2018 is a great year for those who are suckers for superhero movies. Despite having nine movies (not counting DC's direct to video adaptations, which you should check out, totally!), we didn't have a complete disaster like, say an X-Men: Apocalypse or a Justice League. People may be complaining about superhero fatigue and some celebs are ridiculing the fad, but the awesome box office collections of these films say that the audiences aren't really that tired of the fad. Avengers Infinity War Box Office Collection: Marvel's Film Beats The Jungle Book to be India's Highest Grossing Hollywood Film.
Just see the stats! Two of the movies that entered the billion-dollar box office club are superhero flicks (Black Panther and Avengers Infinity War), and going by how it is performing in China, Aquaman could be the third entrant. Avengers Infinity War is also the highest grossing movie of the year, and the fourth highest grossing movie of all time. So where is that fatigue? Just bring it on!
And yet, increasing box office collections don't really mean the movies are good, otherwise, we would never have had Transformers series, would we? So in this year-ender feature, I rank all the major superhero movies in 2018, based on the content, from WORST to the BEST!
Venom, starring Tom Hardy, isn't bad. In fact, it is quite decent and has some really entertaining moments when Venom begins to control Eddie Brock. The issue is that it actually takes time for the black symbiote to get into the scheme of things and the narrative is affected by a generic premise with a generic villain. Even then, Venom shouldn't really belong at the bottom of the list and yet it is here because its competitors are so good. Venom Movie Review: Tom Hardy's Anti-Hero Gig Is Vicious but Only in Parts.
Okay, now I think I will be riling up some feathers here. Look, I enjoyed Deadpool 2 when I saw it first. The whole X-Force sequence still cracks me up and the post-credits scene is a killer! However, the freshness of the first film is sorely lacking here and the movie struggles to find the balance between self-deprecating humour and sticking to the emotional core. Also, for a movie about subverting expectations, Deadpool 2 follows the same plotline as most of the other films in the genre. Ryan Reynolds owns the role once again, but not every gag he delivers works. Deadpool 2 Movie Review: Ryan Reynolds' Superhero Film Goes For The Kill With Rib-tickling Meta-Jokes and One Genius Post-credit Scene.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
This animated superhero movie, based on a cartoon series, may have been overlooked by many. If you are one of those, then please do watch it. You will love those meta jokes that the plot derives from the idea of having the Teen Titans struggling to get out of the shadow of the more popular Justice League. Some of the poop jokes could have been avoided, but there is a truly funny Stan Lee gag there. Yup, this is a DC movie with a Stan Lee cameo. Even Deadpool 2 couldn't manage that!
Ant-Man and the Wasp
The sequel to the 2015 Ant-Man film continues to harp on the effervescent charm of its lead, the reliably funny Paul Rudd. The special effects are superb and Evangeline Lilly makes for a total badass Wasp. Coming after Avengers Infinity War, the movie may feel too safe and Ghost as an antagonist isn't that effective. However, that mid-credit scene will just make your minds go...snap, if you know what I mean! Ant-Man and the Wasp Movie Review: Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly's Pint-Sized Superhero Adventure Provides Giant-Sized Fun.
I have to watch the movie on TV when the DVD comes out to decide if it has a rewatch value. But watching Aquaman in IMAX has been the visual treat I won't forget in a long time. DC did the right thing by hiring Furious 7 fame James Wan to helm this one, as the man knows how to create large-scale entertaining spectacles. The plot may be too generic, but the underwater sequences lend themselves brilliantly on the big screen and the action scenes are terrific. Jason Momoa makes for an awesome Aquaman, and the rest of the cast do a fine job too. Also, its universal acceptance by the viewers means DCEU, laying low after the debacle of Justice League, is back in the game! Aquaman Movie Review: Jason Momoa and James Wan Save DCEU From Sinking With This Highly Entertaining VFX-Laden Superhero Romp.
The cultural blockbuster of the year. Even Marvel never expected the movie to be such a monster hit. Black Panther is the first solo superhero movie, that is not a sequel, to enter the $1 billion club. As a movie, the movie has a really engaging premise laced with an undercurrent of racial themes. While all the actors do a tremendous job, it is the villain, Erik Killmonger, played by a superb Michael B Jordan who is the most effective. Which, I believe, is a rarity for a Marvel movie, a feat it repeats again in a couple of months later (to which, I will get to in a couple of paras). While Black Panther's VFX is patchy, the creation of Wakanda is spell-binding. The music selection is awesome and the action scenes, save for that underwhelming climatic fight, is good. Black Panther Movie Review: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan Excel in This Superhero Saga But the Ladies Steal the Show.
Sometimes we do get sequels that we wonder if they are as good as the first movie, or if they are better. A dilemma any movie lover would love to have. Incredibles 2 is that kind of film. Even though the sequel came 14 years late, the events of the film, as well as its connection with the audience, continue as if the gap didn't happen. The movie's only big flaw is that it doesn't have an incredible villain as Syndrome in the first film. The rest of the film, right from the animation to the premise to the characters, is just incredible. Incredibles 2 Movie Review: More Than Elastigirl or Mr Incredible, It Is Little Jack-Jack Who Makes This Animated Film Entertaining.
Avengers: Infinity War
The biggest movie of the year, in terms of its cast and the scale and the expectations, did only one thing right and that was enough. It didn't let down the Marvel fans who stood with the franchise through its 18-movie journey, despite every odd against it (see...Justice League). Sure, certain fan favourites like Captain America, Black Widow and Black Widow got less scope to impress and some plotholes were too glaring to ignore. However, the director Russo Brothers did a brilliant job to balance the various plotline and the vast superhero roster to create a mind-blowing narrative, and yet make the movie about one man, or rather Titan. Avengers Infinity War is about the antagonist Thanos, which is why he gets that victory in the climax, even if half the universe is snapped away to dust. Avengers 4 aka EndGame can't get soon enough here. Avengers Infinity War Movie Review: Russo Brothers Deliver a Cinematic Marvel With This High-on-stakes, Ambitious Superhero Ensemble.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Avengers fans might be annoyed with choosing this movie on the top spot over Infinity War, but there is a legible explanation. Remember how Amitabh Bachchan was clueless about what the heck was going on in Avengers Infinity War after watching it and Marvel fans had to educate him on Twitter? Infinity War is a terrific movie, no doubt. But its impact is truly felt, if you know Marvel Cinematic Universe really well. Here's where Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse excels. It is a standalone film that does a lot of things right that Infinity War did, from managing multiple heroes while focusing on one, to paying true tribute to its source, the comics. It also does something right that Deadpool 2 couldn't - effectively balance humour and emotions, even when it pokes fun at itself. The visuals are breath-taking, the BG score is too good and the voice-cast is brilliant. And it has Nicholas Cage voicing a gangsta like Spider-Man. What more do you want!
Agree with our ranking or disagree, superhero nerds? Do share what's on your minds in the comments section below!