Monday, June 17, 2013

It's not Superman's fault if the new Superman movie sucks

On one hand, I feel bad for critiquing a movie that I have no intention of watching. On the other hand, it's the movie itself that makes me not want to watch it.

I'm pretty sure the new Superman movie, "Man of Steel", is going to suck. Big time.

Why? Simply because in spite of the prevailing trend in Hollywood, you simply can't run everything through the Dark-Gritty-Reboot filter and expect to come out with something worth seeing. You wouldn't be able to do it with Mickey Mouse and you can't do it with Superman. This is not some old fogey, moaning about how everything was better in the good old days. It's the fact that Superman, the character of Superman, by his very nature, does not lend himself to dark and gritty. He's Truth, Justice and the American Way. He's supposed to look like this:

Not this:

Batman can be dark and gritty because he's at best, a borderline psychopath. Bruce Wayne is all kinds of twisted and tormented and relies on becoming Batman as his only means of attempting to deal with all his issues. Clark Kent as Superman can do anything. His powers are better and stronger than anybody else's. There is no problem he can't solve with relatively little effort. Okay, maybe it's possible to mine some existential angst from that - and comic books and tv have given us a mooy, broody Superman from time-to-time in their attempts to do so - but at the end of the day, Superman just has too many things in his favor not to end up just fine. Putting him in a grimey, grubby looking costume isn't going to change that. Here's the test: with whom would you rather be friends? While you may root for Bruce Wayne/Batman and find him more "interesting" overall, he's not somebody you'd want to watch a ballgame with.
That's not to say it's impossible to make a good Superman movie. I think it can be done, but it's got to be bright, colorful and relatively lightweight. Actually, if you take the Christopher Reeves Superman movies and dial back on some of the campy aspects (Lex Luthor and his gang, in particular) you can pretty much nail it. I suppose there's debate over whether modern audiences would want to watch a movie like that, but at least it wouldn't flat-out suck. 
Trying to make Superman into some kind of edgy anti-hero would be like casting the New York Yankees in the underdog role in a remake of the Bad News Bears. Or more accurately, casting Mickey Rourke to play Sheriff Andy Taylor in a dark, gritty reboot of the Andy Griffith Show and calling it something stupid like "Mayberry: Reloaded".

Actually, I'd probably watch that.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Eminem as The Beaver? Ward Cleaver would neber be the sam