Summer blockbusters are not busting blocks anymore, they are busting the world and by the same token they are starting to bust my balls.
Engineered to appeal to us all, featuring stars known everywhere (never seen so many films starring Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson and Tom Cruise), pillaging kids and teenage sub-cultures from cartoons to video games, trying to lure us all with subjects fertile to bombastic CG (mainly super heroes, disasters, fantasy, science fiction), shown in IMAX 3D to wow us even more (while making us pay double), distributed all around the world within a one month timeframe to maximize the global marketing campaign, and finally racking sums close to the billion or crashing and burning like never before: they are blockbusters 2.0, the “WORLDBUSTERS”.
Worldbusters are descendants of what the likes of Spielberg, Lucas, Silver, Cameron, Zemeckis and Brukheimer put in motion at the end of the previous century. They are a product of their time: post 911, fighting the recession, going with the globalization and competing for the audience’s time against video games, social networks and television. They had to mutate and lost their souls in the process, resulting in a cohort of infantile products numbing the audience for a couple of hours while still vaguely pleasing the palate of films enthousiasts. Because even if our times are at the origin of the degeneration of Hollywood, there are still writers, directors, actors and many more agents of the trade who are believing in the craft of popular entertainment; trying to instill a bit of brilliance, emotion and character in the midst of these global maeströms.
This summer is to me a peak in absurdity, where we sit down to see the sixth episode of a really dumb car driven franchise, the Nth Star Trek, more super hero movies than we can take, second or third iterations of one shot comedies and two actioners taking down the White House. It’s the summer where zombie apocalypse and robots VS Monsters vehicles feel like the most original offers this season could give us…
Worldbusters I hate you as much as I love you. Please do not forget that we like good stories and appealing characters, that we want to learn stuff about the world and its history, that we want to be surprised and moved, moreover we want these films to live in our hearts and minds long after seeing them.
So please Worldbusters, be more daring and bring a little more sense and humanity in your recipes. Could you please?