The Marvel Singularity
After the recent disaster that was Batman v Superman, which I wholeheartedly admit to not having seen, I still wondered why such a big budget film could fail in such a drastic way, since the trailer didn’t seem any worse (or different for that matter) from all the other endless representatives of superhero movies. So I looked into the matter, read reviews, critiques, and improvement suggestions and here is my humble result with a bleak outlook.
The movie was generally perceived as too dark and not funny enough and Hollywood, the reactionary dimwits that they are, now issued re-shoots for their upcoming Suicide Squad movie to make it more ‘funny’, even though they went out of their way and assured the public that these re-shoots were to improve action scenes, however, the first version seems far more likely, especially since the two new trailers with a far more light-hearted tone (like this one, admittedly this one is well edited) have been received much better than the previous depressing one (this one). What they actually mean during all of this is: We will make them more like Marvel movies. Marvel superhero movies have long stagnated in quality, actually scratch that, they never got up in the first place. The movie that started all of this – Iron Man I – was actually quite good for a superhero movie in my opinion. Decent writing and plot-pacing with some actual character development thrown into the mix. And thus the height of Marvel movies was reached and never to be reached again. Every other movie in this shared universe tries in some form or another to be Iron Man, never daring to develop its own tone, but rather blindly adhering to the formulaic God known as the Man not actually made of Iron that jumpstarted the whole avalanche.
– Has no one noticed that they are all looking in different directions? –
What is characteristic of these movies is a very light tone, easy to grasp motivations, clear cut villains and heroes, and a plot so stale it could be, well, from a comic book (can’t really blame them for that, can I?). There are some slight exceptions to this that I will briefly go over to either anger more fans but first and foremost not seem ill-informed: Loki is an exception, but definitely placed in the wrong movie to show his full potential. I don’t know whether that first Hulk movie with Edward Norton actually counts (I guess not), but that was a surprisingly fresh idea with a bit of a wonky execution. Avengers movies make a difference, but only in scale not in writing effort or any other department that matters to me. And let’s not forget that actual creativity is suppressed seeing as Edgar Wright was not allowed to make the movie he wanted, but rather had adhere to the Iron Man formula instead when making Ant Man (Ant Man, for Christ’s sake…). So I can’t really blame the director either.
The problem at heart here is that people eat these mediocre movies up like little else. Superhero movie has become the standard comedy movie. Light-hearted with no mental challenge and simply a good time and I am not saying people cannot enjoy these movies for what they are just because I cannot be engaged by the same movie for the 20th time in a row. The true issue arises if people can accept nothing else in this department. When Marvel movies were not the standard format for superhero movies other types could arises, like the aforementioned Hulk movie or the excellent Dark Knight Trilogy, which I will remind you was also not light-hearted, creatively bankrupt, or stale in any way and people ate that up as well. But as time went on people only came to accept Iron Man as the only good format and now if something comes along that is not 100% according to that template they hate it, even before release, it has to be down voted for no particular reason other than not being Iron Man again.
– “I made the best Marvel movie and now everbody wants to be like me.” –
Since most people think with their huge Marvel blinkers on we have reached a point where nothing else will be produced, because it won’t sell as much as another formulaic movie and why would they take the risk then. If you look at the cringe worthy line up of movies Marvel has in store, I cannot help but wonder how one can get excited for this. Corporate printed success laid out in front of people and they are cannot wait to throw their money at this huge business-leviathan. “Look, this is our business plan how we can take the most money from you over the next years without innovating one bit.” – “Great, where can I pre-order, since I have a pathological hatred of my own money and quality in my entertainment.” It blows my mind to an unfathomable degree that people can demand so little and that creators are not allowed to strive for something different, something they wish to shape. But Marvel Entertainment must appease every fan of every obscure comic book character there is and cannot allow for a single movie to go into a different direction.
– This is not even the complete list, there are even more obscure movies in store for you –
It’s a truly sad outlook and I want to cry every time another by-the-numbers trailer gets released and millions of views shower down within the first minutes. So do not worry, Suicide Squad will be just what you wanted. Hollywood has heard you: It will be inoffensive, uncreative, and just like everything else so you can stay seated in your comfort zone. And if you now think I just hate superhero movies and look for a reason to ridicule their fans from up above, remember that there are movies in this genre I like, X-Men First Class and The Dark Knight Trilogy for instance, since they actually tried something different for a change. However, until people get sick of these movies (which will probably never happen, since there seems to be an infinite supply of these fans) we will move closer and closer to the Marvel Singularity the soon reached point at which all movies are just Iron Man again and again and again and you know you will love it.
Image sources in order of appearance:
- https://i.ytimg.com/vi/CmRih_VtVAs/maxresdefault.jpg (Last date of access: 20.04.2016)
- http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/ironman/images/9/9d/Tumblr_l1iotoYo541qbn8c7.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20131120195052 (Last date of access: 20.04.2016)
- http://i0.wp.com/booredatwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Marvel-Line-up1.jpg (Last date of access: 20.04.2016)