Superhero movies are all the rage right now & have been box office gold for about the last ten years. The same could not be said about previous attempts, and there are certainly some superhero movies that are favorites for being torched by upset fans expecting so much more than they received.
It’s a matter of semantics in that the only way a superhero movie can be seen as successful is that it has to live up to the idea of what a superhero is — super. Extraordinary. This, it seems, is the pitfall of so many movie attempts.
For the casual fan seeking a little more out of the superhero genre, it is important for him or her to know what to look for in a film of this type. Here are five absolute ‘must-haves’ for a great superhero movie:
1. Be mindful of the source material — This is, and always will be, rule number one for a ‘caped crusader’ type film. These stories, for the most part, began as comic books, and comic book fandom is fandom at it most intense level. These folks know the story inside and out, know the origin stories of everyone in the storyline, and are quick to jump on any error or creative touch a movie studio may try to add.
2. There has to be some tragedy – We live in a world where it seems that everything must have a happy ending. The fact is that most superhero plots involve death, deception, lost love, and occasional uprisings between the heroes and the “normies” that consider them to be unfit. It is from these difficult times that a hero emerges triumphant.
3. There has to be some humor… some – This is tricky, but in the end, if an audience is simply watching a masked crime-fighter hold court ‘at the improv’ while bashing bad guys, the shtick gets a little old fast. Yes, there is an element of humor that provides moments of catharsis, but a script-writing team needs to know when to interject a laugh.
4. Casting has to be done well – Going back again to the idea that there is a hardcore group of fans that knows the story well of the hero in question, they, too, also have an idea of what they feel the characters all look like as well. Sure, a comic book may only give a small cell’s worth of room to do this, but the person cast for a role needs to feel right.
5. There has to be a human element to the characters – Even if we’re talking about superhuman figures with superpowers, a movie audience needs to connect with the plight of the hero, as well as all of the other characters. Be it bad guy or love interest, the audience wants to feel invested in a story that has weight. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of on-screen action for no reason at all.