- Article by Brendan Bonham
- May 4, 2012
Bored to death of board game movies? Refuse to bite on Piranha 3DD? Summer movies are, for the most part, dreck. Still, there’s always a spate of films that promise to fulfill the audience’s desire for something more than boobs and things that go boom. Even then, things can go wrong. Though we fully expect these movies to kick all sorts of ass, here’s how we can see them suck.
The Dark Knight Rises: Oh Jesus, dare we utter a word of doubt about this sacred cow?
Well what if—and work with us here—just everything goes to shit. Bane flops as a villain. Catwoman doesn’t fill the gap as the playful antagonist. Talia al Ghul doesn’t show up. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s role is smaller than anticipated. Alfred dies. As Morgan Freeman ages he goes through reverse puberty, so suddenly his voice sucks. Commissioner Gordon becomes a bumbling dunce a-la the 60s camp TV show. Batman decides to sport the batnipples again, simply because they make him feel sexy.
Listen, we’d be shocked—absolutely shocked—if the third installment falls short of very good-ness. If The Dark Knight Rises fails in the eyes of the audience, it’s likely because the audience’s expectations are too high. Slowly exhale everyone, it’ll be okay.
The Campaign: A political send-up flick starring Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell (10 years ago Zach Galifianakis)? What could possibly go wrong?
Well, it strikes us that both of these actors need a straight man to play off of to really capitalize on their style of absurd humor. Consider this conversation:
Will Ferrell: I’m kind of a big deal.
Zach Galifianakis: Well maybe we should tell that to Rain Man…because he practically bankrupted a casino, and he was a retard.
Will Ferrell: You’re so wise. You’re like a miniature Buddha covered with hair.
(Each character awkwardly stares at the other for thirty seconds.)
It doesn’t work. Instead of having a comparatively sane character to keep the film set in some sort of reality, the movie quickly spirals to a dark place rife with one-liner one-upmanship until the audience’s heads simultaneously explode. And that’s bad for repeat viewings.
Prometheus: Picture this: A sci-fi prequel set in the same universe as several box office smash-hits. Few of the characters are the same, but the same ambiance, from physics to technology to tone, all hark back to the films produced decades before. The audience expects a certain amount of familiarity to exist—and by god it does. As the movie slogs forward it becomes apparent that this…this is not a good thing.
Now, the Alien universe is wildly different from the Star Wars universe, and Ridley Scott is decidedly different from stuff-my-pants-so-full-with-money-my-gunt-gets-paper-cuts George Lucas, but the worry exists. There’s pressure on everyone associated with the film, from the director to the sound mixer, to make sure this new edition pays tribute to the original. With that, the audience could be left with an overflowing toilet full of allusions, call-backs and remembrances of films past, but nothing worthwhile. Nothing of substance, minus the shit.
The Amazing Spiderman: It’s hard not to think of the new Peter Parker, Andrew Garfield, as Eduardo Saverin in the really, really, really good film, The Social Network. He was perfect for the role, a tiny wiener kid given to “it’s not fair!” outbursts that reek of petulance. He was the perfect contrast to the cold-blooded Mark Zuckerberg.
So, not to get all typecast on Mr. Garfield, but if Peter Parker is portrayed as some mopey little baby upset with his newfound ability to climb walls, well, that’s gonna make us mega-frownie all over the place. Based on early images, The Amazing Spider-Man looks to be much darker than the previous three films, so it’s more than possible that the film heads in this direction. Peter Parker is supposed to be a snarky dick, not a whiney pussy. We have you on watch, Garfield.
Brave: Toy Story: Male protagonist. A Bug’s Life: Male protagonist. Toy Story 2: Male protagonist. Monsters, Inc.: Male protagonist. Finding Nemo: Male protagonist. The Incredibles: Male protagonist. Cars: Male protagonist. Ratatoullie: Male protagonist. WALL-E: Male protagonist. Up: Male protagonist. Toy Story 3: Male protagonist. Cars 2: Male protagonist.
Now we have Brave, Pixar’s first foray into the wild, scary world of boobs. That’s not cause for concern in and of itself. No, this move gets ruined if the female protagonist, Merida, suddenly has to rely on stupid, smelly boys to get good at kicking ass. It’s troublesome enough that Pixar has pumped out movies for seventeen years without once having a female lead, but to finally do it just to have this ginger girl relying on aid from dudes would totally nullify whatever progress they’re trying to make. You know, girl power or something.