Summary

  • Catwoman remains a notorious disaster, earning Halle Berry a Razzie for Worst Picture and Worst Actress. It’s a laughable film, best left in the past.
  • Blade: Trinity couldn’t live up to the previous Blade films despite a Wu-Tang Clan-heavy soundtrack. However, Ryan Reynolds shines as the rogue vampire hunter Hannibal King.
  • Spider-Man 2 still reigns as the gold standard for superhero sequels, offering a relatable and emotional tale of grief and loss, along with iconic moments like the subway scene.


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This year will mark the 20th anniversary of varied projects from the DC and Marvel cinematic pantheon, but not all have held up equally well. In the age before cinematic universes, 2004 offered one of the genre’s most timeless sequels, an unsatisfying end to Marvel’s first trilogy, a second attempt at rebooting a gritty vigilante, and a standalone DC origin story that missed the mark. Regardless of their current status among cinephiles today, it’s worth noting how these movies are quintessential time portals capturing the eccentric fashion and unexpected musical choices of the early 2000s.

In 2004, an Oscar-winning actress fought crime in leather trousers, and a Nickelback song anchored an R-rated origin story’s soundtrack. For better or for worse, 2004 was a distinctive year for the genre. Some movies remain iconic 20 years later, and others are best left as relics of the past.

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Catwoman Continues To Be One Of The Worst Superhero Movies Ever

Halle Berry Won A Razzie For Playing The Leather-Costumed Superhero

Catwoman (Halle Berry) posing on the poster in full costume

Halle Berry entered the world of superheroes as Storm in Fox’s X-Men movies, but her stint with DC Comics wasn’t as fruitful thanks to the critical and commercial disaster that was Catwoman. From an impractical and rather uncomfortable-looking leather costume to an over-the-top premise of taking down an evil cosmetics company, the 2004 superhero movie has rightfully earned its status as a so-bad-it’s-good movie. Catwoman was awarded the Razzie for Worst Picture and Worst Actress, and Berry actually picked up her award in person. The movie may be good for a laugh, but it’s hardly worth revisiting.

Catwoman is canonically connected to Tim Burton’s Batman Returns as Michelle Pfieffer’s Catwoman can be seen in a photograph in the movie.

Blade: Trinity Was The Blade Trilogy’s Weakest Entry

Wesley Snipes’ Final Stint As Blade Didn’t Live Up To Past Appearances

The Blade franchise found its footing with Guillermo del Toro’s Blade II in 2002. However, he backed out of the sequel in favor of Hellboy. Even with acclaimed screenwriter David S. Goyer replacing him, the third Blade movie failed to make a mark. Blade: Trinity had Wesley Snipes’ “Daywalker” go to war against Dracula, but this ambitious face-off couldn’t save the movie from falling prey to formulaic genre themes. Still, the movie has redeeming elements like the Wu-Tang Clan-heavy soundtrack, and the rogue vampire hunter Hannibal King is one of Ryan Reynolds’ better comic book movie performances.

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The Punisher Was Imperfect But A Gritty Throwback To Classic Action Flicks

Thomas Jane Made For A Decent Frank Castle Before Jon Bernthal’s Iconic Performance

Thomas Jane holding a gun as Frank Castle in the 2004 version of The Punisher

Thomas Jane donned the skull tee to play Frank Castle in The Punisher, a straightforward origin story that delves into Castle’s tragic past as he loses his family to a mob-ordained massacre and wages a crusade against mob boss Howard Saint (John Travolta). There’s no denying that Jon Bernthal’s performance as Frank Castle in the future Netflix series overshadowed every other version of the Punisher, but the 2004 movie is still worth revisiting. Most enjoyable are Jane’s gritty performance and the brutal action scenes offering visual nods to iconic comics like Punisher: Year One and Welcome Back Frank.

Every Live-Action Punisher Actor

Movie/TV Show

Dolph Lundgren

The Punisher (1989)

Thomas Jane

The Punisher (2004)

Ray Stevenson

Punisher: War Zone (2008)

Jon Bernthal

Marvel’s The Punisher (2017-2019)

Spider-Man 2 Is Still The Godfather 2 Of Marvel Sequels

The Second Installment Of Sam Raimi’s Trilogy Endures As The Definitive Superhero Movie

Tobey Maguire’s first outing as Spider-Man was a trailblazer for the superhero genre. Spider-Man 2 increased the standards with an even more definitive character arc. The 2004 movie is more than just Peter Parker going against mentor-turned-supervillain Doctor “Otto” Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus; Spider-Man 2 is ultimately a tale of grief and loss. There’s the very obvious tragedy of Octavius, who loses his wife to a failed experiment, driving him down a circle of self-destruction. While Peter already lost his dear Uncle Ben in Spider-Man, the sequel finds him struggling to balance between his costumed persona and his ordinary life.

Spider-Man had never been this relatable before, as his daily struggles range from an annoying landlord to an unrequited romance. The way Spider-Man 2 humanizes its eponymous hero has only aged well with time. And, of course, the movie still holds up for an unmasked Spider-Man saving a moving train with his life on the line. The subway scene isn’t just a visual feat in filmmaking but also an emotionally poignant display of heroism, truly epitomizing the balance of great power and great responsibility.

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