Top 10 Worst Comic Characters to Screen TransfersPosted: July 20, 2012
Okay, I’m kind of cheating and writing this on Monday afternoon but that’s because I’m away this weekend for family stuff and probably wouldn’t get a chance to post. I rewatched Daredevil this week and it got me thinking about other comic book characters who have moved to the big screen, so here’s my ten least favourite. My 10 favourites will be up tomorrow. As ever, they’re in no order, as I can’t be bothered to rank them.
1. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
As seen in: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Played by: Sean Connery, Jason Flemyng, Shane West etc
The obvious one to open with. Alan Moore’s comic book is a wonderfully twisted, inventive tale that unites various literary characters (Mr Hyde, Allan Quatermain, Mina Harker and Captain Nemo) join forces to fight evil for the British Empire. Its a very grown up piece of work with lots of dark edges and black humour, so making it into a film was an odd choice. Rather inevitably everything that made the books so fresh was stripped back and it was remade as a kids action movie, and stunk up the place.
They added Tom Sawyer (Shane West) to sell it better to the Yanks, turned Mina into a full fledged vampire and sanded off so many edges you could have bowled with it. Utterly tedious and so bad Sean Connery hasn’t graced our screens since. That’s right, he kept going after The Avengers, but this one made him retire.
2. Emma Frost aka the White Queen
As seen in: X-Men: First Class (2011)
Played by: January Jones
Emma Frost is badass. She’s an incredibly powerful telepath who winds up leading the X-Men, but in this film she’s essentially Kevin Bacon’s moll and they push more about her being able to turn into a stupid diamond lady. Poor show, and a missed opportunity to have a strong female villain, similar to how they dropped the ball with Mystique in the other X-movies.
As seen in: Spider-man 3 (2007)
Played by: Topher Grace
Check out my review of The Amazing Spider-man for a hint of how much I loathe this film, and one of the worst things is how badly Venom is used. In the books Venom is a genuine threat and a match for Spidey after bonding with Eddie Brock, who hates the wall-crawler.
He’s largely a villain, but there are times when he works as a vigilante. In the film he’s just whiny Topher Grace and never convinces, especially as he goes straight to teaming up with Sandman instead of just going toe-to-toe with Spidey.
As seen in: X-Men (2000)
Played by: Tyler Mane
Sabretooth is terrifying in the comics, he’s bigger and stronger than Wolverine and also a complete psychopath. Its his ruthless, calculating side that makes him a good bad guy, backed up by his physical power, but in the film they ditched all the psycho stuff and hired Mane, a wrestler for the role, reducing him to just being Magneto’s muscle. He may not have looked the part as much, but Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was an improvement.
5. Robin and Batgirl
As seen in: Batman Forever and Batman & Robin (1995 and ’97)
Played by: Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone
Batman’s sidekicks are always going to be a tough sell. Get them wrong and they look campy and lame, and they definitely got them wrong here.
First of all there’s Robin, played by Chris O’Donnell. O’Donnell looks well too old for some of Dick Grayson’s adolescent bitching and is just irritating. Why make him a grown man, surely they could have found a teenage actor that would have worked better. O’Donnell is always quite wooden on screen but here he’s even worse. Robin is tough to get right, we get that, but in the comics he’s smart and quick witted, here he’s just another person Bats has to rescue.
After the failure of Robin we shouldn’t have expected much from the Batgirl and it really goes wrong, quickly. First of all, they change the backstory- she’s Alfred’s niece? Huh? Why couldn’t they keep her as Barbara Gordon, or a new character who started fighting crime independently of the dynamic duo?
Instead she just turns up and is given a suit, robbing her of a decent origin story and just having her tag along, awkwardly flirt with O’Donnell and help kill the franchise.
Its a shame, as I really like Alicia Silverstone and was gutted by just how poorly she was used in the film.
As seen in: X-Men, X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand (2000-06)
Played by: Halle Berry
This one hurt a lot.
I love Storm. Since I got into the X-Men through the cartoon series in the ’90s she’s been one of my favourites. She’s this wonderfully strong woman who leads the team and has this aura of authority. So of course she should be in the team when they made a movie. Sadly they went with Halle Berry for the part.
Halle Berry makes awful movies. She’s not a great actress and as such Storm was relegated to just a rather dull part of the team and doesn’t really develop over the course of the trilogy. Her powers are mighty but she’s a frightfully weak character. Her only real purpose is to run around, lecture Wolverine (and lust after him? Or am I seeing something noone else is?).
Oh, and she wears stupid wigs and delivers one of the worst lines of all time.
As seen in: X2 (2003)
Played by: Alan Cumming
Don’t get me wrong the first attack on the White House is awesome, but Cumming’s Kurt is too mopey and also, his accent sucks. The character should be a lot more fun.
8. Judge Dredd
As seen in: Judge Dredd (1995)
Played by: Sylvester Stallone
First of all, a confession. I quite like the Judge Dredd movie, but mainly because I can flick a switch that allows me to completely separate it from the comic books and I love Sly Stallone. Think about the two in connection and well, it sucks.
As all 2000AD fans know the first mistake is that Stallone takes off the helmet, something which hopefully won’t happen in Dredd, and secondly the tone is wrong. Yes, the comic is capable of daft, juvenile humour but it also contains black humour and satirical barbs, here its just another action movie, but set in the future.
And Dredd is too human and emotional, his cool headed toughness is what fans love about the character.
9. Commissioner Gordon
As seen in: Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin (1989-97)
Played by: Pat Hingle.
One of the best things Christopher Nolan’s Batman revamp did was allow the world at large to see Jim Gordon as a decent character, thanks to Gary Oldman’s good work. Before that he’d always been shown as a luckless buffoon who completely relied on Batman, whereas in the books they’re shown to work closely together and build up a solid trust and respect for each other. I know Hingle’s character is only on the sidelines, but it still grates how useless they make Gordon.
As seen in: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Played by: Ryan Reynolds
Okay, I’m not a massive Deadpool fan, I haven’t read a lot of his books but what I’ve seen I’ve enjoyed. So I was stoked he was appearing in the Wolverine movie, and even more so when I found out he was going to be played by long time man-crush Ryan Reynolds.
Reynolds seemed a perfect fit for the Merc’ with a mouth and did impress when he was on screen, unfortunately that wasn’t very much. Not only did they squander a good character they wasted the chance for Reynolds to really cut loose as the motormouthed character. When he finally became Deadpool they made it so he couldn’t talk. Bloody idiots.
Well, here’s hoping the Reynolds starring follow up will be a marked improvement, maybe even break the fourth wall a bit?
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO