I’d like it to be over, but thanks to Disney, it’s just beginning. Although they jumped the shark years ago, it appears there is no end in sight for the comic book film industry.
To be fair, the industry was always hit and miss. Bryan Singer has both butchered and done good by comic-book movies. “X-Men” and “X-Men United” were abominations of film. Singer made up his own inferior, bland stories using characters he did not create. However, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was fantastic, albeit predictable.
It turns out that you can get a lot of undeserved fanfare by throwing beloved characters into films and make them do things: A simple feat that even Singer failed to accomplish when he inflicted “Superman Returns” unto the world.
What an abysmal failure that film was, and with such a simple concept. I mean, look at “Man of Steel.” The storyline is already setup for you. All you have to do to make it successful is to not suck at life.
“Man of Steel” was totally predictable, considering the story was written decades ago, but it was still fun to watch. The biggest plagues on this genre are the substandard stories. Because everything about this industry was set in place long ago, directors seem to think they can half-ass the story part because people will still buy into it.
We all loved “X-Men” and “X-Men United” when they came out, but they’re pretty terrible films from a storyline standpoint. It’s a miracle that Singer got it right with “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
Screenshot from the movie “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” From right to left: Nicholas Hoult as Beast, James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
When did the industry finally hit the wall? Probably when “Iron Man 2” was released. Or as I call it, “Robert Downey Jr.” The film lacked a villain, and it just ended up with Tony Stark being silly for the whole film. Sure there was a villain, technically, but he got knocked out in the first part of the movie and didn’t return until the very end. All the while, Tony Stark acted a lot like the film actor Robert Downey Jr. Strange, right?
Comic-book films have plateaued. The best comic-book films set up an impossible measuring stick for which no other film can hope to meet.
“The Dark Knight” is undoubtedly the best comic-book film of all time. Furthermore, it is in no danger of being ousted from the title in the next several decades.
“The Dark Knight Rises” was a good attempt. Bane was an awesome character, but Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, was remarkably uninteresting. “Spider-Man 2” is a good contender for second place, being the best in its franchise. But Doc Ock is not on the level of Heath Ledger’s Joker performance, and it’s up in the air whether or not he was better than Bane.
Although “The Amazing Spiderman” starring Andrew Garfield isn’t bad, it, nor anything else, can hope to compete with the story of Joker in “The Dark Knight.” The Batman film could stand on its own against other films in general, not just against other comic-book films.
I was part of the problem. I went to midnight showings for films like “Spider-Man 3” and “Hulk.” I didn’t know any better.
It’s quite sad, too, because despite the fact that director Christopher Nolen deliberately ended the Dark Knight Trilogy – as it’s known – so that Bruce Wayne would retire from crime fighting, Hollywood didn’t miss a second of attempting to make more money.
Ben Affleck as Batman? I actually have to thank Hollywood for helping me to stop caring about this plague upon film.
Screenshot from “Iron Man 2.” Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.
Having Ben Affleck as Batman is simply laughable. Sure, he’s come around in the last few years with successful/good films like “Argo.” But Affleck can never be forgiven for “Daredevil.”
Please watch it. Then you’ll see how “awesome” having him as Batman will be. There’s a scene where Daredevil comically fights Elektra on a playground seesaw. It’s the epitome of terrible filmmaking, and is a great example of “eh, they’re gonna pay to see this anyway.”
So, thank you comic-book film industry. You’ve had a good run. Well, you’ve had a run. And the world would thank you to stop making films.
It’s so unfortunate how untrue that is. People will pay to see anything with characters that they know.
Look at the success of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” When that was announced, it took weeks of convincing before I believed it wasn’t an April-Fools-Day announcement. In fact, despite that the movie has come out, I’m still a little skeptical. I don’t know if I’ve lost touch with the world, or if the world has lost touch with itself.
All I can do is beg Disney to stop making comic-book movies, and focus on an industry that no one will criticize them for taking over. That, of course, is “Star Wars.”