This weekend I watched Fantastic Four 2 which is the last movie I needed to see in order to be able to say I've seen all the "modern" Marvel movies. That's to say, any theatrically released movie starring a Marvel character starting with Blade, I've now seen it. So, I shall now rank the modern Marvel Movies.
I see them very much in a tier system. There's a definite top, middle and lower tier.
Spider-Man 2 - Not only the best of the Marvel movies, but one of the best comic book movies of all time. Though not without its faults, it has few.
Spider-Man - I had not been hyped up about a movie like I was this one since 1989 when Batman came out. Spider-Man was visualized perfectly and there was a decent story, too.
X2: X-Men United - Good team movie that built on the first. Wolverine took the lead, but lots of other characters had their stories, too.
Blade II - In the same way that I think Aliens was better than Alien, Blade II is better than Blade. And the awesome commentary track by Guillermo del Toro is worth the price of the DVD.
X-Men - With this movie, we transition into the second tier. Lot of build up, but a light resolution. In some ways this was just a trailer for the second movie. But a good trailer.
Blade - Much better than I ever expected this movie to be. Interesting how this relatively unknown character led the charge in the modern Marvel movies.
Spider-Man 3 - A disappointing entry into the Spidey mythos. The script was one more rewrite away from being good. A lot of people complained about too many villains. Maybe so, but some smarter writing could have tied a lot of it together without it being so forced.
Hulk - The stretch of movie where Hulk breaks free from the lab and heads back to the city is what gets this movie into the second tier. Dropping the weird cloud fight at the end and removing the headache inducing split-screen editing would have raised this up the list.
X-Men 3: Last Stand - Another disappointing third entry, this movie seemingly was a creative nightmare to deal with. In parts it definitely seemed to betray the characters. In killing off some of the characters, they made big, bold moves that were unnecessary. Too many characters and too many mutants turned this into a "wouldn't it be kewl if..." movie.
Punisher - Entering now the third tier, Punisher had a few nice moments and Thomas Jane was an excellent Frank Castle. Ultimately this had too much of a direct-to-DVD feel to it.
Ghost Rider - Very hokey at times, but true to itself throughout. It suffered from needing too many effects, so the action was limited at times. I have a feeling that a sequel could be better.
Elektra - Jennifer Garner was horribly cast as Elektra. She showed that her acting range isn't very capable of extending beyond Sydney Bristow. But as PLee says, Jennifer Garner + Ninjas = shoulda worked.
Fantastic Four & 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Horribly cast in almost every way, but especially in the case of Doom. Julian McMahan may be a fine TV actor, but he does not have the screen presence to pull of the role of my favorite Marvel villain ever. Of course, they didn't only butcher my favorite Marvel villain, but my second favorite as well. Galactus as a cloud, wasn't right. Silver Surfer going super nova and defeating Galacus was really not right. Who defeated Galactus time and time again in the comic? MR. FANTASTIC! At no point did I ever see Mr. Fantastic. The movies should have had a sense of wonder and adventure about them. Instead, they delivered something worse than Power Rangers.
Daredevil - If there's a movie more miscast than FF, it was this one. Two words: Ben Affleck.
Blade Trinity - Awful. Absolutely awful. Too many horrible things to mention, but I'll say that when Whistler blew himself up to kill a bunch of cops, the movie lost me. What a way to have your hero's sidekick go out -- by killing a bunch of cops.
I am hoping that Iron Man and Incredible Hulk will be able to break into the top tier next year. And I'm disappointed Thomas Jane isn't coming back for the second Punisher movie. That doesn't bode well for the script really.