Who decided that comic book movie heroes had to be all cheesy one liners and over the top acting?
While comic book movies have not had a very good run until recently (see: The Dark Knight, X-Men First Class), the genre has been plagued by as many bad scripts as miscast actors. It's like getting a chicken salad sandwich when you ordered a double bacon cheeseburger. Disappointing.
With Nicholas Cage reprising Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, coming out this Friday, we thought we would revisit some of comic to film's other worst miscast superheroes.
Here are some miscast superheroes in comic-to-film history.
5. Nicholas Cage - Ghost Rider
The Hero: Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt performer, who sells his soul to save his father/mentor and is rewarded by being bound to a demon and forced to ride around at night with a flaming skull for a head.
The Miss: Nicholas Cage, prone to scene altering hysterics and veteran of such cinema "classics" as Con Air and The Rock. Put them together and you get a twitchy, cheesy one liner spewing antihero that you're glad to see burst in to flames and become the Ghost Rider, if it means he'll stop the cheese fest.
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The Replacement: Jeremy Renner. Already a super hero veteran, he was Hawkeye in Thor and in the up coming The Avengers, Renner exudes that cool confidence that you would expect from a motorcycle stunt man turned Satan's bounty hunter.
The Hero: Selena Kyle, professional thief and on again off again love interest for Batman. She made her mark as being not so much a super villain but a slinky antihero.
The Miss: Halle Berry, Oscar and Razzie winner whose portrayal of this Batman-less Catwoman is more Peter Parker's turn as Spiderman than the origins of a cool and confident thief.
While there are many things wrong with this movie (resurrected by a herd of cats, really?) it doesn't help that Berry jams her scenes with cheesy one liners, odd purring and a scene where she makes out with a chunk of cat nip. There's also a sexually charged one-on-one basketball game with Benjamin Bratt where they're surrounded by a bunch of cheering kids. Awkward.
The Replacement: Anne Hathaway, though she hasn't dipped much in to the action genre we support Christopher Nolan casting her as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises.
3. Thomas Jane - The Punisher
The Hero: Frank Castle, a former marine whose family gets unceremoniously "offed" by the mob after they witness a mod hit. Castle then dons the name The Punisher and exacts vengeance on his family's killers as well as wages war with the mob and most other criminals.
The Miss: Thomas Jane played almost the entire movie without moving any of his facial muscles. Nominated three years running for "Hung," we know that Jane has it in him to be an effective protagonist.
It's a pretty grim story, but a little bit of cheese might have been nice here. Instead it's squinty, sidelong glances and raspy one liners.
The Replacement: We think that relative newcomer Chris Pine might make a decent Punisher. If he buffed up a little and got a little angry he could have a decent run at former marine Frank Castle, with hopefully a bit more of a human element.
2. Ben Affleck - Daredevil
The Hero: Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, is blinded by a radioactive substance that takes his sight but in return heightens his remaining four senses giving him a bat-like echolocation.
The Miss: Ben Affleck, while not turning in a particularly horrible performance, does not capture the essence of Daredevil.
Affleck plays Daredevil as a somewhat one-dimensional character, and that's no small feat for a character with a secret identity. Seemingly driven more by avenging his father's death than the Catholic guilt that plagued him in the comic books, Daredevil misses on the opportunity to be a compelling humanistic hero.
The Replacement: We wouldn't mind seeing what Joseph Gordon-Levitt could do if he donned the red jumpsuit. He has proven his acting chops in films like 50/50 and he can definitely handle the level of badass required to be Daredevil if we've learned anything from Inception.
1. George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell - Batman and Robin
The Hero: Batman, self appointed protector of Gotham, complex borderline sociopath obsession with becoming the Batman and fighting crime. Robin, Batman's sidekick who has much to learn but is still no slouch when it comes to kicking ass.
The Miss: George Clooney, Oscar winner and all around pretty good actor whose turn at the Caped Crusader left fans wishing he had stayed in the Batcave. Chris O'Donnell, had a respectable performance in Scent of a Woman, but you have to step up your game when your costar is Al Pacino.
This one is definitely a twofer. First you get Clooney's horribly self aware one liners and you just get the feeling that he thinks being Bruce Wayne is way cooler than being Batman. Then O'Donnell pretty much whines his way through this film, never really escaping from Batman's shadow. Top it all off with Arnold Schwarzenegger's pun fest and you have one of the worst Batman films ever.
The Replacement: Obviously, this has already been done. Christian Bale has turned in a pretty good performance as Batman, at least you get the feeling that even when he is Bruce Wayne he is thinking about being Batman. We also think Tom Hardy would have been a good choice, if he could nail the American accent.