In my marathon-viewing of movies lately I’m in the middle of the “superhero” section of my list. When I was putting together my queue on Netflix I thought of a few superhero films that I wanted to watch, then realized that I have barely seen any, so I threw them all on the list at once. As I have watched them a few things jumped out at me that I have a problem with. Okay, in the case of some films there were a lot of problems, but I’m not going to bother with bad dialogue (Captain America, Ghost Rider) or overall cheesiness on top of a lacklustre script (Daredevil… seriously, I didn’t even get halfway through that one). I’m not talking about bad movie-making necessarily. I’m talking about some more fundamental issues with superhero stories specifically. To that end these problems could also exist in the comics. Not being an avid comic reader I’ll stick to thinking of these as only problems in the movies.
1.Wolverine’s fights to the death.
Wolverine has been one of the most popular comic book characters for decades, so much so that when they started making X-Men movies he not only appeared in every one of them he got a couple of his own. Being such a badass fighting machine that he is he often engages enemies in fights to the death, killing not only important characters but endless fodder as well. In terms of normal storytelling the hero will often kill others in such a manner when his or her life is threatened. It’s a way to justify such actions to the audience.
The only problem in the case of Wolverine is that because of his mutant healing ability he’s effectively immortal and the combat that he often engages in with others isn’t really threatening his life. We don’t normally think of it because it’s such an accepted trope that the hero is going to kill the bad guys with knives and guns going after him. But in with Wolverine, where do our morals lie? Occasionally the movies go out of their way to show that he’s actually protecting other people but not all of the time. So how can he justify killing? I’m not seeking an answer here. I just think it’s something that the movies should explain at some point.
2.Get to the point, already.
I know I’m not the first to point this out but I’m sick of superhero movies in which it takes too long to get through the origin story before they’re actually the character that we wanted to see in the movies. A good case in point is Ghost Rider. I nearly turned that one off halfway through. Once Johnny Blaze finally transformed the movie became a little more entertaining. In other words, it had a lot of promise but didn’t deliver because it gave us too much damn back story. The same goes for Captain America.
3.Movies that take themselves too seriously.
When it comes down to it, these movies are about goofy premises and are just meant to be fun. For the most part they are but they all suffer from trying to be too serious, trying to show what it would be like if these events happened in real life. The result is a movie that’s even sillier than it needs to be.
Each movie has its own problems but these were a few that I found in quite a large number of them, especially the last two. I doubt that this blog will make it to those in charge of making such movies and even if it did I doubt that they will take my words under consideration. But at least I got to put these ideas out there.