Film_Companion Comic book
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With the COVID-19 pandemic stopping Hollywood’s superhero and comic book movie juggernaut dead in its tracks and the long wait for Wonder Woman 1984 to release in theatres, streaming is increasingly becoming the go to for new comic book movies and shows.  

Instead of looking at the best comic book movies on streaming, which would be too straightforward and feature too much Robert Downey Jr, here’s a list of the coolest and most underrated comic book movies that you might have skipped. 

Constantine (2005)

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

The ‘American Constantine’ is finding an audience again – especially in light of the Keanussance that is underway. It’s a far more entertaining and colourful movie than its initial reception made it out to be. Keanu Reeves looks nothing like the comic book John Constantine, who is modeled on the singer Sting, but his ‘What if Neo was an A-hole?’ version works too. Add to that a good plot, visuals that stand out even today and some brilliant performances by Gavin Rossdale (Balthazar) and Peter Stormare (Lucifer) – Constantine is not only a must-watch comic book movie, it’s also significantly bonkers and terrifying.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army (based on the Dark Horse’s Hellboy comics) needs to be on every Greatest Of All Time list. I make this statement on the merits of one scene alone – in which Abe Sapien and Hellboy try to deal with the loss of their father, their faltering love lives and their stunted emotional capabilities by drinking beer and singing along to Barry Manilow’s ‘Can’t Smile Without You’.

“You’re in love, have a beer” is up there on the list of greatest comic book movie quotes of all time.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Why Edge of Tomorrow doesn’t have a larger fanbase is something that still confounds me. This is Tom Cruise at his action blockbuster finest. He’s fantastic as a bumbling military PR officer thrown into a human-alien war and accidentally bestowed with the power of rebooting time. Based on the Japanese light sci-fi novel (and the subsequent manga version) All You Need is Kill, Edge of Tomorrow has no flaws one can point to. The movie is ON from the very first frame, taking you straight to the battlefield and merging its spectacular action set-pieces with a Groundhog Day framework, delivering a science-fiction movie that’s both smart and enjoyable.    

Priest (2011)

Streaming on: Netflix

If you’ve heard of Priest, a 2011 action horror film based on the Korean graphic novel of the same name, then you know its failure almost ended Paul Bettany’s career, until he got cast as Vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The dreary, dystopian filter aside, Priest does the job it’s supposed to do. It’s a movie about a warrior priest clan that battles vampires, so of course it’s derivative – but the sleek and stylish action make it a fantastic one-time watch. Karl Urban hams it up with aplomb as the villainous leader of the vampires, Black Hat, so that helps too.

Watchmen (2009)

Streaming on: Netflix

Probably the most obvious choice on the list. But in between Zack Snyder’s DC Extended Universe foray, the Snyder cut movement and the more recent (and brilliant!) HBO series based on the comic – this movie version is often forgotten. For me, Watchmen’s main problem was that it was too faithful to its source. However, Jack Earl Hayle’s Rorschach alone is worth the bandwidth. I’d recommend turning it into a quarantine party game – one shot for every scene Snyder copies from a comic book page.     

The Losers (2010)

Streaming on: Google Movies

The Losers is either not a very popular movie or is forgotten amid the pantheon of graphic novel adaptations. It shouldn’t be. The graphic novel it’s loosely based on is boatloads of fun (and one of my personal favourites) and The Losers boasts of a spectacular cast, with the likes of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana and Idris Elba. The movie, which follows the exploits of an ex-CIA team gone rogue, is loud, action-packed and perhaps too fast-paced for its own good, but still deserves a second chance.  

Oblivion (2013)

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

The second Tom Cruise headliner on this list is a tricky one. The comic book that Oblivion is based on never released, so there’s a chicken-and-egg conspiracy theory there. However, Oblivion deserved to be a bigger hit – not only for its grand scale and its 1970s science fiction roots, but also for that beautiful plot twist. Tom Cruise singlehandedly carries that movie, as if he were the Last Samurai on Earth.

Red (2010)

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

The original Red is a rather short graphic novel – a straightforward ‘don’t piss off a former CIA agent’ caper that maintains a constant level of brutality. When it was turned into a movie with Bruce Willis, I figured the plot would stretch rather thin. Thankfully, the movie cherry picks elements from the comic book and decides to be a thing of its own.

Kick Ass (2010)

Streaming on: Netflix

Fine, you’ve probably seen this movie already. If you haven’t, then do so right now – if for nothing else but Nicholas Cage’s most bonkers performance in a comic book movie. (And I’m counting Ghost Rider here.) It will reaffirm your belief that Mr. Cage’s talent is on another plane, or maybe even a parallel universe.

The 9 Most Underrated Comic Book Movies You Can Stream Right Now, Film Companion

Special Mentions:

These aren’t currently streaming, but you can always note them down for later: Road to Perdition (2002), A History of Violence (2005), Ghost World (2001), Dredd (2012) and Scott Pilgrim vs The World (2010).   

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