Things to Lose in the New World: Superhero Movies

I consider myself to be a movie buff in some sense. I don’t necessarily know a ton about film history, or a bunch of art films, but I’m a collector of good movies. From a young age, I’d go to the mall with my mom and point out a movie I wanted back when there were stores full of them. I’d point out that the store had a copy of “Cape Fear,” and I would be elated to buy it. But I must confess, I don’t much do that anymore. I used to keep up with movies, but I haven’t had much interest for the past several years. I know why: too many comic book movies. 

The main cinematic events of the year for the past decade or so have all been superhero movie releases. They gross millions of dollars, but nothing feels new. It’s not even that I dislike comic books and such. I don’t, I have at least three comic-related tattoos. But still, the movies have become stale, bland even. 

I’ve watched a few superhero/comic movies in recent years, but I haven’t kept up even remotely enough to watch sequels and Avengers and Justice League. It’s too much, and the movies are quite long. I tried to watch The Avengers years ago, when the hype began, but I turned it off within 15-minutes. There were a ton of explosions right away, all style, super exciting, but I was bored. I’m not into that, it’s nothing special. 

I know that people really like those movies, and that’s fine. With the exception of “Joker,” I can’t think of a single comic-related movie I’ve enjoyed enough to remember from the last decade. And yet, these were the major releases in their respective years. 

The problem I have is that they’re all too clever, too slick. And because these stylish movies became the norm, other movies followed suit. That’s how you get a movie like Bohemian Rhapsody, which might as well have been written by children. Once again, all style, no substance.

I think we need to take a step back from these franchises. Give them a rest. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Our movies are getting dumb, and overly flashy. We’re accepting substandard art because we’re dazzled – but there isn’t much below the surface. Our art is getting dumb, and I’m very uncomfortable with that. When dumb art is rewarded, intelligent art suffers.

In the new world, we need to lose Superhero movies.

Published by Christopher Goodlof

Writer, Visual Artist, Musician

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