By now everyone and their mother has seen The Avengers. That's not a joke, my own mother saw the Avengers opening weekend and wants to know who "the purple Hulk guy" at the end credits was. It's made over a billion bones worldwide and stands to make more as the weeks go on. Why? Because it was that damn good.
About a year ago I wrote an article showcasing how Christopher Nolan and The Dark Knight has changed the comic book movie landscape forever. With it's down to earth, gritty portrayal of one of comics darkest heroes, it stood out as one of, if not the greatest comic book movie of all time.
With the release and subsequent success of The Avengers, where does this leave movies like The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises? The latest reboot of Spiderman seems to be taking a cue from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight with a darker kind of storytelling. To me, these movies aren't made to be "blockbusters".
Granted, they will attract massive crowds and make boatloads of cash but when you think blockbuster you think lavish CGI special effects and a larger-than-life story. Batman isn't a blockbuster, Nolan has created a superb retelling of The Caped Crusader as a crime drama.
It's about the philosophy of crime and the odyssey of one man crawling from grief and fear into a modern day savior. Each installment in these Batman movies showcases the evolution of Bruce Wayne and Batman as he struggles to grasp the concept of being a hero, to face true corruption, and how to rise above it.
Spiderman is the ultimate underdog. A kid that is blessed/cursed with amazing abilities and having wisdom beyond his years to utilize these powers for the greater good. With no parents, and no huge bank roll to back him up, he struggles to balance the everyday mundane life of a college student with the titanic weight of a hero on his shoulders.
After The Avengers, I feel like audiences now are waiting to be wowed by a spectacle, but I feel if you go to these films with that mindset you are not only missing the point but you are cheating yourself from a equally fantastic experience. These two films are taking two iconic characters and making them bleed, making them hurt, and bringing them down to their knees.
It makes for a much more compelling story when you can relate to these characters, or when a director and writer can bring these characters down to our level. We see what makes them tick and what they are up against.
In the next few days we will be dissecting the first two installments of Nolan's Batman trilogy as well as speculate about the Spiderman reboot and The Dark Knight Rises in hopes that you can enjoy these two potentially great films for what they were meant to be, or at least measure them with the correct measuring stick.