In the early 1990s and 1980s, superhero movies were still a very new phenomenon and thus were not always taken seriously in the early years of the decade. Critics tended to overhype these films, giving them the full treatment that they would give to more critically-acclaimed genres. However, by the end of the decade, critics had come to accept this genre as a form of cinematic appreciation/intellectual stimulation in its own right as opposed to just mindless entertainment. Nowadays it’s hard to find a credible film critic who doesn’t believe superhero movies deserve all due respect for their ability to tackle hugely important issues like loss or existential doubt for example. That being said, here’s a list of some superhero movies from the ‘80s and ‘90s that were bad yet are good –
It might be hard to believe, but Blade wasn’t initially well-received. Maybe it was because Hollywood just wasn’t ready for a cool black vampire hunter – in the late ’90s. We know it sounds outrageous, but the magnificent first Black superhero of the Marvel, who kickstarted the genre-blending subgenre of superhero films and doubled its box office on its back, is still regularly overlooked.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
At first glance, it may seem like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that came out in 1990 will not be good. This film had terrible reviews from what we understand. But this film is actually very interesting to watch. We were very surprised by how dark the movie is. It’s surprising since, at the time of its release, this type of movie would usually contain violence and language that only kids could handle. It’s much more dramatic than other films about ninjas or turtles for that matter because of how gritty it looks on screen compared to other movies that are made today.
Released in 1991, The Rocketeer is based on a graphic novel of the same name. It tells the story of an eccentric pilot who finds a winged jet-pack and decides to become a hero for his country. This is a classic adventure film with all its adventurous clichés. Of course, we can’t forget Bill Campbell’s witty lines and Timothy Dalton’s villainy.
Walt Disney had a lot to live up to when he made The Incredibles after witnessing the popularity of comic book movies like Batman and Superman. But Condorman was its attempt at breaking into the genre some three decades prior and fortunately, there is enough in the movie to make it worth watching once – if not for anything else then simply for some laughs.
1995’s Batman Forever is often viewed with a critical eye, but we think it’s unfair to have that type of judgment passed on it. This was the franchise’s third movie. And there had been so much success with Tim Burton’s work in the previous films. This brought a darker graphic novel style to the comic book presentation. Joel Schumacher wanted to bring something else out of his next Batman film – something akin to the playful original 60s TV Batman series.