Smell of Popcorn

film reviews & musings by Max Lalanne

Tom Hiddleston: Superhero Films Like The Avengers “should not be scorned”

Posted by Max Lalanne on April 20, 2012

I was honestly going to write something like this, except that I would be going for the angle on how with his Batman series, Christopher Nolan created something that magnificently surpassed your average superhero film by making the classic comic-book story darker, grittier, more human. And in conclusion, you shouldn’t dismiss The Dark Knight Rises or any of Nolan’s Caped Crusader films as popcorn fodder for the masses. Yes, I swear I was going to and maybe I still will.

But someone else has somewhat touched on the pretty arguable “Superhero films aren’t only for obsessed and silly geeks!” subject recently and probably wrote better than I could, even if it’s about every superhero film in general. Tom Hiddleston, who stars as Loki in the upcoming The Avengers, eloquently penned a long piece on The Guardian’s Film Blog defending his blockbuster. A paragraph is quoted below.

Big talk for someone in a silly superhero film, I hear you say. But superhero films offer a shared, faithless, modern mythology, through which these truths can be explored. In our increasingly secular society, with so many disparate gods and different faiths, superhero films present a unique canvas upon which our shared hopes, dreams, and apocalyptic nightmares can be projected and played out. Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama; fathers and sons, martyred heroes, star-crossed lovers, the death of kings – stories that taught us the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. It’s the everyday stuff of every man’s life, and we love it. It sounds cliched, but superheroes can be lonely, vain, arrogant, and proud. Often they overcome these human frailties for the greater good. The possibility of redemption is right around the corner, but we have to earn it.

Pretty good and somewhat true stuff which someone had to step up and say. But still, if he was writing about The Dark Knight Rises, I think folks would agree with him more. Which bodes well for my eventual article, I suppose…

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