With the arrival of the new Superman movie at the theaters, I feel compelled to note (and I’m by no means the first to do so) the new trend in action movies. These loud spectacles roar into the theaters chock full of CGI effects where whole cities are destroyed willy nilly until the beleaguered hero/heroes finally restore order. The plots, such as they are, are thin, the characters are even thinner, but the violence and decibel level is way over the top. The object, of course, is to lure teenage to twenty-year old guys to the movies, and it’s working so Hollywood sees no need to change the formula.
Look, I’m not damning all action movies. I loved Batman, but Christopher Nolan created deeply resonant characters in his Batman trilogy. He also created the haunting Memento and Insomnia, both character-driven films.
The new Superman film could have been another great picture. It starts out with a pretty compelling story but morphs into the standard action CGI fest.
I understand that action is where the big money lies in Hollywood, but movies like Mama Mia and Bridesmaids also had pretty respectable showings at the box office and not one building collapsed.
More and more I find myself searching out indie movies because on their small budgets, they must tell stories, not rely on booming sound tracts and special effects to do the job for them. Or maybe I’ll just give up and leave the movies to the guys and watch cable. There’s some pretty good stuff on cable now.