By Filthy Rich (New York)


“Every Kingdom will fall.”

Throughout history, it’s the same acts of arrogance that causes the demise of what appears to be an unstoppable juggernaut of conquering strength and ability. The above average quality is compromised and a nonchalantism is taken toward what was once a carefully planned strategy to achieve a victorious result to one’s goals… and history always repeats itself.

When I was a kid, there was nothing more I wanted to see than my favorite comic book heroes and villains up on the big screen, fighting it out in an epic battle of ‘good’ verses ‘evil’, and although I later witnessed this remarkable occasion on home-video with Superman The Movie and Superman 2, I was unfortunately not privileged to experience the awe and captivation of this groundbreaking feet, personally, but was only present for the eventual decline in quality and disrespect toward the genera. Growing up as a young child of the 80’s and then 90’s, I’ve witnessed the potential rise and eventual fall of these type of films, some quicker and harder than others, but I knew one undeniable truth growing up: One day, our generation will be making movies; not the children of ‘comics are stupid’ or then the ‘campy plot and characters’ generation, but an era of fans that evolved from the serious story development from award winning writers and character respect to their individual personalities, placed together and interacting on film that motivates and inspires us to be heroes again… or villains. An articulately artistic influence that takes a hold of our nostalgic memories of childhood and plays them in a visually appealing and exciting moment that makes us feel there was a VCR in our brain recording our imagination as we were maturing, and someone just pressed the rewind button and played it back for us.

Although Iron Man was not Marvel’s first movie, it was the first comic book movie I saw that actually made me consider that all my waiting was over, and the day had finally come that these type of films would effectively receive the time and effort they all deserve, and they did, but only selectively. Without involving any of the competition into this discussion, Marvel/Disney has accomplished a tremendous success. They have become a ‘Juggernaut of profound strength and ability’, and although they have not started to fall quite yet, at least not on an obviously noticeable scale to the majority of viewers, the armor they are suiting up with before battle is less than perfect and just seems to be revealing more and more vulnerabilities as time progresses.

With almost every movie, it’s becoming more apparent that Iron Man although still held in high regard by myself, was not as strategically done with personality development as I once considered, but seems to be the theme for most of the characters in the entire universe, just different tones and levels, but all with lighthearted comedy and nonthreatening scenarios. Robert Downey Jr, escalated the character’s likability and commanding presence, but there is only so much an actor can do on his own. The rest of the Iron Man franchise was done with poor writing and inconsistent plot holes where they were probably hoping that the humor and eccentric personality of Downey’s Stark would be enough to carry the movies. For me personally, they weren’t. Iron Man 2 was simply a Segway to Avengers, and Iron Man 3 seemed to be more of a spoof comedy than anything else; a caricature of the true hero that is Iron Man. Both were a discredit to the quality of the first film.

Both Captain America films were excellent in my eyes because of the difficulty factor and quality of storytelling. Captain America was first a period piece and then an espionage film, which were done precisely how that genera is supposed to be done, and incorporated this hero within the story-line, perfectly, and both Thor movies were off-world films that were original and remarkably well written and constructed for the most part, even though The Dark World was strikingly lower in quality, and the villain was less appealing than most would have preferred. I personally don’t believe there was anything wrong with Malekith the Dark Elf, but the real problem is the world Marvel designed around him, where everyone must be a comedian and no one really dies or even just FEELS in danger, and the threat of world-wide destruction is taken with a gleeful nonchalance. Who is Malekith supposed to be? How is he supposed to be viewed? He’s nothing, insignificant and he failed because he was not allowed to be menacing because of the tone of the movie, which is a repetitive combination with all the other films in this universe; and he also wasn’t a comedian to keep the entertainment expectancy that Loki did before him. He was not a likable villain, because he was dull and uncharismatic? He’s supposed to be a dark insidious Elf not Jerry Seinfeld.

Then it happened again in Guardians of The Galaxy: a good movie that could have been beyond exceptional. They created a team of misfits from all diverse backgrounds and experiences, yet they all possessed identical mannerisms and mentalities that kept all situations light and two-dimensional. Did one person feel the pain of Drax and his murdered family, or Gamora’s tragic circumstances? Zoe Saldana could not even break through the impenetrable barrier of Jolly jauntiness that Marvel movies have established. Great movies pull our strings to get us emotionally invested in it and then brings us back for more. Was Ronin threatening in the least? Will Thanos be?… No, and again, no fault to them, but Heath Ledger’s Joker would even be dulled down in this type of setting.

It’s all pretend, but if I want the see my entertainment as always the sunshiny day they are endorsing, then I might as well watch The Brady Bunch. That lack of connectivity and realism in these movies will be their ultimate demise. It has already begun to grow tiresome to the point where their re-watch ability is practically nonexistent. Only watching them with a remote control in hand and the fast forward button on mind. Generic action movies do not last without plot substance, significant subplots and three dimensional characters that are actually relatable in order to transcend them into greatness: Like Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, Back to the Future, The Matrix, Die Hard or Indiana Jones; All existing in a fantastic world of fiction (some more than others), and all makes us feel as if it is actually transpiring in front of your eyes with the same awe and excitement we felt as children, but continues to do so again and again throughout the years with no expiration date, becoming timeless in longevity and re-watchable with every reminder of its existence.

Marvel’s comedic tone is a certified way in dating their movies to that particular time period, and for me personally, I felt the novelty wearing off while watching Avengers: Age of Ultron. Comparing it to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is blasphemy, but with the rushed plot, cluttered characters in cluttered, semi-bad edited scenes, I had no choice but to compare. The campiness is nowhere near on the same level, but it’s hard to defend a movie that reminded me of the Family Guy episode where everyone turned into Robin Williams, including the wise-cracking robot: Ultron.

Marvel/Disney will continue to make their movies the same way and will continue to make money just like the awful Transformers franchise, but as time passes by and their movies become more quirky and exploitative toward the financial needs of the corporation, the campiness and disrespect toward the genera will return back to form, and the Kingdom will fall…but that is the remarkable thing about competition. After the dust settles and the fire dies down, another incarnation will rise from the ashes to give rebirth to this world of heroes and villains, and the combat horn will sound once again to commence another epic battle of good versus evil. I will probably be dead or old and senile by then, but at least I was able to relive my childhood dream for a little while, and hopefully, at least selectively, for a little while longer.

This has been presented by THE B.A.R. Brawls Attractions & Reviews.

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