Don’t Like Superhero Movies

For many of us, superhero movies make up a large part of the modern day cinematic experience. Superhero franchises have become a major success over the past decade, with some estimates reaching into the billions of dollars. But for a small minority, these movies have become a source of frustration and ire. It’s no secret that there are those out there who would rather not watch a single superhero movie.

Many of these people have their reasons, but the most common argument is that these films don’t offer anything new or interesting. They cite the same plotlines, characters, and themes across different movies, plus the use of cheap special effects, as a major turn-off. Others point out that superheroes are expected to look a certain way, something that can be shallow or even unrepresentative of real-life. Some might argue that these characters represent the ultimate power fantasy, which is a little too much for some more conscious viewers.

This sentiment is shared by many film critics and academics. For example, Professor Mona Eltahawy of George Mason University has stated that these films don’t often tackle topics like politics, race, and gender, which are amongst the most pressing issues of our time. Anand Rajaram at the University of Toronto has also expressed his opinion that these films don’t tell interesting or complex stories, or offer much in the way of thought-provoking philosophical questions.

So why are superhero movies still so popular then? Because, for the most part, they provide an escape from reality. People want to switch off their minds for a few hours and have a good time, or simply see beautiful visuals. It’s an escape from the mundane and the difficulties of everyday life. It’s also been argued that the characters serve as inspiring heroes, often subverting common stereotypes and providing alternative points of view.

But many would argue that there are better ways to entertain yourself than by indulging in superhero movies. There are more diverse stories out there, which can be found in places like independent films, foreign-language films, and art cinema. These genres can provide deeper insight into other cultures and provide more complex characters.

Additionally, television shows such as Breaking Bad, The Wire and Mad Men provide even more intriguing scenarios and characters. These shows often provide viewers in-depth and multi-faceted characters, complete with moral complexity and difficult choices. These are the kinds of characters who captivate and provide meaningful conversations, something that superhero movies are lacking.

Stereotypes and Positive Representation

Superhero movies have often been criticised for their narrow representation of characters and the unrealistic expectations these movies place on viewers. The majority of leading characters are white, male, and conventionally attractive. Even when superheroes of colour are included in films, they often take on stereotype roles or serve as a sidekick to the white characters.

In addition, women are also often portrayed in a limited way, with many films focusing on their beauty or using them as a love interest for the male superheroes. It’s also worth noting that LGBTQIA+-characters are still under-represented in superhero films, with a majority of films either ignoring or sidelining them or depicting them in a negative light.

A more positive side-effect of the superhero movie craze is the fact that it has opened up the conversation about diversity, representation and inclusivity. People are much more vocal today about wanting films that are more diverse, which has resulted in films like Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and many more that feature strong female and POC characters.

These films are important steps forward in terms of representation, and hopefully will one day lead to more meaningful and complex stories being told in the genre. As more films of this nature are released, we can only hope that people will wise up to the fact that these films don’t just have to be escapist fantasies, they can also provide insight into the world as we know it.

The Impact of Online Streaming

The advent of streaming services has also had a major impact on how superhero movies are viewed. Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and other services have opened a new world of possibilities for those who would like to watch these films without having to commit to a specific theater. This has enabled a new segment of viewers who are often younger, from diverse backgrounds and from different geographic areas.

But at the same time, this has also been a double-edged sword. The increased accessibility of superhero films has led to a new generation of viewers who have grown up watching these films and seeing them as a form of entertainment, without necessarily engaging with them on a deeper level. And for people who already dislike these movies, this might come across as a form of validation.

Many would argue that this lack of engagement is a shame. It is possible to deconstruct these films and look at them more critically, to ask questions and discuss themes and ideologies. These films can be engaging and thought-provoking, as well as entertaining. All it takes is an open-mindedness and willingness to look past the surface.

The Fear of Missing Out

It’s also worth noting that, for many people, the fear of missing out (FOMO) has a major role to play in their dislike for superhero movies. People often feel the need to be in the loop and know what’s going on in these films, if only to be able to participate in conversations. But this can lead to a hostile attitude towards the genre, leading to further frustration.

This feeling can be compounded by the feeling that superhero fans are often looked down upon. People have been quick to label these fans as immature or uninterested in proper cinema, which can lead to further animosity towards the genre. This can then snowball into a full-blown aversion to superhero movies, even if the person wasn’t initially interested in them.

The truth is, superhero movies can be entertaining, although they aren’t necessarily anything special. But at the same time, they can be looked at as an art form and a form of escapism, as well as a platform for exploring different ideologies. Those who don’t like them don’t need to find a reason to justify it, they’re perfectly entitled to their opinion.

Staying Away From Superhero Movies

So what can people do who don’t like superhero movies? It’s simple: find other things to watch. There is a wealth of films from other genres out there to explore, from foreign-language films to comedies and dramas. Libraries are also a great source for those looking for something a bit different.

People can also take a break from watching movies for a while, or even switch off the TV altogether. There are a wealth of activities out there which can provide entertainment, relaxation and insight. Reading, walking, learning a new skill, writing, and getting outside can all provide different forms of satisfaction.

Finally, it’s important to remember that it’s perfectly OK not to like superhero movies. They are not everyone’s cup of tea, and the fact that they are popular doesn’t mean that those who don’t like them need to be swayed. People can have their opinions, without judgement.

Vicki Strouth is a life-long film enthusiast, having grown up watching classic cinema in her childhood. She has since gone on to pursue writing about films and movie news, with her work being published on various online platforms. She is passionate about supporting independent filmmakers and highlighting important stories from around the world. She has also written a successful book about classic movies from Hollywood's Golden Age era. Vicki currently lives in Seattle, where she continues to explore films of all genres and eras.

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