Let’s start our new weekly columns discussing something related to nerd-dom but not gaming: comic book movie stories.
First and foremost welcome to the first of many weekly columns by the writers here at Frantic Talks. If you’re unfamiliar with what we’re doing here, check out this post and listen to episode 63 of the podcast for more context. Without further ado, let’s get going!
Last week I got to witness Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and I quite enjoyed it. At first I didn’t know what to expect from it except that it would be a sequel to a movie I really enjoyed. Having not known anything about Guardians when watching the first movie, what ended up happening was me experiencing what many experienced on their first watch of Star Wars: space sci-fi with great writing, a fun story, and just amazement at the visuals I was seeing.
Now obviously Guardians isn’t Star Wars version 2.0 but the experience can be compared and, sadly, not recreated with a sequel. I really liked Guardians Vol. 2 and the more I think about it the more I think I was too hard on it with initial reactions. Sometimes I don’t know when to be a harsh critic or a movie loving kid and this was no exception. It lead me to the thought of “Should comic book movies have serious or fun stories?”
The simple answer is “it depends.” If we’re watching a Batman movie that isn’t a little more serious in tone and dark in imagery, we might not enjoy it. Lego Batman is a special case and worked due to the fact that it was using Legos. I imagine you’d probably have trouble watching a dark and gritty movie about Batman with Condiment Man as the main villain, right?
More often than not I have to remind myself that I’m watching a comic book movie when I feel the story gets too silly. Not to say I hate having fun or anything, simply put I like great stories that make me think. Watchmen is one of my favorite comics and movies because of the story it tells. It is about superheroes and was a best-selling comic when it was released. This proves we can do heavy realism with a touch of sci-fi and fantasy.
Basically, deep down I’m constantly wanting that type of comic book movie. Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War were both great examples of what I was looking for but at the same time I loved the original Guardians of the Galaxy for reasons stated previously. So why did I leave the movie feeling like I did? Probably the same reason a movie critic going into a Transformers movie expecting the best movie ever walks out feeling disgusted: context. Which is another way of saying “it depends” if we’re being honest.
Overall I’d like comics to take dark stories and present them to us instead of providing a jumping around happy-go-lucky adventure all the time. And honestly, they have been doing quite a great job at it, whether in comics or comic book movies.
I think I can safely say that I enjoyed Guardians Vol. 2 and would highly recommend to anyone who liked the first or is just looking for a fun movie with character-driven plots that leans on 80s references but isn’t afraid to throw you under the rug when the time calls for it. In the end I think I was too hyper critical for no reason and should’ve just enjoyed the movie for what it was.