Sunday, 11 February 2018

Who are the good guys, and is this the end of the reign of the superhero?

I watched "Three Billboards Outside Epping, Missori" last night. Synopsis: A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter's murder when they fail to catch the culprit.

It's not a happy movie, it's dark and depressing, it doesn't resolve anything, yet as I walked out of the cinema the thoughts whirling inside my head were, it's very NOW, it's very REAL, and it's the story of a woman who has said "ENOUGH", which leads me to wonder at the future of the classic American superhero. I think it's days are numbered, at least they're on the demise, and it's not because people don't need saving anymore. They need it more than ever. But it's hard to see the super hero waving the flag of justice when they're potentially working for the bad guys.

"Three Billboards Outside Epping, Missori" reminded me of the America of the 80s and 90s. From the distance of Australia, what I saw in movies and in the news and in books, was a nation angered by bad cops, wars it had no business being in, greedy government and financial institutions, drugs, high crime rates, gangs, hate crimes, racism, corruption, abuse....

Movies reflected those times. We had some of the most dark, original, and thought-provoking movies over these 2 decades.

Dead Poets Society
Full Metal Jacket
A Time to Kill
Good Morning Vietnam
Good Will Hunting
Schindlers List
America History X
Trainspotting
Wall Street

Just to name a few.

The thing is, there still is all this shit and it's not just America, it's all over the world. America didn't create chaos, but instead of fixing the problems, the solution it seemed - whether by design or by accident - was born out of Hollywood wearing a cape and brandishing clever super powers.
In an article I wrote 2014, I talked about the rise of the superhero and the salvation of people becoming outsourced by Hollywood.

http://dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/superheroes-to-rescue-outsourcing-or.html

Extract from the post:
Hollywood mimics the cries of civilisation. In this case it could also be inciting them. And it wouldn’t be the first time America used costumed superheroes to do so. The rise of their popularity coincided with World War II. Captain America was created prior to the United States involvement in the war, and the comic books depicted superheroes fighting Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. When the war ended, the superheroes had no villains to fight and their popularity died. Other genres popped up, quite possibly romance and family oriented sit-coms after ‘those in power’ identified a need to restock the human population.

Is the demise of the superhero coming about, not because the superheroes have no villains to fight, but because they are the villains, or at the very least they're working for them? I never thought I'd live to see the day when the global political stage played out like a bad scene from "South Park".

Nobody does propaganda like Hollywood. They started pumping out super hero movies in the 90s, at a time when it was easier to paint over a damaged wall than to repair the wall itself. Yet each DC and Marvel super hero movie was just another layer of paint. The problems were never fixed. Audiences are still seeking movies that are 'good guy' versus 'bad guy' plots. Star Wars features in the top 5 movies for the past 3 years. For me, it'll be interesting to see how this trend plays out.

We all want the good guys to win. But I think we're now asking ourselves, if the good guys are working for the bad guys, doesn't that make them the bad guys too?


Highest grossing movies of 2018 so far

1Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle12/20/2017Sony PicturesAdventurePG-13$189,034,314
2Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi12/15/2017Walt DisneyActionPG-13$98,519,911
3The Greatest Showman12/20/201720th Century FoxMusicalPG$92,699,152
4The Post12/22/201720th Century FoxDramaPG-13$68,436,409
5Insidious: The Last Key1/5/2018UniversalHorrorPG-13$66,172,020

 
Highest grossing movies of 2017
 


Highest grossing movies of 2016
1Finding Dory6/17/2016Walt DisneyAdventurePG$486,295,561
2Rogue One: A Star Wars Story12/16/2016Walt DisneyAdventurePG-13$424,987,707
3Captain America: Civil War5/6/2016Walt DisneyActionPG-13$408,084,349
4The Secret Life of Pets7/8/2016UniversalAdventurePG$368,384,330
5The Jungle Book4/15/2016Walt DisneyAdventurePG$364,001,123



Highest growing movies of 2015

1Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens12/18/2015Walt DisneyAdventurePG-13$742,208,942
2Jurassic World6/12/2015UniversalActionPG-13$652,198,010
3The Avengers: Age of Ultron5/1/2015Walt DisneyActionPG-13$459,005,868
4Inside Out6/19/2015Walt DisneyAdventurePG$356,461,711
5Furious 74/3/2015UniversalActionPG-13$351,032,910

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