In Real Life

I Need A Break From Superhero Movies

This isn’t an all-out assault on comic book movies. It isn’t even necessarily a comment on their quality, lack of or otherwise. This is my own personal thing. This is me calmly requesting a break from comic book movies.

It’s not you, it’s me.

Complaining about the volume of superhero movies seems almost a little obvious at this point but I’m going to do it anyway. Mainly because I suspect we’re all in that same position. We’re all a little tired of superhero movies but goddammit they continue to make money. We continue to go watch them. We watched Ant Man, we watched Guardians of the Galaxy. We’ll watch Suicide Squad. We’ll march right into that cinema and give Zach Snyder our money all over again when Batman vs Superman is released.

We talk a good game. We tell our friend, “there are too many superhero movies”. Then someone flips the switch and we change our minds. A snazzy new trailer comes out and we’re back on board.

We sound like a hollowed out pack of junkies.

“Yeah there are too many superhero movies, bu-bu-bu Deadpool.”

Just one more hit guys. One. More. Hit.

It’s gone far beyond all reason. Take the most recent Suicide Squad trailer for example. I think on some conscious level we are all aware: Suicide Squad will probably not be a very good movie. There’s a high chance that movie will properly suck. Yet all it takes is a smart pairing of editing, action shots and Bohemian Rhapsody to transform us from smirking cynics to full-blown believers.

We’re like Pavlov’s dogs with this shit. I think this is me officially requesting a break from all of it. A good, clean break. I need to go cold turkey on superheroes.

It’s been a slow-burn realisation for me, but there was one turning point. I had paid almost $30 to see The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. I loved the first one and absolutely did not hate the second one but I walked out of that cinema thinking to myself, “I really don’t need to see another one of these movies for a long time.”

It was nothing to do with the quality of the movie. It was more about the familiarity of it. The sneaking suspicion that Marvel had developed a formula, that they were chucking all these elements into the cinematic equivalent of a Thermomix instead of cooking up something unique and interesting.

I’d been sensing it for a while. I was even struggling with the more original, unique superhero flicks. I’ve yet to successfully make it through Guardians of the Galaxy without falling asleep and I’ve tried three times.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve found it tough to watch some of the best Marvel-related television stuff. Jessica Jones – an objectively good show. It barely even feels like a superhero property — more like noir-lite than anything – but I’ve still really struggled to enjoy it on any level. Same goes for Daredevil, a show that’s arguably better than anything Marvel has released on the big screen.

I’m just exhausted. Completely exhausted of all enthusiasm.

I’m exhausted by the cycle. The hype, the Comic-Con appearances, the announcements, the rumour mill: WHO’S GONNA PLAY THE GREEN LANTERN IN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE? The endless repetition. The talk, the meaningless chatter about the details, LEAKED SHOTS FROM THE WONDER WOMAN SHOOT. The reveal of super villains I’ve never heard of but everyone else has for some reason.

Part of me – the grumpy, old man with no sense of perspective – believes that this endless conveyer belt of superhero movies is harmful for cinema as a whole. There’s room for all sorts and we’ve always had to deal with the spectre of sequels, reboots and remakes – but doesn’t it seem a little more prevalent these days? Doesn’t it feel like less risks are being taken?

I’m not sure I can back that up. I’m not sure it even matters. What matters is that I’m here sitting waiting for the conveyor belt to stop, but it just keeps on trucking. So maybe it’s just time for me to opt out.

I’ll be back in ten years. In time for a whole new line of reboots. See you then.

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