20 Ways Superhero Movies Have Changed With The Times: Then vs. Now
We’ve recently brought to your attention some facts about the history of superhero movies and how it became the cultural juggernaut it is today, a sentence whose end we totally forgot because the word juggernaut gave us flashbacks of the horror. No, wait, we can work with that. X-Men: The Last Stand is a good illustration of pretty much the entire history of the genre. It is both very modern and very old. Its effects are pretty good, its cast is impressive, and it has a team of superpowered people kicking ass. Yet it is also a sad attempt at taking its source material seriously, as well as a cheesefest that is all over the place tonally and visually. It is a sort of anomaly belonging to the time when the superhero movie code hadn’t been cracked – except X2 had already cracked it, hence why it doesn’t get any love. Also, nice “cracked” reference, me.
In a word, superhero movies have come a long way. By now, it is undeniable that we live in a golden age of superhero movies. Contemporary classics include Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, Logan, and The Eternals (just kidding). But they didn’t come from nothing. Previous and absolutely satisfactory experiments at the outer limits of the genre like Men in Black, Mystery Men, or Unbreakable helped refine the cinematic language needed to make superhero movies actually good. And if we go further back in time, even acknowledging the quantum leaps meant by Donner’s Superman and Burton’s Batman merely proves that superhero movies spent most of the history of cinema just being dumb fun for kids at best, or unworthy punchlines at worst. Like X-Men: The Last Stand. The point is: the further back we go, the stranger (and frankly, worse) superhero movies get. Some icons might pass the test of time while others might be forgotten, but comparing superhero movies then and now offers good insights into the evolution and streamlining of the genre. Let us take a look, then, and try to forget the way they killed friggin’ Cyclops.