2014: The Year of the Superhero

MARVELIn every possible way, we film nerds just can’t get enough of superhero movies. Though heavily Marvel and DC-orientated, nothing seems to get our blood pumping more than a mask-wearing and blade-wielding crimefighter. So, it’s a hella good thing 2014 is going to be loaded with them.

Marvel flicks like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are sure to grab the attention of every spotty-faced teenager like myself. Spiderman is probably headed to be the international favourite, what with the huge success of the first and the long-awaited return of Emma Stone to our screens (a wonder woman in her own right). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems to have a spark of rejuvenation to it. Unlike the previous uninspired trilogy it seems to sparkle and tingle with electric pacing and the dynamic pairing of Stone and Spider-Man himself Andrew Garfield. Moreover, with the ominous threat of Electro on the horizon, a classic supervillain lifted straight from the comic books, it seems as if this film can only build upon the success and strength of the first.

Guardians of the Galaxy, probably less known among casual Marvel fans, also seems appealing to the masses of people who enjoy a more sci-fi tone to their superhero fetishes.
With a cast of the likes of Vin Diesel and Glenn Close, fingers crossed it remains in league with its predecessors.

Other Marvel look-outs include the godly Captain America sequel that will enter cinemas shortly. With the great Russo brothers directing, known for their typically American romcoms such as You, Me and Dupree, it will be difficult to leave cinemas not impressed. I can’t finish commenting on marvel without even beginning to mention the new X Men: Days of the Future Past. With what is perhaps the most ambitious cast known to man, teaming with fresh-faced Hollywood stars and several acting legends, this film simply can’t disappoint. It just can’t.

Man of Steel was easily the most anticipated superhero movie of 2013 and its upcoming sequel Batman vs. Superman has DC fans in a frenzy all around the world. Not only will the film boast DC’s two most celebrated and iconic characters but it will also include Wonder Woman on the same screen. The unification of the three biggest DC characters has also lead to speculation on the creation of a wider DC cinematic universe to rival Marvel’s flagging behemoth. The combination of the three super heroes, though previously seen in on screen television cartoons has never been realised and on screen and has fuelled growing speculation over the possibility of a future Justice League film.

Though the sequel isn’t due until 2015 expect heaps of anticipation-stoking shorts and trailers to be released throughout the year to build up media interest in the franchise.
sint city twoThe great neo-noir flick that changed the face of film, Sin City, will be making a heroic return in late august. Curiously titled Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, though wonderful as ever, the importance of Rodriguez’s great crime action thriller is sure to be reiterated in this hugely anticipated sequel. We can only hope that the spirit of Grindhouse has quite literally been grinded into a powder and remade to create another monumental success.

Others include Robocop and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Though a remake of the 1987 film-Robocop promises a futuristic flick with fantastic visuals and top class acting to boot. As for Ninja Turtles, I am almost sure that everybody who understands the true greatness of the animated reptile warriors will be able to see past the inevitable sub-standard acting and irrelevance of actors such as Megan Fox and Whoopi Goldberg (Sister Act has no power here folks).

If 2013 was the year of Marvel, perhaps its grip on the market is finally lessening this year. Thor 2 received critical condemnation, and the blank personality of many of the franchise’s heroes other than Iron Man has caused critics to question whether the sun is finally setting on the Marvel dominance of the market and left the door wide open for DC.
Diversification in the Marvel brand, too could be a double edged swords. At some point sequel saturation will hit home and at that point Marvel will be in deep trouble. Fortunately, commercially at least there is still life in the all conquering franchise, and Marvel have time to recover the initiative if they refocus their efforts on elevating scripts beyond the mediocre quality of Thor: The Dark World.

All in all, 2014 promises great things for those of us who hopefully cast our heads skyward in the hope of sighting some of the greatest superheroes in history gracing our screens and striving to improve upon those that have gone before.