The MCU thread got me thinking: What do people think are the most influential superhero films of all time?
Every few years a super hero film comes out that redefines the entire genre. Usually, there's a take home lesson for execs so all the comanpies begin to follow that new trend they fixate on. I got to thinking, and obviously this'll be super subjective, but here's my list (and why):
Superman '78: "You'll believe a man can fly". Special effects are good enough to do superheroes now, and people will enjoy a very earnest hero.
Batman '89: There has probably not been another superhero film to lead to a character being so thoroughly embedded in a zeitgeist of its time. EVERYTHING was Batman. He's never been far away since. Also, the role of Joker ascending to something actors aspire too (although that was a thing in the 60's tv show too).
Blade '98: First superhero film of the gritty era (Plenty of camp in Batman '89 although people forget that). Not good influential, but the beginning of the Goyer style of rewriting characters. BLOOD DANCE SCENE. "Adult" superhero films everywhere that aren't actually very mature at all.
Interesting thing is to this point it's 1 a decade. These films didn't result in volume. But the Marvel sell off happens...
X-Men '00: First film to prove an ensemble can make bank. Teams are allowed now, in the mind of execs. Superhero films are now more "mature" again in that everything must be leather or black, and actually mature in the sense we're allowed to discuss real world issues.
Spider-Man '02: At this time Marvel comics pushed this film so hard because it still stood to make them a lot of money when they were not doing so good. ALL the studios start pouring over what Marvel properties they own, in order to replicate the success.
Batman Begins '05: Hyper realistic, zero camp, barely any humour, the paragon of grim dark storytelling, the ramifications of Nolan's success here are felt in DC movies and games to this day.
Dark Knight '08: Again, Batman hits a zeitgeist, and an epic Joker. Grim dark may have been retired for a while with Marvel's ascendancy at this point if Nolan hadn't made such an amazing film. It's in such contrast to...
Iron Man '08: The polar opposite of Batman Begins/TDK, Marvel risk it all to show yes, you can just port the best bits of the comic over, even if they are a bit silly. We now have 2 concurrent trends in comic book movies, which exists to this day.
Kick Ass '10: You can drop f bombs and make bank with your superhero film. No, seriously, you can. The first parody superhero film to really succeed.
Avengers '12: After 4 years of films as trailer Marvel are a powerhouse and make BANK with the first proper superhero team film (as in, characters who have their own franchises first). Every producer wants a cinematic universe now, or at least finally realises more than one hero does not mean less profit. DC are to this day still figuring their universes out.
Guardians of The Galaxy '14: Every film must now have funny musical references, missing the point that it's the diagetic nature of the music in GOTG that makes it work.
Deadpool '16: The hybrid son of the sillier Marvel and "adult" DC movies, it's ok to curse, be 18's, and make money now. This had already been proved by all the Millar movies ofc, but for some reason it has to happen with a big 2 character before it's accepted by the execs.
Logan '17: I assume this only exists as it does due to the success of Deadpool, but it's not its adult nature that is its lasting impact I think: This is the first successful movie to deconstruct superhero films. It's literally a tired old man of a film finding a new purpose. I think the impact of this is lost on us because the world of superhero cinema has been halted for quite some time now.
Honorable mentions here go to Endgame and Joker, because I think both of them will have a huge impact, but it's too early to tell yet.