I wrote an article listing the top ten worst portrayals of a comic book character in a movie so it’s only fair that I also give props to the good portrayals. In the list of bad comic book characters I said that it wasn’t just the actor or actress that made the character bad but also had to do with the writing, directing and casting as well. The same thing goes for the good performances.
10. Hellboy in Hellboy
I was not all that impressed with the Hellboy movie; certainly not as impressed as most of the critics seemed to be. However, my problem with the movie was just that the story wasn’t all that interesting. But Hellboy was done very well. First of all the makeup job was incredible. Ron Perlman was also the best choice to play Hellboy. Once you put makeup on Ron Perlman’s face he transforms into the best actor money can buy.
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Let’s face it a live action Ninja Turtles movie could’ve been disastrous (see Masters of the Universe) but they pulled it off. All the Turtles were pretty accurate to their characters and most importantly the Turtle costumes didn’t look completely lame. They even looked pretty decent while fighting other people and doing other stunts.
8. Beast in X-Men 3
The casting of Kelsey Grammar as Beast was genius. When you first hear that Kelsey Grammar is going to be in an X-Men movie it throws you off guard. But then once you think about how smart and well spoken Beast’s character is you can’t help but think who better than Dr. Frasier Krane to play the part of Hank McCoy. Once again the makeup job was also good as the Beast makeup could’ve been disastrous if not done well.
7. Doctor Octopus in Spiderman 2
To be honest it’s not so much that Alfred Molina was a good Doctor Octopus, it was more that the arms were done well. Not that Alfred Molina was bad, he was fine as Dr. Octavius but the arms were the star of Spiderman 2. As a guy with a 3D animation degree I can appreciate how difficult it was to make Doc Ock’s arms look life-like.
6. Wolverine in X-Men
I like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, it was a really good choice. The whole character was done well too. He had the healing factor, the claws were cool, they even got Wolverine’s unique haircut. However, Wolverine could’ve been higher on the list if not for one problem. He was too nice. In the first X-Men Wolverine came in and was all rebellious like the comic Wolverine. Then about 30 minutes into in the movie he cooperative and a good teammate for the rest of the series. Wolverine learning to behave that quickly is like someone who has been smoking 5 packs of cigarettes every day for fifty years suddenly quitting without ever having another craving. Wolverine should’ve been more rebellious and meaner. We also never got to see crazy feral Wolverine.
5. Professor X in X-Men, X-Men 2, and X-Men 3
On one hand this was an outstanding casting choice. On the other hand the casting decision was about as difficult as Yao Ming dunking on Nate Robinson. Patrick Stewart was born to play Professor X it’s obvious. He looks like him, he sounds like him, he acts like him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Patrick Stewart came out and said his entire life he’s been acting like Professor X.
4. Human Torch and Thing in Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four was a very bad movie but I didn’t feel completely ripped off because I did find one thing good about it, the Human Torch and Thing. The plot was awful, Jessica Alba was unbelievable as Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic is boring and Dr. Doom was horrible. But Thing and the Human Torch were perfect. Chris Evans played the young hot shot perfectly. Michael Chiklis played the big ugly thing with a good heart just as good. Most importantly they got the Human Torch and Thing relationship down too. The only thing I find interesting about the Fantastic Four is Thing and Human Torch ribbing each other and ragging on each other and it was the only thing I found interesting about the movie too.
3. Alfred in Batman Begins
For once somebody got the Alfred character right. Every previous Batman movie and television show just made Alfred the lowly butler, but Alfred isn’t just a butler. Alfred is a father figure to Bruce Wayne and also his best friend. Good job by Christopher Nolan for realizing that and Michael Caine did a splendid job of acting out the part.
2. Spiderman/Peter Parker in Spiderman, Spiderman 2
I admit it. I was skeptical when Tobey Maguire was cast as Spiderman. Obviously the guy will have no problem pulling off the nerdy Peter Parker (no offense Tobey) but could he pull of Spiderman. I think he’s done a pretty good job. I think he does a good job of acting differently as Spiderman and Peter Parker. The differences aren’t as major as Batman/Bruce Wayne but I think he’s purposely a little nerdy when he’s Peter and purposely not so nerdy when he’s Spiderman.
1. Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins
Finally we found someone who is capable of being Batman and Bruce Wayne. For years the Batman role was given to someone who could only pull off the Batman role, only the Bruce Wayne role, or neither. Christian Bale acted noticeably different, including a change of voice when he was the Dark Knight and when he was the playboy millionaire Bruce Wayne. Batman Begins is hands down the best comic book movie of all-time and Christian Bale’s performance is hands down the best performance all-time.