Sunday, March 27, 2016

The "Street Fighterfication" of Super Hero Movies

Twin Peaks, if you were unfortunate enough to waste your precious life-seconds on that derisible show, was based on a simple premise:

Have everybody intertwine with everybody else.

Bob was having sex with Amy.
But Amy was married to Steve.
But Steve was Bob's boss.
Who was Abitha's conjugal visited inmate.
Who was the father of Amy's daughter.
Who was having an affair with Billy's uncle.
And who was Laura Palmer?
And frankly nobody gives a shit.

In short, you wasted the viewer's life watching a show that in reality had no real creativity behind it except for the gimmick of creating false drama by interweaving every character with each on on different levels.

Oh the "wit."

In short, "Twin Peaks" was nothing more than playing a game of "Street Fighter 2" wherein everybody else fights everybody else with no particular allegiance to good or bad, right or wrong, sane or insane, plus not real plot to begin with.

And thus is the EXACT same formula for the upcoming spate of "Super Hero vs. Super Hero" movies.  Batman vs. Superman, Marvel "Civil War," and whatever other movies Hollywood execs are concocting but haven't come out with yet, because I (like I always am) am way ahead of the curve on this one.

I knew Batman vs. Superman was not going to bode well because it does/proves two things:

1.  It pits two GOOD MEN against one another (which nobody likes) and
2.  Proves Hollywood ran out of ideas and now they're just going to have the good guys fight each other.

It's like the WWE in the 1980's where you try every permutation of fight to drive up ratings.

The problem this formula presents to movie makers is you have to make one good guy the bad guy and the other good guy the "more good" guy.  This delivers you into a world of murky/gray/foggy/morality drama where a slight disagreement in morality or principles leads to two men/super heroes having a VERY unlike fight.

"You have to ask yourself what's right."
"In times like these there are no heroes."
"But if you don't who will."

I haven't seen the movie, but am I right that these sorts of amorphous, Twin Peakish, WWE-ish, Street Fighter-ish dramatics were in Batman v. Superman?

This will not necessarily be the downfall of superhero movies, but the plateauing of them.  You're going to not only force people watch two beloved heroes duke it out (like child watching their divorce-bound parents argue, and hey!  how fun is that!!!!???), but you need to at least spend 2/3rds of the movie creating a faux drama/crisis so you can spend the next $200 million on that epic 1/3 of the movie fight!  All while watching mom and dad beat the shit out of each other.

Yeah, that's a recipe for success.

The truth is nobody wants to see Superman and Batman beat each other up.  And nobody will want to see Captain America and Tony Stark beat each other up.  There are plenty of true villains in this world super heroes could battle.  Communists, terrorists, Hillary Clinton...which, I know, I know, are protected classes of evil people we can't attack in public.  But if Hollywood is so void of ideas they have to have the good guys start fighting each other, they have every right to gamble $400 million on what is nothing more than watching your parents fight.  And I'm sure in today's America we can all get that for free at home in AMAZING real-life digital quality with front line seats no less.


Tucanae Services said...

HollyWeird has not had a new idea since 1980.

Anonymous said...

If the film bombs, it'll fuel the "we need FEMALE superheroes" like Catniss, the chick from Mad Max Fury Road, Melissa McCarthy, etc etc... i.e. nobody wants male superheroes blah blah blah.

I tune out Hollywood all the same.

Stephen said...

Weird take.

Both scripts are drawn from the comics, so if anybody is out of ideas, it's the writers, not Hollywood.

Every fan wonders who would win in a fight. Showing that on screen is inherently compelling to a lot of people.

Not saying these are or will be good movies (Batman v. Superman is poor by all accounts), but it seems a bit silly to get worked up over it.

Hoyos said...

Batman vs Superman is contrived.
On the other hand...

Marvels Civil War is on of the most libertarian runs ever made. They attempt to register all superheroes and Tony Stark is the government shill (arms dealer with government contracts) and Captain America is on the side of freedom. They have an excellent reason to fight that isn't contrived.

Eduardo the Magnificent said...

This delivers you into a world of murky/gray/foggy/morality drama where a slight disagreement in morality or principles leads to two men/super heroes having a VERY unlike fight.

The idea, of course, is to make morality relative, or situational. People of strong moral character will stand up and fight evil when they see it. Those unsure of morality will likely excuse it. What better way to slip tyranny by the people than to disguise it as morally ambiguous? Back in the day, superhero movies were cut and dried. Good Guy vs. Bad Guy. Now, it's impossible to tell without a gyroscope, and they like (and need) it that way.

Anonymous said...

You nailed this. Another thing I've noticed, weeks of advertising is a prediction that the flick will flop. Building hype for disappointment.

JE Gonzalez said...

Just one problem with this theory. Heroes fighting each other is OLD news in the comic books. And I am not a comic book collector. Take Superman vs. Batman - as far as I can tell that happened in the 80s with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Civil War was an Avengers story arc from the early 2000s.

As for nobody wanting to see superheroes go at it - Superman vs. Batman has made, since Friday, almost $500 million worldwide. And it will be the same with 'Civil War' I am betting that it will turn out great!

Kevin said...

A lot of BvS was based on the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, which warner brothers animated and in my opinion is fantastic. If you want to watch a super hero movie that makes you think, try that one.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how a fight between Superman, who is indestructible and can punch through a battleship, and Batman, a mere mortal who can punch through a 2X4 on a good day, is a serious contest.

It is over in one punch and Batman doesn't get back up. How do you turn this into a 90+ minute movie?

elmer t. jones said...

Genius T. Coates can save the franchise by introducing The Black Genius.

"Come on out heah Suckah! Ah'm The Black Genius and I got somefin' fo you ass!!!!"

Stephen said... Did you miss the ten thousand dead pool ads?

Peregrine John said...

Twin Peaks was even worse than you described. Everyone was wondering about what the truth was to the many, many mysteries it presented... but Lynch himself had no idea. No overarching plan. He was making it up as he went. It looked meaningless and random because it actually was.

Unknown said...

Twin Peaks was the beginning of the end for Television and not just for me. Let's not forget "LOST", the crazy convulated mess of gory and violent Gilligan's Island sci-fi fantasy where the flashbacks were mini soap operas that had nothing at all to do with the ridiculous plot holes and crazy antics of fake natives who are doctors running psychological experiments and an underground bunker connected to nothing in the middle of the jungle has a button that if not pressed will destroy the Entire World.
Now that idiot has ruined two classic sci-fi series at the same time. Hopefully the next Avengers will include Spider-Man and the X-Men vs Buffy the Vampire Slayer because Josh Whedon has no life and neither do half the nerds in this country. Remember Shatner on SCTV? GET A LIFE! Find a girlfriend. When I was your age I wasn't inside watching TV!

TroperA said...

Joshua, I think you're referring to that Shatner bit on SNL. It may be hard to remember because it's from a roughly two-year time period back in the late 1980's when the show was actually funny.

Yes kids. There was a time when SNL was actually funny. (*cue video clip of guy making explosion noises as space "explodes" behind him*)