It has been awhile, perhaps even, too long. So let’s go ahead and make some assertions.
This has been an unparalled year for Comic Book movies. With The Avengers kicking asses worldwide, and perhaps laying the groundwork for long term continuity in movies, its an exciting prospect to think there may actually be another Avengers movie with Wolverine, Red Hulk, and Black Panther all onscreen fighting villains at the same time.
The Amazing Spider Man, I personally felt, was another resounding success and proved to be a great deal of fun to watch in the cinema. I’m more than willing to let the plot contrivances and poorly developed villain go ignored in lieu of a charming protagonist, spectacular special effects, and a female protagonist that actually does something any day! This has got to be the benchmark for Spider Man movies, as he has never moved more fluidly in costume while retaining the wit that defines the character.
I recently learned, much to my dismay, that the odds of Spidey in an Avengers movie will not be happening anytime soon, as the Spidey film rights are owned by Sony, and the rest of Marvels catalouge is now owned by Disney. Which absolutly breaks my heart because one of the best team up in comic history has to be Spider Man and Wolverine. If you haven't read Jason Aaron's recent "Astonishing Spider Man and Wolverine" mini series that come out last year, it is a spectacular read. I couldn't fathom seeing Hugh Jackman and Andrew Garfield on the big screen, in costume, trading witty banter while beating down a bar full of lame costumed thugs.
|A Batman Beyond movie? Sign me up.|
Lastly is Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, which was also the film I saw most recently so it’s freshest in my mind. It was a great movie for just the sheer scale and spectacle of it, and it did a wonderful job of tying together to the first film to make it feel like an actual trilogy. Although it really was a Bruce Wayne movie, and not a Batman movie, hell I’d even say it was more of a Bain movie really. And Tom Hardy kicks so many asses as Bain that he had me talking in that strange “wise psychopath” accent for a whole week. He was just so fun to see onscreen and, like in all the other Batman movies, I was rooting for the villain the entire time. Well up until he let all the prison inmates go and gave them all AK-47s… there’s some flaws in his logic on that one. Also Catwoman was absolutely awesome and did a great job standing her own and not falling into sidekick territory. This movie however, at 3 hours, is not one I plan to see again any time soon because it is far too long and far too serious and a bit on the cerebral side for me. After The Avengers and The Amazing Spiderman, I prefer my comic book movies to be more fun than intense.
But perhaps it was just Nolan’s direction towards the end, because it really felt like Batman was suffering from “Inception Syndrome,” as I’m taking to calling it. Essentially where there are so many ticking clocks at once that it keeps pulling you closer towards the edge of your seat, until you just can’t take the suspense and burn out, slumping back into your chair (bad posture and all) until the climax of the film resolves itself without you. I say “Inception Syndrome” both because it was also directed by Nolan (with a lot of the same cast members too) as well as the ticking clocks, but in that movie it was perfectly crafted to fit into the conceit of that universe. In Batman, there was so many ticking clocks that you just stop caring about how it turns out because they keep pulling the rug out from underneath you, you just start to prefer to stay down. There is one master clock that’s ticking over all of them, and it keeps getting stopped and restarted, that when mixed in with the other ticking clocks, it starts to feel like the start of a Pink Floyd song and you just sit back and wait for the song to start, in this case, the end credits.
Which brings me to my one big complaint of Batman, and perhaps the thing which prevented me from wanting to see it again, where three things all tied around the ending. These are going to be SPOLIERS so if you haven’t seen film I suggest watching it first then coming back to see if you agree with me (or not [but why wouldn’t you?]). The first being Detective Blake being told to go by his birth name of “Robin.” This was written into the movie for the dumbest of audience members, and should have really been left out, or instead of Robin it should have been Dick Grayson, or Tim Drake, or fucking Clark Kent I don’t care, just something not THAT obvious!
The second major gripe from me being the final few seconds of the movie that involve showing Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle being spotted by Alfred. This would have been a thousand times more affective of a scene if they didn’t show Bruce Wayne. Instead, they should have had Alfred enter the scene, sit at the table, order his tea, and stare right into the camera, have a smile of realization spread across his face, and cut to black, roll credits. But beating it over the audience’s head that he survived is just excruciating.
The third, final, and most egregious flaw of this movies ending was the sendoff that Bain received. He didn’t get the awesome death he deserved, instead he just got shot by an off-screen cannon and forgotten about. I truly feel that Bain could have survived that, somehow, someway, he should have limped his way out of the rubble and kept on kicking ass. Or got double teamed by Batface and Catlady until they removed his masked and he suffocated. Or better yet have Bain get Batman in a full nelson headlock, and Talia try to run a sword through them both, only to have KittyPants save BatMouse at the last second so that Talia runs thru Bain on accident. Something, anything more poetic would have been better than just getting shot by a big gun and forgotten about for the rest of the film.
So that’s my rundown of summer comic book movies. I really enjoyed this trio of summer comic flicks and I highly recommend that everyone go out and see them if they are still playing in a theater near you. I haven’t seen the latest Ghost Rider but I’m sure that’s alright. I tried watching the Green Lantern movie, and the CGI was so distracting that I couldn’t get very far. Also congrats to that films writing staff for making the most unlikable protagonist in record time. Just a few minutes in and I was hard pressed to find another protagonist that had me on their bad side that quickly.