So...let's start with The Avengers.
Har! I crack me up. I loved everything about The Avengers, but am going to use it as an example in this scientific examination of comic book movies and why they can be a little irritating.
Origins and Reboots
The thing that we, the audience, has to know is how and why our hero came to be enamored with costumes. What is their motivation? Why are they turning to a life of fighting people who dress like scarred clowns, have Red Skulls, or are named Obidiah Stain? I mean, Tony Stark is a genius, am I to believe that he did not know that a guy with the name Obidiah Stain was not a douchebag? Let's be real.
Seriously, I understand the need, especially in a movie, to provide the necessary background to explain the character. If you want wide appeal, then it is important to follow the old formula. Let's go out on a limb here.
Everyone knows Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. Don't get me wrong, Nolan's Bat-films are awesome, and I have enjoyed them very much, but what pisses me off is what will happen the NEXT time someone wants to make a Batman film. Prior to Nolan's Batman, George Clooney barely escaped an attempted murder charge when he wore the Bat-suit. Attempting to kill a beloved pop-culture icon just isn't cool, Clooney. Now go bang some ridiculously hot model.
The upcoming Spider-Man film looks promising, but if I have to sit through more than an hour of origin re-telling, I am liable to take my shirt off and scare away theater patrons. Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man movies grossed over 2 BILLION at the box office. That means just about everyone in a developed nation has seen it. We know who he is.
The Avengers hit a home run, has been well-received by critics, and guess what? We didn't sit through what feels like weeks of origin rehashing. There were tidbits of dialogue that explained it perfectly.
|The Dead Waynes, my new indie band name.|
Movie studios assume the audience is stupid, for the most part. They forget we saw Spider-man 1, 2, and 3. In 5 years when Batman is rebooted, I am going to have to watch Thomas and Martha get shot. Again. These two poor saps have been killed on screen more than anyone. It's like Groundhog Day. I wake up every morning and see Bruce Wayne's parents murdered.
Superman Returns was widely considered a failure. They had the premise, however, right. They didn't need a one hour expose' on who the hell Superman is. They just screwed it up by giving Superman a super kid, and having him creep Lois Lane like a crazy stalker. Had they stopped the movie after the plane rescue at the beginning, I would have said, that was an awesome 20 minute film!!!
So to all my friends in the movie industry (zero), please take note of The Avengers. A comic book movie the way it should be.