The first Avengers movie awed me when it came out. The plot twists, witty comments and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat until the scene after the credits. No superhero movie made after the Avengers could compare. Moviemakers tried to incorporate some of the same elements, especially the witty comments and jokes, but nothing seemed to make as big an impact as the Avengers did.
The problem with new movies? They lack the fine art of subtlety.
Superhero movies should have just as much character growth and intrigue as other film genres have. Some might argue that superhero movies are all about action and have little to do with character growth. Others say the recent superhero films are intended for a new generation of 13-year-old boys who don’t have the attention span to sit through long, intense dialogues. Either way, it seems the latest filmmakers are more concerned with making money than making good film.
The Dark Knight, the Dark Knight Rises and Spider-Man 3 – three notoriously slow-moving films – ranked in the top 10 highest-grossing superhero films of all time. This proves people do have the attention span to sit through a slow-moving action film with deeper dialogue and character development.
What made the Avengers so great was the film’s ability to be subtle and not always rush from one plot element to the next. The villain, Loki, was mysterious and two-timing, an evil mastermind played by Tom Hiddleston in a way that somehow made him seem good even as he brought destruction. The Avengers slowly became a team, but not without trying to tear each other down first. The characters fought over strategies and methods, but their initial hatred slowly changed into unity by the end of the film. This slow character development perfectly complemented the action scenes, and made them that much more meaningful to watchers who had subconsciously become invested in the outcome.
But nowadays, superhero movies seem to have lost these qualities. Thor: Ragnarok was the most disappointing. The filmmakers had a large budget which they chose to invest in costumes, graphics and bad puns, rather than quality script-writing. The villainess, Hela, had a flat character that made her fight against Thor seem meaningless. The witty jokes were not well-timed, but rather so common in the film and so poorly written, actors Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo actually seemed to break character as they said the lines. Loki, arguably the best part of the Thor series, played a cheap, pointless role in the film. Meanwhile, the lead female character, the Valkyrie, was exalted for her drunkenness and her potentially interesting past was skimmed over in a scene that couldn’t have lasted more than one minute as the plot rushed forward.
New superhero movies may have big budgets, but they’re not rich in content. Moviemakers need to slow down, embrace subtlety and give scenes a little space to breath. This won’t take away from the action sequences, but rather, enhance them because the battles will be more meaningful.