I saw Doctor Strange the first day it appeared in theaters. In Taiwan, this was Tuesday of last week, long before it premiered in the States.
I've seen almost all of the superhero movies on the first or second day of their release. I've been doing so since 2011's Thor, and I've only missed the opening weekends of a few superhero films. I didn't bother to see The Wolverine in the theater. I also didn't bother to see The (first) Amazing Spider-Man. But all of the other ones, from Thor onward, I've seen on - or very close to - their release date.
But you know what? I've been enjoying these movies less and less. And I can remember being ecstatic when the first Avengers came out. I can remember having my mind blown by The Dark Knight. I can even remember thinking that Batman v. Superman was the movie I'd been waiting for my whole life.1 But now? Now I find it hard to stir up anything close to that level of enthusiasm.
Whether it be Wonder Woman, Justice League, or Avengers: Infinity War, I now find it hard to get that excited about superhero movies. They just don't shine as brightly as they once did. They don't seem as special.
Don't get me wrong. I'm still looking forward to most of these movies. I plan on seeing Wonder Woman. I plan on seeing Black Panther. But they're becoming so damn similar, and one wonders how the newer ones will be substantially different from all the movies that came before. CGI action scenes? Check. One-liners? Check. Battles for the fate of the world? Check. Costumes? Check. Advertisements and/or hints for future movies? Check.
It is, in large part, a formula pioneered by Marvel Studios. But now one gets the feeling that Warner Bros. and Fox are following suit. With rampant imitation, these movies are becoming increasingly repetitious, and the MCU's newest entry, Doctor Strange, is - despite the eye-popping visuals - just more of the same.
Which is a shame, because I've wanted a Doctor Strange movie for decades. I'm also old enough to have seen Batman in 1989, and I can remember pondering the cinematic future of the Marvel characters at the time. What if - one day - there was a movie about Spider-man? Or the Hulk? Or... Doctor Strange?
Now, with an embarrassment of riches, I find myself asking what obscure character won't get their own film. Harley Quinn? Sure, why not? Guardians of the Galaxy? Sure, why not? The only problem is that when we FINALLY get that Omega the Unknown movie you've been waiting for, you might be too tired of superhero movies to care.
Don't worry, however. If you miss it in theaters, I'm sure you'll be able to see the Extended Cut on DVD.
I have no doubt that one day the superhero movie will go the way of the Western. Why? Because if Hollywood teaches us anything, it's that these things go in cycles. Right now superhero movies are huge, but they are bound to fail at some point. The genre will eventually give way to a slew of science fiction films, or a slew of musicals, or whatever else captures the viewing public imagination's at the time.
Then, of course, superhero movies will go into hibernation, until they are "rediscovered" by a future audience (usually in about 10 years' time). Movies are, after all, a very "generational" phenomenon, in that they are embraced for a time, their audience grows out of them, and then the tropes they thrive upon are introduced to a younger set of viewers. You see this a lot in action films, comedies, and especially horror movies.
So yeah, I'm getting a bit tired of superhero movies. I'm determined to watch them until The Flash (hopefully) comes out in 20182, but my enthusiasm is waning. Then, after finally seeing my favorite superhero in his own movie, I might just decide NOT to see Avengers: Clusterfuck, or Justice League Part 7. I might instead play with my grandchildren, read one of those "book" things that history teachers talk about, or take my flying car out for an oil change.
Or maybe I'm wrong! Maybe Avengers: Clusterfuck will be a real game-changer for CBMs. Maybe it'll be the second (?)3 comic book movie to win Best Picture. Maybe Avengers: Clusterfuck, in which the X-men, the Avengers, the Teletubbies, G.I. Joe, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the Men in Black, the Osmonds, and the Flock of Seagulls do battle with Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders, will be the superhero movie that really gets this genre going!
1. Yes, that's right. I loved it. If you didn't, that's like, your opinion man!
2. This movie just lost its director. Will it be... "delayed?"
3. What, you say? The second? Let's not forget about Birdman in 2014. It is, in many respects, a superhero movie!
4. Gal Gadot has some wonderful legs, doesn't she?