EDITORIAL: The great comic book movie hypocrisy
I'll do my very best to remain impartial for the majority of this article. My goal is to point out a huge contradiction that I can't accept or justify. I hope the feedback, if any, will give me some additional thoughts to consider.
The reason for bashing one film is the reason why we love another. Does that make any sense?
When Avengers was being promoted - long before the feedback on what the film was actually like, there were many negative comments and opinions floating around.
"Too much Iron Man."
"No helmet for Thor."
"Hawkeye doesn't talk." "Hawkeye is a throw-away character." etc.
Now that most of us have seen (and loved) the movie, I want to draw attention to a few things.
What made Avengers work so well? To me personally, the characters were well fleshed out, given the appropriate screen time and worked well off each other. More that that though, I would say the film was more true to the comics than any of the previous films.
Hulk was actually really incredibly strong.
Thor was really, really powerful.
Iron Man was... well, consistent with the last 2 films in which he was in my opinion more likeable than Tony Stark in the comics.
Cap was patriotic, tragic and a true leader. I loved him in Avengers.
Black Widow was actually interested and dangerous.
Hawkeye didn't have the personality he had in the main comics, but he did match the Ultimate Hawkeye to a fair degree (minus losing his family, etc.)
My point is... Avengers was very much like the comics.
Then along comes the next Batman film. For some reason, the fact that it is NOTHING like the comic is not only accepted but applauded. Bane doesn't resemble his comic book character in the slightest bit. They don't have the same abilities, height, build, appearance... They share a name. That is all.
I want to ask why it's okay for Nolan to get away with this, but not any other cbm maker of recent memory. (Yes, I acknowledge that Superman 1 - 5, the other Batman films, Spider-Man films and X-Men films don't really resemble the comics THAT much, but are considered to be good films regardless. Of course, each film should be looked at separately to see how accurate they were as some were much more than others.)
In my opinion, I found Batman Begins to be completely boring. Bale was a great Bruce Wayne and he had the muscle to sell me on his look. I hated his voice which got worse in the sequel. I hated the fact that he never sold me on his detective abilities, intelligence or even ability to really fight.
The sequel was great. It didn't resemble the comic at all and Bale didn't have any muscle to speak of. But... Joker and Two-Face stole the show and enabled the film to be really good. Not quite a "Batman" film, but satisfying because it was intelligent and good.
Now we have Rises. I want to know... why aren't the fans crying over the many differences between this and the comic book? Do we trust Nolan so much because the previous film was really good? Let's look at something.
What made Joker so amazing? Besides the acting? My personal answer... he resembled Joker from the comic. Sure, the scars were new, but his personality was correct. His insanity was Joker. In the context of the Nolan Batman universe, it worked. Likewise with Two-Face who was tragic, tortured and looked amazing. Both villains were very similar to their comic book characters. Not completely. But enough.
So now we have Bane and Catwoman. I won't comment on Catwoman because I don't know how much she'll be like her comic book counterpart. Maybe she'll resemble her more than the previews have shown.
The guy has a really messed up mask that enables him to move around without feeling pain. But he's shorter than Batman, somewhat built and supposedly a great fighter. Smart too, I'm sure.
But in keeping with the Nolan-verse that's been created for Batman, why couldn't he be more like the comics? Why couldn't there be a new steroid - venom, which would make Bane look like he does in the comics? Why change his appearance so much?
How can guys cry because of Thor's missing helmet, but dance with joy about Rises?
Here's a better example.
Chris Evans was not as built in Avengers as he was in First Avenger. Guys picked up on this and were critical about it.
From what we've seen of Rises, Bale has no muscle to talk about. None. It's like he doesn't even care to try.
Why do guys get to pick on Evans, but ignore Bale who is even more extreme in his lack of physique?
I've been eager to see Bane done right in a film since the character was first presented in the comics. We'll ignore the abomination we got in Batman and Robin. When I heard Bane would be the main bad guy in this film, I was very excited. Then I saw him. Then I heard him. Now I can't help but think this film will fail. Even if he "breaks the Bat".
At this point, Rises looks pretentious. Nolan isn't even trying to make a Batman film now. It's just another action movie. It's another Nolan film. Yes, I love his films. (Except for Begins and Inception.) But come on! Is this really a Batman film?
One more thing. When Batman is pitted against another character in the famous vs. matches on this site, he usually wins. He's beaten just about everyone. Heck, probably even Galactus... There is a huge Batman bias. It's extreme. Is that why we ignore all the changes to the comics?
I hope the reboot will be true to the comic. Like most of you, I'll be watching Rises when it first comes out. But I'm approaching it with a feeling of dread and disappointment. Hopefully I'll be wrong. But I can't wait for that reboot featuring the same Batman we have in the comics. There's nothing wrong with that character. Why did Nolan have to change him?
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