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THE AVENGERS opens this weekend featuring a confederation of Marvel superheroes.
Here’s reviews of recent Marvel superhero movies. See if your favorite is here.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER tells the origin of Marvel’s first super-hero and the beginnings of his battles against Red Skull, the ruthless head of a rogue Nazi outfit trying to take over the world. Despite some foul language, CAPTAIN AMERICA delivers an inspiring, exciting patriotic punch with a lot of heart.
FANTASTIC FOUR is a lightweight action comic book B-movie about five people who are mutated by a cosmic storm. Mr. Fantastic can stretch in any direction and assume any shape, Sue Storm is invisible and has the power to control force fields, Johnny is the Human Torch, and Ben is the rock-like Thing. There is some sex innuendo, but more important to note are the evolutionary worldview, transmutations and constant violence that will disturb younger children.
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
In perhaps the bloodiest and most violent vampire movie ever created, BLADE is a very occult oriented, evil, mean spirited, dark, and violent Marvel Comic African-American superhero. Possessing the power and thirst of a vampire and the soul of a human, Blade graphically kills the “undead” while trying to stop a rebellious vampire who wishes to awaken a false, but presumably powerful, “blood god.”
X-MEN is the classic comic tale of the conflicts between two groups of genetically enhanced humans, a.k.a. mutants, and normal people. It has a humanist worldview with many moral, redemptive elements but with a strong contradictory evolutionary focus, some foul language and some questionable comments made about “God fearing” people and God.
X2: X-MEN UNITED
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
SPIDER-MAN is a live-action version of the famous comic book hero Peter Parker, who becomes a crime-fighting hero with super powers when he’s bitten by a genetically engineered spider. SPIDER-MAN is an exciting, high octane comic book adventure with an excellent performance by Tobey Maguire and many positive moral, biblical and redemptive elements, but the action violence is too intense for younger children.
DAREDEVIL stars Ben Affleck in one of his more convincing performances as a blind comic book superhero with other superhuman senses, who fights criminals in revenge for the murder of his father. DAREDEVIL is an exciting popcorn movie full of personal jeopardy and meaningful conflict, with a strong Christian worldview and strong moral elements, marred by some lesser Romantic, pagan and satanic elements and symbols.
GHOST RIDER stars Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt rider, who is tricked into becoming the Devil’s bounty hunter and has to find a way to use newfound supernatural powers to defeat the Devil and several rogue demons. Sometimes flat and cheesy despite good-looking, but scary, special effects and earnest performances, GHOST RIDER has a strong Christian, biblical and moral perspective, but includes some foul language.
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE
IRON MAN stars Robert Downey, Jr., in the story of billionaire defense contractor Tony Stark who builds a high tech suit of armor and inadvertently becomes a superhero. The movie is filled with comic book fun and fantasy action with few objectionable elements, but it requires caution and parental guidance for older children.
IRON MAN 2
THE INCREDIBLE HULK is another effort by Marvel Comics and Hollywood to profit from Marvel’s comic book characters. The story is somewhat predictable, and the movie seems to switch back and forth between live action and ultra-violent video game action.