What a year it has been so far. With ﬁlms surprising and disappointing us left, right and centre, thanks to disagreements between critics and the general audience, and fanboys attacking both rival properties, as well as their own beloved ones, the idea of keeping an open-mind has been thrown out the window and in its place, a false sense of entitlement and understanding has settled into the minds of many. I’ve never lived in a year ﬁlled with so much division and I don't think things are going to change anytime soon. Please note that what I say in this article is what I believe to be true. My thoughts do not reﬂect those of my colleagues. It’s an opinion, for a lack of a better word.
Many people say that “Film Is Dying”! If you’re referring to the method in which ﬁlms are shot, those people are probably right. If they’re referring to the storytelling aspect of ﬁlm, THEY’RE DEAD WRONG! On the contrary, ﬁlms have exhausted the concept of being easy, digestible stories and instead, the ﬁlmmakers have decided to make ﬁlms for those who are willing to educate themselves to understand the story being told on screen for an existing niche audience.
I like how you need to know the source material to understand certain movies now, as well as keeping an open mind. I just downloaded World of Warcraft because I don't believe in ﬁlms needing to explain things over the course of its duration anymore - if they're based on existing material that is. You shouldn't read Star Wars books without having seen the ﬁlms, at least, that's what I believe. Film has evolved. If you choose to not indulge in the original material beforehand, as I do from time-to-time, don't put out a review if you leave a ﬁlm unsure of something. If you care enough, go back and research what you might not have understood. All will be clear with a little bit of work. I mean if I chose to read “LOTR: The Return of the King” before I read the other 2 books - which I did for some odd reason - I didn't think less of the book because I thought it had no prior development. No. The backstory/development/base material, whatever you want to call it, exists. You just need to be more active if you want a richer ﬁlm experience. It doesn't begin and end in the theatre these days.
This year, the 2 ﬁlms released so far that have opened to ignorant responses are Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice & X-Men: Apocalypse, with Warcraft looking like it will suffer the same fate.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a comic book movie masterpiece and I believe that those who hate it are either uneducated on the source material, have underestimated the intellect on display and as a result, showed the ﬁlm neglect or simply don't have an open mind. A big criticism with the ﬁlm is that it butchered iconic DC characters and showed them in a new light, or darkness as many would put it. What is it with people wanting to see exactly the same superheroes they grew up with on screen but at the same time, accepting the multiple evolutions these characters go through on the comic book page? If they didn’t stick around for these multiple incarnations, they did NOT grow up with these characters. They simply were exposed to them at one point or another in their lives.
Recently, in the comic book world, Captain America pledged his allegiance to Hydra, the ﬁctional Nazi secret organisation, the bane of his existence. If this happened on the big screen as a cliffhanger to a MARVEL ﬁlm, people would FREAK saying that they ruined EVERYTHING Cap stood for, but because this revelation originated in a comic book, everyone is raving and intrigued, curious to see what will come next.
One thing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice proved is that its story
is not told as well-rounded full ﬁlm with a simple beginning, middle and
end, but as an answer to what came before, whilst asking questions of
what is yet to come. You could say that Batman v Superman: Dawn of
Justice is still the beginning. The DCEU is a cinematic television series,
just like every other franchise out there. People are just hating the fact
that it’s too “complicated” to decipher. I’m still shocked by how people
reacted to the “Martha” scene. Anyone who reacted negatively knows nothing of Batman or the impact of a mother on one’s life.
On to the next ﬁlm, X-Men: Apocalypse, the 2nd best 2016 comic book movie so far in my opinion, also opened to negative reviews and a heck load of confusion. One criticism revolved around the ﬁlm’s title villain. The criticisms basically described the character… wait for it… as he’s described in the comics and for some reason, that’s a negative. This criticism obviously weeds out the fans from the non-fans, but to hear reviewers criticise the villain for being too preachy and over-powered is idiotic to me. It’s like criticising a human for existing the way they do. WTF?
True fans of World of Warcraft who have seen the live-action adaptation early have stated that this is also the case with the characters presented in Warcraft. Critics are bashing characters for being who they are, which sounds, once again, stupid. I want to educate myself on the characters to make sure I’m not missing out on anything. Critics are lazy to begin with. Do some extensive research before watching movies you are an alien to.
I could go on and on about how and what 2016 is exposing about our society but instead, let’s summarise. In one hand, there is hate for changing up characters like Batman, Superman and Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice when it’s incredibly obvious that their stories are far from told (It’s called character development), and in the other hand, there is hate for keeping a character true to his origins, as was the case with Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse. This unjust, unfair ideology is disgusting and ridiculous. I have lost a lot of respect for the critical realm and I have become an angrier person as a result of 2016.