It’s The End As We Know It

Apparently, according to many folks the movies Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and Kick Ass are gonna destroy the super hero movie.

I am not sure why.  Oh, reasons are given:

After seeing a genre’s weak points exposed, will audiences really be excited to watch capes and costumes save the world non-stop for summers to come?”

“[Kick-Ass] is a comic-book character so postmodern that he makes all those who came before look like relics of a bygone age.

Surely the fans of those comic books will come out to see the films, and both will likely also draw the curious and the special effects fetishists out there. Beyond that, though, who else will want to see either film? It’s likely that these two films will do for comic book heroes what Shaun of the Dead did for zombie movies – in other words, make them a joke.”

These are nice and fanciful claims.  And actually extremely melodramatic.  Not to mention unlikely.

You know… Scott Pilgrim didn’t kill super-hero comics…can’t see why it will ruin the well made super hero film.  Kick Ass hasn’t made a dent into the appreciation if super-hero comics either.  I don’t care what Millar says.  I mean, don’t people get that Mark can be a little… “over the top”?

Shaun of the Dead, of course, did not actually destroy the zombie film.  Anymore than Hot Fuzz destroyed the action movie.  That was hardly the intention of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg.  I don’t think this is their goal with Scott Pilgrim, either.

And as Cinematical writer Elisabeth Rappe points out:

It seems like I’ve heard this before. In another spring, one that seems so far away now … oh yes — it was when Watchmen came out in March 2009. “We’re killing the comic-book movie; we’re ending it,” Zack Snyder said to Hero Complex. “This movie is the last comic-book movie, for good or bad.” Devin Faraci, in a review of the film that I will always agree with, echoed the sentiment. “Both films are generational epics that subvert expectations about genre pictures; The Godfather approaches mob movies from a completely new point of view while Watchmen turns all of your preconceptions about superheroes back on you.” The sentiment was echoed right up until the film’s release, after which it just became cool to hate on it. Of course, let’s not forget the original Alan Moore epic was supposed to have killed off superhero comics forever, only they kept puttering along until the present day.

Rappe’s point is well made and I am inclined to agree with her assessment:

It doesn’t matter what the toys are. Greek mythology, King Arthur, Beowulf, superheroes, mob movies, vampires, Star Trek, zombies — it all supposedly kills itself in the viewer and reader’s lifetime. There’s always some definitive version, deconstruction, or flat out failure, we all proclaim it dead, only to see it arise again from the ashes with an entirely new vision. Funnier still is if they return to the classic storyline, which spurs on a dozen imitators and sequels before dying all over again. Hell, that’s partly what’s spurred on the obsession with “rebooting.” (And I know how sick some of you are of that word. I’m sorry. Invent a new one!)

It’s a good read and I dare say dead on the money.

2 thoughts on “It’s The End As We Know It

  1. I think the truth of the matter is that alot of film critics dislike superhero movies and WANT them to die.

    If I remember correctly, back when stuff like Catwoman, Elektra came out, their ‘bombing’ was considered the “death of the comic book superhero movies”.

    And then just a few months after Elektra bombed, we got Batman Begins.

    Once again IIRC, similar claims were made again in 2007 when we had the pretty disappointing Marvel trifecta of Ghost Rider, Spider-man 3, and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

    Then, the very next year, we got Iron Man and The Dark Knight.

    So uh, yes critics, PLEASE announce how comic book movies are dead, that means that another AWESOME comic book movie will come around very soon to prove you wrong.

  2. I’m a bit taken back to hear that people are genuinely suggesting that one film can destory a whole genre. I suspect comic book films will take a bit of a downturn in a few years but no more so than any other currently successful genre.

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