Avengers was the first superhero flick to make me feel a strange thing that I hadn’t experienced before with a superhero movie: A disconnect from the main cast. The main character(s) are what the entire experience is funneled towards in movies like that, because seeing how someone with extraordinary abilities reacts to harrowing situations is pretty damn pleasing. When there are too many of these characters on the screen, my attention is divided into too many different areas. For my comic reading, I typically read solo-protagonist stories that feature other important people within the universe regularly. Like Batman. It’s all about Batman generally, but then sometimes there are other people, too. We’re getting away from story-telling like Batman lately in our current/upcoming superhero catalog of movies, and I hope this phase in film is brief.
When I watched Avengers I thought that it was a pretty well-rounded movie, but it was also a bit forgettable. I’m pretty terrible at making accurate references in day-to-day conversations, but I can quote maybe one thing from the Avengers movie. Spiderman on the other hand, I remember well. In particular The Amazing Spiderman 2, but I digress. I believe that fewer main characters creates the potential for a more meaningful connection to the cast. More screen time equals more information, and when forming an opinion about a superhero, you need all the information you can get. Who is the most interesting? Downtrodden? Brave? Scared? Down-to-earth? Egotistical? I want to discover answers to these questions as I’m watching movies, and that requires more personal time with the characters.
Guardians of the Galaxy as a whole was great, but I wouldn’t mind a smaller team size. Avengers had another go at it, and I feel the same about the sequel as I stated previously about the original. Suicide Squad tried to be the edgy, anti-hero response to mainstream media that everyone was looking for. Given the attachment to Heath Ledger and his portrayal of the Joker that many people share, it isn’t surprising that DC pumped out a bad-boy movie of sorts. But I didn’t really enjoy that movie, even though I was rooting for it. I like Leto a lot, and the rest of the cast was definitely solid, but I couldn’t find that connection due to lack of screen time.
Now that we’re getting a feminist response to mainstream superhero coverage, there are more movies that will be made starring females. I think this is fantastic and I am excited to see what comes out. I thoroughly enjoyed Jessica Jones, and was surprised at how far into her head I was by the end of the first season. The Margot Robbie lead cast will probably be some badass array of women that will be portraying characters I’d like to learn more about, but thanks to Avengers and Suicide Squad, I now know that I probably won’t like the show as much as possible. There won’t be enough time to make a meaningful sort of connection to the characters, and the feelings that do happen will be brief and shallow.
I do believe, however, that if the numbers are good, and the movie is well received, we can hope to see spin-offs for more in depth superhero movies or shows (think about Lucas Cage riding Jessica Jones’s success). For this reason we should all probably go out to see the movie anyway. It’ll be average, or at least what you’d expect it to be. An edgy take on crazy gals. Nothing to lose really.