In the words of Popeye the Sailor, that’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more! There are too many comic book movies and cowardly critics are contributing to this interminable affliction. Since the year 2000, there have been over sixty comic book movies made and released. That’s one comic book movie for every three fucking months. Diminution, you say? Surely it can’t go on! Think again. In 2014, there’ll be one comic book movie for every 1.5 months. There is no end in sight and to say that Hollywood is saturated would be an understatement. In fact, like a dog throwing up then eating its own vomit, many of these franchises have been rebooted almost immediately. In the space of one decade they’ve rebooted Spiderman once and the Incredible Hulk three times. We’ve had two Superman appearances. We’ve had three Batman appearances. We’ve had four Iron Man appearances and we’ve had five X-Men appearances. We’ve had nine DC Comics movies. We’ve had twenty three sequels. We’ve had twenty eight Marvel Comics movies.
We’ve had enough.
At the start, it wasn’t so bad. It was actually kinda cool. Blade and The X-Men: these were refreshing and ‘grounded’ changes. But then something happened – they wouldn’t stop coming. Little did we know at the time that the floodgates for twenty years of bloated CGI hegemony had actually been opened. Something else happened, too: Movies that were categorically mediocre were starting to get a free pass critically, some of them were even being heralded as classics. Take The Dark Knight (2008), this is not a very good movie. It was a poorly directed, exposition-riddled drag. And yet it was critically acclaimed and the highest grossing movie of 2008, which wouldn’t have been the case, by the way, had Heath Ledger not died and Christian Bale not recruited his mother and sister to partake in a publicity stunt. A movie where you couldn’t see shit winning best director? Did our eyeballs deceive us? With The Dark Knight, a line was crossed. Not only were comic book movies here to stay, you could now make a poor movie and get away with it. All you needed were the property rights to something bankable.
In the five years since The Dark Knight the situation has gone from bad to worse. The commercial juggerrnaut rolls on and noone dares stop it. If The Dark Knight was a mediocre runaway, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers set a new low as a trio of downright ghastly shit. Yet the ‘in thing’ for most of critics and consumers alike is to simply ignore this fact, that these movies are a barrage of vacuous CGI poop. Or be too dumb to see it. The first reviewers to speak honestly about The Avengers were promptly subjected to a bout of sustained retard-rage and abuse.
In one case, one critic won the merit of actual death threats
when he dared to speak honestly about The Dark Knight Rises, which was pretty much three hours of bloated, dull garbage. I mean, it’s not like the upset people had reason to be enraged – they not only hadn’t yet seen the movie but were also given clear reason to suspect he was right, since the previous movie was poor, to anyone with an IQ above pidgeon shit, at least. It’s a clear mixture of idiocy mixed with fanatical conformity.
So what can we learn from this? Welp… used to be that film critics would put movies and the studios on notice, if you made a crap feature, you’d pay the price. ‘Your movie sucks’, Roger Ebert even wrote a book on it. Now, it’s the other way around. The movies have put critics on notice. There’s a new Marvel movie comin’, so you’d better think twice about what you’re going to say about it. And that includes when you’re going to say it. In the cases outlined above, we’ve seen that it doesn’t pay to be first out the door with a damning review. And the first reviews are the most important, so far as publicity is concerned. And we know that if a grown man waits in line to see Iron Man, publicity is a big deal for him. But yes, you can be honest in your review a few weeks later, but by then it’s too late. The horse has fled the barn. So, to summarise? Critics are becoming less critical, the masses are becoming more stupid/conformist and executives are becoming more greedy. Get ready for another decade of comic book movies.