Monday, May 27, 2013

Jason's Top 5 non-comic book superhero movies

And by non-comic book I mean not based on a comic book, yet still clearly a film inspired by the four-colour world many of us Basementites grew up reading. These are flicks that embody the spirit of the superhero genre, but are original works by the filmmakers.

5) Sky High

More of a kids' flick to be sure, but still a surprisingly fun time at the movies. Kurt Russell, Bruce Campbell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead all own in this film, and director Mike Mitchell keeps things light, breezy and with the right balance of satire and respect for the genre. It's a lot like The Incredibles, only not quite as good.

4) Darkman

Believe it or not, this flick was my first introduction to the mad genius of Sam Raimi. It also, for a time, was my favourite movie of all time. Crazy, campy and ultraviolent, Darkman IS a comic book brought to brilliant life. And it made Liam Neeson a bad ass long before Taken came along. If you haven't seen it, get on it. There's enough wild action in this movie to fill a dozen or so like-minded films.

3) The Incredibles

Everyone -- well almost everyone -- loves The Incredibles. It's probably Pixar's finest couple of hours and is truly an ode to the comic-book hero. And bad guys die in it. That's rad for a kids cartoon! Good on Brad Bird for making such a fine piece of animation, and what a cast of voice actors. Craig T Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter  and Jason Lee. 'Nuff said.  

2) Robocop

A true superhero if ever there was one, only more of The Dark Knight Returns variety than anything else. Loud, violent, bloody and razor sharp, this is a brilliant turn on the comic-book hero. Plus it stars Peter Weller and Kurtwood Smith, who created one of the best bad guys every to grace the big screen. A must watch a couple of times a year.

1) Unbreakable

Made when M. Night Shyamalan was still the man. One of the coolest things about the writer/director's follow-up to The Sixth Sense is it takes almost the entire running time to figure out it's a superhero's origin story. And it's one of the most believable superhero stories ever told. Bruce Willis has rarely been better, the action scenes are solid and there's some great suspense. A class act all the way.
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