Who doesn’t like a good comic book movie? According to the latest film trends, nobody. The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble, depending on your country of choice) and The Dark Knight Rises have combined made more than two and a half billion dollars and those are only the latest films in franchises that have set the film world on fire. Comic book films are back! Rising from the travesty of Joel Schumacher and bad special effects and ready to blow your mind with its fantastical characters, settings and all-round outright fun. Excelsior!
Of course we all know things aren’t perfect and I’m not here to criticise a genre for not being perfect, but there are some mistakes that just keep on getting made that bring comic book films down a peg. It just so happens to be one of the trappings when making a comic book film that it will always be compared to the property it is adapting. Very few genres have this pressure and as a result, the film’s characters and plot come under fire for not being ‘right’ when compared to what we’ve read. These ten problems aren’t universal and there are always films that don’t have them but they sure are mistakes that comic book films make more so than others. We start at the top with…
10. Getting The Wrong Leading Man
Some comic book movies are sold by their heroes and some are sold by their leading stars. This has been used in a variety of ways, including introducing people to Men in Black via the ’90s superstar that was Will Smith and revitalising the career of Robert Downey Jr. For years, leading actors have been the gateway for many people to fall in love with their new favourite characters. Christopher Reeve as Superman. Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Keanu Reeves as John Constantine. Wait. What?
Lord knows I could probably count on one hand the amount of people I know who, when given even a basic description of John Constantine, would think Keanu Reeves should play him. He isn’t even that bad in the film, he just really misses out on portraying Constantine how he should be on screen. Comic book films are largely comprised of characters who have years of back-story and, perhaps more challenging for Mr. Reeves, personality. Therefore, when trying to sell the public on these fantastically people, why not get a good name attached?
This problem comes low on the list as films have generally gotten it right. Christian Bale, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellon and many others have been big draws for the start of their respective comic book franchises but sometimes actors just do not fit or don’t bring any appeal to the film at all. Did we really want to see Seth Rogan as the Green Hornet? Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd? Also, does anyone know, without the aid of Google, who Ioan Gruffudd is? If you do, congratulations, because I needed Wikipedia to tell me that he was Mister Fantastic.
This article was first posted on March 17, 2013