This is almost a reverse Boiling Point because I’m happy about something. So happy about it that it’s thrown me into a rage. I’m talking about Iron Man. Now, there is nothing in Iron Man for me to rage about. Well, maybe Ultimate Nick Fury instead of regular old school Nick Fury, but whatever, I’ll let it slide. No, what I’m wondering is why this isn’t the norm. Why do we have to suffer so many misses before we finally get a good comic book movie?
The Batman franchise started out ok but started its downward slide almost immediately, to the point where it was a damn laughing stock – but no one was laughing. We were shedding tears. Superman Returns was abysmal. So boring. Such a waste of money. WTF, people? X3 was a crap fest. It was like a bowl of diarrhea projected from a light box onto a screen. Killing off main characters for no reason, terrible guest appearances, a stupid plot, bad dialog. Damn. And let’s be honest, X-Men and X2 are passable, but nowhere near great. The Spider-Man franchise rocked. Then it basically duplicated itself. Parker got whiny. Then he got emo. Spider-Man 3 counts as pretty much the most offensive thing someone has ever done to a movie. Wow that was bad.
Batman Begins and Iron Man shine as examples of what comic movies can be. Hellboy is also a great example. Now, what about these can make me rage? Well, it’s the studios that spent the last 30 years fucking them up. Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher, but a Punisher who lives naked in a sewer and fights the Yakuza? Nipples on the Batsuit? The people behind Ghost Rider, Elektra, and Daredevil should be slapped across the face with an Atlantic Salmon. The real reason why Batman Begins worked is because they stayed true to the comics. Batman was dark. It got gritty. He was obsessive, he was fit, he was funny without being a joke. The story stayed away from the ridiculous as Batman, despite his comic nature, has always been a touch more serious in the past 15 years. Hellboy really pleased the fans with how true it was to the comics. Those producers either didn’t get involved or let the people who knew the material make the movie. We get a very true to the books movie and it was awesome.
Iron Man is Marvel Entertainment’s first venture on their own. Finally they got tired of other people ruining their movies and driving them into the ground and got $500 million start up cash to make their own movies. And thankfully Iron Man’s projected $104 million dollar opening (on a 140million budget) proves that this was the right movie. The people who knew the character and love the books were in charge. The producers weren’t demanding horrible changes to alter the comics because they were involved in the company! Yes, there are outside producers, but at the top is Marvel and this time Marvel knew what Marvel fans wanted. And we got it. Why did it take this long? Can you only imagine what awesome shit we would have if the people who loved the films were involved from the start? There would be no retarded Dr. Dooms or laughable cloud-Galactuses. The Punisher would be in New York rather than Florida (though I actually really dug The Punisher). It’s about damn time Hollywood got a clue and realized that while producers might know who to call to get the cash, most of them don’t have a damn clue about what it is they’re trying to make.
Kudos to Marvel Entertainment for taking the ball into their own hands and slam dunking it. I only wish they had gotten it sooner. Hopefully Marvel will keep this going. Maybe The Incredible Hulk will rock our asses. I want to see DC keep going with the success of Batman and follow that same formula. All these comic companies need to insist on being more involved with the production. If you want to see what the right people behind the project can do, just watch Batman Begins, Hellboy, and Iron Man. Those are comic book movies, not just comic adaptations.
Now normally I sign off with some spiel about how maybe I’m the only one who feels this way. But I’m damned certain that most of us are fed up with shitty, lackluster comic adaptations. Listen up, Hollywood, because we’re all past our Boiling Points! Give us creator driven flicks, not your damn watered down shit-shakes.
What comic book movies really hit the right note with you? The wrong note? Let it out! RAGE.