The new film ‘Suicide Squad’ is aptly named, say critics, because it’s like two hours of watching careers die prematurely.
I don’t know why people are surprised, though. There certainly have been many more bad super hero movies than good.
It’s a sad state of affairs.
When I was a kid, I was so addicted to comic books, I bought more than forty titles a month and dreamed of the day when we’d have entire networks, films, cartoons and TV shows based on super heroes.
Of course, this was all at least partly due to my expectation that we would actually have a few by now in the real world; when you’re seven, a comic book is just life waiting to happen.
And they named a real-life element Krpytonite, so it was inevitable, right?
Surely by the time I was an adult, we’d have had a real “China Syndrome” event create mutants across the globe, all with fantastic, X-Man-like powers, destined to save us from the Reds, Nuclear War, and communal living.
Fast forward thirty-nine years, and I’m a middle-aged dude who hates super hero movies.
I mean, it’s just all so silly. If these films weren’t riddle with plot holes, they might be enjoyable.
But the absurdity of the costumes, the dialogue, the five-second character development all comes to the forefront when you’re repeatedly muttering “why would they do that? That makes no sense.”
Armin Zola’s cameo in the second Captain America movie, “The Winter Soldier”, is a great example. A foe from his Second World War days, he comes back to menace Cap as… a computer-stored version of himself who has apparently been living in a dark bunker for decades… just to delay Cap for long enough in the future for someone to blow up the bunker and destroy the conveniently left-behind data.
It’s just pointlessly dumb. I’m not going to dissect them all because… well… I like my sanity where it is, thank you very much. Just search ‘Everything wrong with’ followed by a movie title and ‘youtube’, sit back, and enjoy watching them be eviscerated.
It all just makes me want to curl up with a good book.
I’m not a book snob. I swear. I just think that something worth double-digit dollars upfront should pay at least as much attention to editing as a pulp fiction novelist. In an era with shows like Better Call Saul, Mister Robot, Silicon Valley, Stranger Things and more, it feels like a lot of movies are trying to do too much in too little time, presenting snippets of comic lore as if they’re plot and exposition as if it’s character development.
The three exceptions to my hate-on for heroes are the recent Daredevil Netflix series, the pointless-but-funny ‘Deadpool’ and the film Guardians of the Galaxy which, while also plot-hole riddled, is also amusing.
It’s about as scientifically accurate as a T-Rex at a Bible park — no one thinks Skrulls and Humans could ever be romantic, that’s just silly — but it’s got some genuine yucks.
The rest? Super hero flicks, especially those from DC, mostly take themselves pretty seriously. Even ‘The Flash’ on TV seems to think its ‘Jaws’ when its acting and dialogue is more ‘Sharknado.’
And don’t get me started on how many classic characters and alter-egos have been wiped out by comic book ‘reboots’. You know they killed Superman, right? Like, four times since the late 70s. Robin, the Boy Wonder, has also snuffed it and been reborn, as has the X-Men’s Jean Grey, three times. The Aforementioned Flash has been reinvented so many times, even he can’t keep up.
Perhaps it’s just cyclical, the generation that loved Comics when they were still cheap and on every store rack finally hitting the age where they produce and direct films.
Maybe that bodes well for a few years down the line, when the increasing quality in the increasingly competitive TV universe rubs off the generation to come, and theaters struggling to compete with home entertainment once more cast a magic spell.