Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Summer of 2011: Predicting the Beginning of the End to Superhero Movie Dominance.

In a little more than a month, the summer blockbuster season of movies will begin. Just one look through the coming soon section of IMDB says this is the summer of the comic book superhero movie. It’s even more so than the summer with Spider-Man 3 and X-men: The Last Stand, both of which did great at the box office despite the storylines deciding to massacre my childhood like a 13th century Mongol horde marching through Asia.


One of this summers movies is Thor, which will feature the 208th movie Natalie Portman has been in since November. Another is X-Men: First Class which has that guy from Wanted playing Professor Xavier, proving Hollywood is willing to take dumb risks. Then there is Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds, which is bad enough, but made worse by admitting it is going to be an Iron Man rip off. The big one, Captain America: The First Avenger, will probably be called “Captain Solider” for foreign audiences. There is even, yet another “normal guy becomes superhero without powers” comedy called Super being released in April since film companies feel like they have to compete by making the exact same movie as Kick-Ass.

The thing is, the public will eventually sour on superhero movies just like the public sours on anything once there is too much of it, except for Family Guy spin offs which I can only assume exist because Rupert Murdoch refuses to pay the ransom money. Oh yeah, and cooking competition shows.

I just don’t think that there is enough substance for this genre NOT to become stale. Superhero movies are going to be driven into the ground harder than Robin’s boner after watching Batman lift weights. They either ignore the source comic (Spawn), follow the comic too closely (Watchmen, although I like that movie), straight up copy each other like a college exam (many movies have copied Spider-Man 2 by having the hero quit), or decide the story can go fuck itself and just pump the movie full of CGI (every Hulk movie). These problems are not limited to comic book movies mind you, just that they are more apparent here because nerds like myself know these characters almost as well as we know wedgies.

Not to mention Superhero comics are really, really similar anyway. Common themes of secret identities, troubled pasts, lady problems, and living by self imposed morals blend the comics together like a superhero slushee. Coincidentally, many of the villains on these comics have tried to literally make superhero slushees, or, at least the over-the-top ones with Wile E Coyote sized blenders.

50% Iceman, 40% Wolverine, and 10% Gambit for a bit of spice.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there are plenty of great superhero movies, but can any of them be considered some of the best movies of all time? Here are four of the best.
  • X2. Ignoring the fact that nobody knows what this movies actual title is, the biggest problem I had with this movie was small plot points that seemed to be added for filler. For example, Stryker didn’t need to attack the mansion. If his end goal was to kill all mutants, he only needed Professor Xavier (who is hardly in this movie, just like how he is knocked out in the first one or just straight killed in the 3rd movie) and kidnapping the mutant students is unnecessary. It served to only piss off the X-men more. He also didn’t need to try and assassinate the president, which would have little payoff. Making the public even more fearful of mutants doesn’t matter because if all mutants are killed than who cares? What is the public going to do? Cut funding to his terrorist operation?
  • Spider-Man 2. Great movie but also has plot issues. Spidey loses his powers due to stress? That is like saying you’re too stressed out to take a shit. I find that hard to believe considering he got them from a radioactive spider...which is way more plausible. Besides, he gets his powers back the moment him and Mary Jane are attacked by Doctor Octopus. Apparently, having your wannabe girlfriend kidnapped for the millionth time by a robot tentacle man and having your life threatened is not stressful. I should get in more knife fights with cyborgs.
  • Iron Man. How good could this movie actually have been when I, and other people I’ve talked too, can’t remember much about it. Let see, a rich douchbag with no real super powers named Bruce Way- eh, I mean, Tony Stark becomes a superhero after building a robotic suit powered by his nuclear heart in the Arabian desert, or something. Then more stuff happens, then he fights a big Iron Man, then abandons the secret identity thing on television. The end. Now that I think about it, the plot sounds like a short story I wrote in 6th grade.
  • The Dark Knight. I’m not going to make any fans for this one… The Joker’s plans seem too based on luck and circumstance. He is pretty lucky the police truck carrying Harvey Dent would turn down the street with the goons waiting to take down any police helicopters. He’s pretty lucky having Harvey Dent taken to the hospital with explosives attached to it (Or, how did he know Harvey was there, thus deciding to use this hospital?). He is pretty lucky to have the one henchman with the cell phone bomb in his stomach captured when he is captured. He’s pretty lucky to have the hospital bombing planned at the same time the cops were going to raid the warehouse he was in after Maroney tipped off the cops. I know I am nit picking and I don’t need movie plots to be completely plausible, but this was just too much in the unbelievable zone for the more “realistic” Batman Christopher Nolan is trying to portray.
Remember, I like all of these movies and don’t think they are ruined with these flaws. Superhero movies just need to clean up the clichés and the plot holes, which are as common in superhero movies as explosions and military worship are in Micheal Bay movies, to push these movies from great to classic. So when Thor, X-men: First Class, Green Lantern, and Captain America all range from pretty good to gives you cancer bad, they will still make assloads of money and convince Hollywood to continue to make them until the ghost of Ed Wood reclaims what is rightfully his.

Hollywood should give this genre a rest for a while but won’t as long as the movies make money, but I believe that won’t last forever without some fresh ideas. And no, “gritty reboot” doesn‘t count (hello Spider-Man reboot). Besides, doesn’t Hollywood have other 80’s-90’s cartoons they could do live action reboots of? Transformers and GI Joe have been done. Thundercats and He-Man are waiting for their chance to make ass loads of money while sucking the chrome off of Optimus Prime’s exhaust pipe.

Disclaimer: This article is satirical and I predict the Spider-Man reboot in 2012 will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. You heard it here first!

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  1. I think I'll always like superhero movies. They're just too awesome. Another genre I like is movies about being badass.

  2. as a comic fan i hate 99% of all comic movies

  3. Some movies are great, but also some others are soo crapy

  4. yeah, comic movies tend to suck