So this week I decided to do something I shouldíve done ages ago. Iím a huge sucker for superhero movies, as Iím sure lots of people here are, but there were two in particular I hadnít watched even after all this time. Iím talking about The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-man. I never got around to these, due to word-of-mouth for Batman and the fact that itís a reboot for Spider-man. So, my thoughts then.
First of all, I hated Rises. Did not like it at all. To be fair, Iím not much of a fan of Begins and The Dark Knight either; the animated Batman: Under the Red Hood is a better Batman movie than The Dark Knight is, and I might even go so far as to say itís a better movie period. †Itís really great, and John DiMaggio makes a brilliant Joker.
Anyway, Rises. Like I said, hated it. I thought it was slow and boring, for one. We only see Batman for a very small portion of the movie, and most of his screentime is devoted to getting the shit kicked out of him by Bane. Bane, who I might add, is nothing like his comic book counterpart except the name. It was nice that they had him ďbreak the batĒ and everything, but thatís nowhere near enough to convince me that this burly dude with a massively inconvenient mask and ridiculous voice is actually Bane. Regardless, we have seen with Iron Man 3 that a superhero movie without the superhero can work perfectly well. I fucking loved that movie, partially BECAUSE itís Tony Stark wrecking peopleís shit in all sorts of creative ways. And on top of that, the climax more than makes up for any absence of Iron Man in the rest of the movie. Rises was just nowhere near as fun, and I didnít find the characters or plot strong enough to keep me interested. †
There were a lot of other things that bugged me, like the blatant 99% bullcrap that ultimately didnít matter since Bane didnít give a shit about it in the first place but just saw it as a nice and easy way to destroy Gotham, Bruce Wayne being an unlikable prick to everyone (especially Alfred), or Jim Gordon inexplicably sending EVERY SINGLE †ABLEBODIED COP IN THE CITY into the sewers.
Honestly, the only thing I liked about this movie was Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.
- And no, not JUST for that reason.
So, what about The Amazing Spider-man then? WellÖ.I liked that one a lot! I canít help but feel like Iím being contrary with this, but I donít know what to tell you. I thought it was good.
Alright, alright, I didnít think it was entirely good. Peter Parker was kind of a douche, honestly. At the very least he was a lot less likable than the geeky Tobey Maguire version of Peter Parker. Besides that, I just canít see this dude being picked on and bullied all the time. Let me tell you, if this Peter Parker had gone to my high school he wouldíve been the coolest kid there. What with his skateboard and photography and all? Totally.
Another thing that bugged me was his ďfightĒ with the bully once he gets his powers. In the original movie Peter punches Flash Gordon across the fucking hallway, and here itís justÖ.basically, all he does is play keepaway with a basketball and yet the movie treats it as if Flash got beaten up hard. Seriously, watch it. And if you think it was about the hoop that Peter destroyed, well no. Uncle Ben literally asks him ďDid you humiliate that kid?Ē as if Peter was completely out of line doing that, and never even mentions the hoop. So again, Peter did squat. He really didnít do anything. It was just a tiny tiny bit above playfully messing around. And the worst part is that this fight is more integral to the Spider-man story than ever, as it kicks off a chain of events that leads directly to Uncle Benís death. So that didnít sit well with me at all.
But enough of me being a negative nancy, what did I LIKE? Well, long story short, I fucking loved this Spider-man. He was just chirpy and upbeat enough, neither being too grim or too childish. He was making quips and jokes, like classic Spider-man is supposed to, but not overly so. But, of course, once it matters he gets serious and lays the smack down. And once he does, itís glorious. Itís a joy seeing this Spider-man fight. Heís way more acrobatic than I remember the Raimi version being, jumping around all over the place and overall being way faster. His use of the web is also much more interesting, changing between pellets, strings or just straight-up cocooning a motherfucker in a heartbeat. There are some wonderful shots in this movie showing Spider-man as you always imagined him. This movie is Spider-man being Spider-man, more so than the Raimi movies were. Itís a damn shame this Spider-man is in a different universe from the Avengers, because he wouldíve been great in Avengers 2. I was never a great fan of Spider-man, but Iíve definitely gained renewed respect for the guy. In fact, let me give you the shot that won me over.
- Itís Spider-man doing Mirrorís Edge. I would buy the SHIT out of that game
So, whatís next? Iím watching the shit out of Riddick, thatís what. Oh, and Man of Steel, I guess?
Villains in all media, not just video games, can end up being a dime a dozen. Far too often, a villain's motives boil down to "I am a bad, and so I do bad things. Fear me." While this format has worked for countless stories, at this point in my life (the ripe old age of 20) I‚Äôve become jaded and grumpy, finding myself rolling my eyes when I see yet another antagonist wreaking havoc with no background or reasoning presented as to why they‚Äôre being such a butthole.
What‚Äôs far more interesting to me is when a villain‚Äôs motives or actions come across as justified, perhaps leaving you rooting for them to defeat the protagonist [insert Elder God Tier villain meme here].
My favorite example of this would be Meruem from the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter x Hunter. While he doesn‚Äôt necessarily fit the exact mold I laid out above, he‚Äôs easily one of the most dynamic and curious villains I‚Äôve ever come across. For the sake of not spoiling what is perhaps one of the most exciting, action-packed, and tear-inducing arcs in anime history, I won‚Äôt delve into the details of what makes Meruem so great. Instead I encourage anyone who hasn‚Äôt seen Hunter x Hunter to set aside some time and plow through the series. Really, it‚Äôs that good.
But hey, that‚Äôs just how I feel. I‚Äôm sure there are folks out there who prefer their villains to be simple. If I ever met one of these theoretical people I might have a panic attack, but I‚Äôll deal with that should the time come. I‚Äôm sure after some deep breaths we would get along. Maybe we could even snuggle, should my husband allow such an event to transpire.
All said and done, we arrive at the topic of this month‚Äôs Bloggers Wanted: Villains that did nothing wrong. Due to communication errors, this entry in the hallowed halls of Bloggers Wanted is a tad late. Regardless, all you have to do is head over to the Community Blog section of the site, and whip up a Cblog about a villain who you feel was secretly the good guy all along.
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