After the 1997 building-jump that was Batman and Robin (more on that later), there was a slight lull on superhero movies. Up to this point, we had never seen X-Men on the big screen before, so if you add this to the Batman and Robin train wreck, you have a pretty large potential to fail with X-Men. I believe that if X-Men was a piece of crap, then not only would X-Men have stopped right there, but most superhero movies would have ceased for another few years. However, X-Men set the stepping stones to what is still being expanded upon today. X-Men took real-looking characters and made them actually exist. They established a universe in which all of these X-Men existed and where they would actually grow and be real. Comic book-ish movies are fine for comic book-ish fun, but X-Men really took the initiative to begin definitive growth, and a successful franchise, leading us into the superhero worlds that every other superhero film sets up today.
Batman Begins (2005)
So I think of Batman Begins a lot like I think of the PLOT to The Dark Knight Rises. Batman has been gone for eight years in both, and he now has to rise up and prove who he truly is. I wasn’t around for Batman and Robin when it was released, so I don’t have the “praise God in heaven, Batman’s back!” thing that most fans did when seeing this, but I do have an equally valid point. Not only did Batman Begins revolutionize what it meant to be a superhero movie with its dark and realistic story, but it also was a revolution for movies in general. After Batman Begins and its successor the Dark Knight, films started to add a grittier and more bitter feel for added realism. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s overkill, in either case, you can thank Christopher Nolan. The Dark Knight Trilogy’s realism has inspired countless film series to do the same in adding a darker tone and film method techniques. What Batman Begins sets up, and what the entire Trilogy continues, is not only the future of the superhero genre, but it’s the future of most crime-thrillers. And for launching that, we can thank Batman Begins.
The Avengers (2012)
I was originally going to put Iron Man here because it was the one that established a joined-superhero universe, but The Avengers is really the one to show it off. Marvel had put in 4 years and 5 films to the making of a superhero movie that joined its four biggest heroes on the big screen. The game-changer, the point where you knew something was happening was the Iron Man post credits scene, and that’s part of why I wanted to include it. In that scene, Nick Fury shows up at Tony Stark’s house and tells Stark “he isn’t the only superhero in the world”. From there, the next batch of films in Marvel’s Phase One each exhibit examples of how the universe is so shared with the characters, until we finally get to 2012’s The Avengers. This was a movie (like the other two previously mentioned) that had all the potential to fail, but didn’t. The Avengers brought all of these characters together and made each one relevant and forever changed how we look at the universe of superheroes. Even DC now is trying to catch up and do something as awesome as Marvel did, only they probably won’t. (To see why I don’t think they will, check out my post on Batman v Superman: Why I’m Worried. Link down below.)
Movies that redefined the superhero genre, only not as greatly as these three. Some of them I mentioned with the top 3, but here they all are: Batman (1989), Spider-Man (2002), Iron Man (2008), The Dark Knight (2008), Chronicle (2012), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), X-Men Days of Future Past (2014). And even thought it isn’t out yet, Guardians of the Galaxy probably will too.
So guys, those are three superhero movies that I believe revolutionized the genre. What’s your favorite superhero movie? Mine: The Dark Knight (I’ll review it soon). What that movie may be, and whatever you guys think I should review soon, leave the answers in the comment section down below. Until next time, thanks for reading!