There's nothing like a good superhero film, especially when they follow the story from the comic book or introduce a new character to love. Unfortunately, the following movies didn't have anything “super” about them. Based on personal experience and reviews from critics and movie-goers alike, these movies were just all-around awful.
1. Black Adam (2022)
Black Adam had been in development for well over a decade before it was released, and The Rock hyped it up in a major way. Unfortunately, the flick was critically panned and it underperformed at the box office. It doesn't look like there will be a sequel and, honestly? That's okay with us.
2. Batman and Robin (1997)
If you want to be a “glass half full” type of person, you could look at Batman and Robin as a camp masterpiece. But most people just thought it was a corny, poorly written and over-the-top monstrosity that could have doomed superhero movies.
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight is one of those superhero films that was an instant-classic that everyone still holds near and dear. However, it was basically a crime drama with next to no super powers involved… just saying.
4. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spiderman 2 didn't quite live up to the expectations fans had after the first movie. According to some members, they could do without the spider-filled not-so-super sequel.
5. Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice
In an attempt to compete with the Marvel cinematic universe, D.C. put the two biggest names in the franchise together—it amounted to a shocking disappointment that failed to live up to the hype. For all intents and purposes, Batman was Iron Man, and the plot struggled to convincingly convert Superman, the paragon of superheroes, into a bonafide villain.
6. Hulk (2003)
Not to be confused with The Incredible Hulk, which would come out five years later and set the tone for what would come. Hulk was a hodgepodge of poor CGI and random adversaries. None of them seemed to present a challenge, making this film anticlimactic at best. Ultimately, the Hulk was a disappointment that didn't do what its successor would do years later—astound!
7. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Compared to the other Spider-Man movies, Spider-Man 3 was a debacle. This movie missed the mark and could not capitalize on the much anticipated grand reveal of Venom—an iconic villain in the Spider-Man universe. The plot was clunky, hurried, and unrefined. I got the impression that there was a deadline, production was behind schedule, and they threw together whatever they had at the last minute. This was a total mess of a movie that should've been great.
8. Catwoman (2004)
The Catwoman in this movie was not the Catwoman we grew up reading in the comics or watching in the animated series, for that matter. The reimagined Catwoman felt like a completely different character from the one that was witty and clever enough to outsmart Batman on more than a few occasions. This Catwoman came with a brand new backstory that didn't jive with most audiences.
9. Daredevil (2003)
Daredevil was poorly executed. It was another movie with all the potential in the world, but they couldn't create an authentic universe for the protagonist that seemed believable and compelling to audiences. So, Daredevil didn't meet my expectations, and I hope they remake it and do this epic character some justice.
10. Dragon Ball Evolution (2009)
Perhaps the most popular anime in history, Dragon Ball Evolution, did this franchise a disservice. I don't know if it was a cash grab or purely a lack of talent, but the results were nothing short of disappointing. The special effects lacked imagination, and the plot is egregiously childlike. This movie was only Dragon Ball in name alone—nothing nostalgic about it.
11. Eternals (2021)
Eternals could have been better as a stand-alone film. Perhaps it suffered because it could not capitalize off the fandom built with generations of kids through comics and cartoons such as Iron Man, Spider-Man, etc. With the Eternals, you don't feel connected, and I personally never felt immersed in the existential crisis. The Eternals are supposed to be the first superheroes in the Marvel universe, but it didn't bring that “it” factor like the other Marvel films before it.
12. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Thor: Love and Thunder tried to tap into the organic and timely humor achieved in Thor: Ragnarok; however, they severely missed the boat. The humor was over the top and made Thor more of a joke than an actual superhero who's supposed to be a god. Ultimately, the conflict and superhero action was overshadowed by a poor attempt at comedy.
13. The Wolverine (2013)
The Wolverine belied everyone's expectations of a movie that starred Hugh Jackman as the lone member of the X-Men. While some cool designs and scenes were due to the story being set in Japan, the film felt like something other than the grungy, hardcore Wolverine we've all come to know and love. My expectations wouldn't be met until four years later with the premiere of Logan!
14. Justice League (2017)
The original Justice League crew tried and failed to compete with their rival, the Avengers, and their three mesmerizing movies. Justice League suffered because they didn't meticulously release individual movies of the members of the Justice League in the way that Marvel did with the Avengers. Consequently, the film lacked cohesion, and there was no connection with the Justice League members. However, there's hope because the movie would go on to get remade by Zack Snyder, who achieved a far better cinematic experience.
15. Fantastic Four (2005)
I remember waiting for this movie to release and being disillusioned when it finally arrived. It just wasn't fantastic; it fell into the realm of the cliche, giving us a foursome that was more boring than anything. With the first and second Spider-Man movies cracking the code on how to make a live-action superhero movie, the hype was great, but Fantastic Four was not.
16. Green Lantern (2011)
Green Lantern is just not a good Superhero origin story. I can't lay this on the shoulders of Ryan Reynolds, even though many were ready to say that it was his terrible acting that did the movie in. Green Lantern missed all the marks, and the last villain was an amorphous blob that didn't make for an epic showdown. The movie was so bad that Sheldon, a comic book/superhero fanatic, epically trolled it on The Big Bang Theory television series.
17. Blade Trinity (2004)
The first two films of the franchise were both hits. However, Blade Trinity deviated from the original game plan. The fight scenes were lackluster, and the humor was disjointed and clashed with what the franchise had already previously established. If you want to watch a Blade movie, do yourself a favor, watch the first two, and forget that this one exists.
18. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (1993)
In the previous TMNT movies, you get iconic and impactful. You can feel New York coming through the screen with Raphael's strong accent and all. It was the collective that made the Ninja Turtles excellent. This version went with time travel, and it completely obliterated the foundation that was laid. The suits were worse and needed more realism.
19. Spawn (1997)
Spawn was one of the earliest attempts at making a superhero movie apart from Batman and Superman. It was probably too dark for its time, with tons of violence and an uneventful plot. Here's another film that could use a remake because the character could make for a potentially great movie.
Creshonda Smith is a creative writer that thrives on learning something new everyday and sharing that knowledge in a way that captivates others. She has 15 years of experience as a freelance writer for various companies, but she was previously a Clinical Social Worker, having obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Ohio State University. After nearly 10 years in the field, she decided it was time to return to one of her childhood passions—writing that inspires. Creshonda will tackle any topic, but she prefers lifestyle articles centered around Health & Wellness, Parenting & Family Advice, Food + Drinks, Personal Growth, and Traveling. She has four beautiful children and has been married for a decade. Her favorite hobbies include traveling to anywhere there's a beach, reading, writing, and playing UNO! Creshonda has been a contributing writer for Wealth of Geeks since June 2023.