Thursday, April 1, 2010

Worship the Hero Worship







Scott Pilgrim vs. The World , Kick Ass, Defendor, The T.V. show “Fanboy and Chum Chum”. Heck, even the adaptation “Mystery Men” from years ago.

I feel like there’s this sudden influx of films not about super-heros, but about hero worshippers wanting to be their idols. Or, the films are no longer about mythical figures, but about the people who participate in the cultures these stories of mythical figures create. Or, sometimes they mock the movies, but underneath show homage to them.

I’m not entirely sure I’m interested in stories about the fans. Yes, the fans are important. Yes, I myself am a huge fan of the Batmans and Hulks and Matrixes and Star Wars, but the fans aren’t characters that can bring the bigger, more abstract ideas to life. Batman, for instance, explores revenge, insanity, and vigilantism vs. respect for the law. A film along the lines of “Kick Ass” can try to explore these things, but of course won’t take them seriously or will not be theoretically logical. I’m sure “Kick Ass” is not trying to be any of these things or anything more than comedic entertainment with commentary on being a hero.

The super hero films, particularly “The Dark Knight” and “Watchmen”, take the mythical figures and attempt to place them as an actual reality people have to face in the world. These stories bring unique and abstract issues to light. The other films usually just end up being about characters with fantasy worlds in their heads having to confront reality. I don’t know. I haven’t read “Kick-Ass” the graphic novel, but Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 95% approval rating. The writing and directing looks pretty shoddy, but I’m interested regardless. Perhaps this new sub-genre of hero films have something to say that I’m completely missing.

1 comment:

  1. I guess the truth is that there are only so many stories you can do about the heroes themselves - i mean we've done spidey and bats to death now and they've begun to scrape the bottom of the barrel - so i guess they just have to turn elsewhere for a bit.

    But then if you look at programmes like (the generally excellent) Buffy... it's crammed full of pop culture references and i guess people ultimately like seeing people and points of view that they can recognise on the screen. Pop, and apparently film too, will eat itself so to speak as it turns ever more up its own navel

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