It’s going to be playing here in Morris this weekend. And while I’m usually quick to get in line for escapist fantasy, I think I’m just going to sit this one out. I’m going to catch up on my grading, instead, which sounds like more fun.
The problem with this movie that I can see coming is that it’s a Zack Snyder film, and takes everything far too seriously. 300 was fun in the sense that the joke was on him — it went so far over the top that it became campily bad, and you could watch it for the meta-mockery of raging ahistorical libertarian machismo (and of course Snyder is an acolyte of Ayn Rand.) Battling ubermenschen is right in Snyder’s wheelhouse, and he’ll stuff it full of pseudo-seriousness and completely overlook any human story.
And that humanity is what I’m looking for. Let’s all remember these are all comic book stories — they can deal with big themes, but there should always be a bit of light-heartedness beneath it all. These are stories about people with impossible powers dancing about in brightly colored leotards, after all. A sense of humor is required, but Snyder doesn’t seem to have one.
Of the superhero movies I’ve enjoyed, there’s an inverse correlation between the scope of the story and the pleasure of experiencing them. Those Avengers movies with a giant cast and city-demolishing cosmic enemy? Thud. Boring. The fun movies? Deadpool, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy? The magnitude of the drama has to be compensated for with sufficient silliness. Man of Steel was possibly the worst of a bad bunch because there wasn’t a scrap of joy in the whole thing — they might as well have painted a scowling face on a wrecking ball and filmed a day of it smashing stuff. It would have been just as entertaining.
So, yeah, I’ll choose to grade papers over watching self-absorbed Comic Book Guy pander to the oblivious hero-worshipping demographic — you know, the kinds of people who think critics ought to be raped for disliking the object of their idolatry. I’m pretty sure those papers will contain an occasional bit that will make me crack a smile — inadvertently or intentionally — so that sounds like a lot more fun than watching angry cartoons punch each other.