantastic Four (27% RT Score)

Um, which one? I’m mostly thinking of the one that started all of the vomiting, and that’s the 2005 rendition featuring Jessica Alba and Chris Evans, but the 2015 remake wasn’t much better.

Sidebar: Name a movie that features Jessica Alba and was any good. Newsflash; you can’t.

Alba was just one ill-shaped piece in this ugly comic jigsaw puzzle, though. Michael Chiklis was poorly cast as Ben Grimm (The Thing), I can only assume because he’s gruff and bald.

Chris Evans flashed superhero potential as Johnny Storm, which at least inevitably paved the way for Hollywood to recognize his ability to thrive as Captain America. He couldn’t save this sinking ship, however, as no acting performance truly stood out in a comic book flick that lacked substance, direction, and execution.

Nevermind that the Fantastic Four just isn’t an appealing superhero group in the first place, but the studios failed to get it right twice. It’s a tie for me, however, as the sequel couldn’t succeed even with the addition of the Silver Surfer, and the 2015 reboot was somehow even worse.

How you drive this franchise into the ground with stellar talent like Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Miles Teller leading the charge is beyond me.

After three brutally bad tries, I’d be surprised if Hollywood ever got this one right.

Batman & Robin (11% RT Score)

George Clooney as Batman. That’s mistake number one. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a brilliant mad scientist? My goodness.

There’s no denying the star power Batman & Robin was trying to corral here. Clooney was a megastar at the time, and the black suit was left open due to the colossal mistake Val Kilmer was in Batman Forever. Joel Schumacher continued his colorful, over-the-top vision of Gotham, however, and it only got progressively worse.

The casting was bad across the board, the film was more gimmicky than engrossing, and the fight choreography was laughably bad. It’s almost worth it to drag your feet through this one for the awful (great?) one-liners delivered by Schwarzenegger, but as a whole, this was a walking mistake that ended the Batman franchise as we knew it.

Uma Thurman was over the top as Poison Ivy, Bane was a useless side character, the developing dynamic between Batman and Robin was barf-inducing, and the arrival of Batgirl was a tease married with a missed opportunity.

At least Christopher Nolan eventually saved this franchise, but he certainly had his work cut out for him after this debacle left the Batman series in ruins.

Elektra (11% RT Score)

It wasn’t until Netflix brought along an amazing Daredevil series that your favorite blind superhero got the platform he deserved. That also included an exceptional storyline featuring Elektra and The Hand.

That ended up being brilliant, but Hollywood’s first crack at propping up the famous comic book heroine was an utter failure. Jennifer Garner breathed passable life into the character in the Daredevil movie starring Ben Affleck, which alone could vie for a spot on this list.

But Elektra blew that one so far out of the water with its ho-hum story, tunnel vision, and lack of flexibility.

I was never fully sold on Garner carrying this movie on her own, and much like she is throughout her career, she’s a bit too rigid to avoid a full collapse. To be fair, she’s still Elektra’s saving grace, and she clearly put her all into the character.

Unfortunately, the film goes nowhere and does so in a tone-deaf manner.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (27% RT Score)

I personally liked the raw, organic approach for the Superman reboot, Man of Steel. It was when the franchise started to stray from those roots and go towards the Justice League storyline that things took a wrong turn.

Henry Cavill’s stoic Superman loses some luster here, while Ben Affleck’s rendition of a grizzled Batman falls flat. The two squaring off was always a pipedream (and unrealistic), yet once we finally got the movie we thought we wanted, it was an epic swing-and-miss.

In theory, this movie should have been fun and an exciting baton-pass to the Justice League franchise.

Instead, the studios crammed in a spiteful battle between two legendary comic book heroes, a devastating showdown between Superman and Doomsday, a rather forced take on Lex Luthor from Jesse Eisenberg, and the not-so-gentle arrival of Superman’s Justice League teammates.

It was a necessary attempt and not completely absent of fun and entertaining action. But this film is light on uplifting moments and paints both Batman and Superman into a corner. When two of your favorite heroes look and feel like the bad guy and offer no redeeming qualities, you’re on the wrong track.

I would still rewatch just because Cavill nails the Superman character, but this movie missed the mark by a mile.

Suicide Squad (27% RT Score)

There was supposed to be something funny and refreshing about turning to some of the worst villains in the DC universe to save the world. Suicide Squad did deliver humor in small doses and attempted a colorful spin on the Joker character but ultimately failed across the board.

Most were eager to see the next rendition of the Joker following the iconic performance from the late Heath Ledger, but Jared Leto went with the neon green hair and metal grill instead of an approach that mustered any substance.

That ill-advised stylistic decision was an over-running theme of Suicide Squad, which was messy, drab, and forced from the start. The Joker was supposed to be maniacal, but a little more controlled and less gimmicky.

Leto missed the memo and turned in a regrettable take on one of the best villains in comic book history. Suicide Squad ran with his gaffe, failing to offer a worthwhile story and cramming poorly developed characters down our throats.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (37% RT Score)

The studio was right to kickstart Logan’s own franchise with the legendary Hugh Jackman donning the mutton chops, but the debut film was a misfire. They’d eventually get it right with the follow-up to this and the series-ending Logan years later.

But this? This was a mistake.

Nobody was afraid to take on the origin story of Wolverine. He’s one of the most complex superheroes the comic book world has ever broached, and his backstory is borderline endless.

We got a taste of it, but X-Men Origins: Wolverine rushed through it, failing to truly promote what should have been a great sibling rivalry between him and Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber).

Add in the complete waste of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (they seriously sewed his mouth shut), and X-Men Origins: Wolverine gives us a story with no real sense of direction or purpose.

I wanted a Wolverine origin movie, but not like this.

Ghost Rider (27% RT Score)

My goodness, was this bad. I know Nicolas Cage has his moments, but he was way too Nicolas Cage-y in this one, while the film was incredibly watered down and poorly written from the jump.

Even more shocking than this being as bad as it was? This franchise limped on to do a sequel nobody really wanted.

Gross, I know.

In theory, Ghost Rider is an interesting comic book character. He’s a stunt man by day and an anti-hero by night, thanks to a deal with the devil. Nicolas Cage seemed like a good idea at the time, but he’s a huge part of the problem in a long string of poor casting.

I remember that the first time I watched Ghost Rider, I didn’t even believe it was a big blockbuster film. The production quality is pedestrian at best, while the dialogue and plot are over-the-top corny.

This movie bleeds cheese, while the story isn’t believable and the characters aren’t likable. Don’t even get me started on the flaming skull.

A dark superhero film with grit and substance. That’s what Ghost Rider was supposed to be. This was a spoon-fed embarrassment handcuffed to Nicolas Cage on a motorcycle.

Summary

These are, to put it bluntly, the worst superhero movies I’ve ever seen. It’s almost offensive that most of these films were sold to us as on-the-nose representations of beloved comic book characters.

But that’s what it takes to crack a list like this: real dedication from a horribly run movie that at best features star power and feeble attempts from the actors on hand.

I didn’t just work off of someone else’s list or stick strictly to Rotten Tomatoes scoring. You will, however, find that everything aligns.

That’s how bad these films were.

The worst part is going into most of them, I was pretty hopeful they’d be special. Or at least fun.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t really the case. That doesn’t mean I won’t be optimistic when each of these terrible comic book movies gets another reboot, but for now, they live on in Hollywood infamy.

Agree or disagree with the superhero movies I love to hate? Got your own list? Start the conversation in the comments below!

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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