Calling most superhero movies boring is kind of a bold statement, but James Gunn is standing by his word when it comes to stating that he’s bored with many of the hero movies that have been coming out lately. But to be fair, he’s a bit biased since his upcoming movie, Suicide Squad has been designed much as the first movie was, a way to detour from the average hero story and bring something that is bound to be a little more hard-edged and not nearly as heroic. Plus, he’s not entirely wrong to say such a thing since a lot of hero movies have kind of lost their edge. It could stem from a few factors to be honest, whether it’s the sheer number of hero movies or if it’s something else, but right now the superhero genre is only turning things up, as it doesn’t appear that things are bound to slow down anytime soon. If anything, the MCU is just tuning up as 2021 continues to roll on and 2022 is starting to come a little bit closer with each passing day.
So far from the trailers, the Suicide Squad looks like it’s going to top the original movie by a country mile, not just because it has more villains, but because it feels as though it’s going into the type of territory that hero movies don’t always cover. Working with villains is a lot different than working with heroes since there are fewer boundaries and far more of a chance to just cut loose and let the morality fly right out the window. It’s true that even the villains have their own code and sense of honor at times, but it’s often so different from the heroes that it’s fair to say that it’s bound to blow people away with the level of reasoning that the villains use since their way of looking at the world feels skewed, even if it makes sense to the characters.
If superhero movies are boring though it’s likely because they’re predictable, which in turn makes them easy to map out once a person starts watching since there might be losses and there might be a tragedy, but it’s typically known that the hero, or heroes, will win in the end. In recent years one of the only truly impactful movies that have ended on a bad note, with the heroes losing in other words, was Infinity War, but people already knew that with the tragedy would come another movie in which Thanos would be defeated eventually. That’s the thing about hero movies, they tend to only end when the villains are defeated and life goes back to some semblance of what people consider right. It might be tragic and it might be frightening, but having the villain win would shake things up now and then. Or perhaps having no one win, coming to a stalemate, would go a step further. The only problem with either one of those ideas is that it makes people anxious and even edgy. We, the audience and humanity as a whole, have been conditioned to believe that that the heroes are going to win so often that we’ve had to make up stories about villains that actually deserve to win for one moral reason or another just to make this idea palatable.
In the eyes of many people, the villain has to lose. The heroes have to win, and unfortunately, that can make things rather boring. Thor: Ragnarok was another movie in which the villains were allowed to have their way since they were simply too powerful. Thor and his companions did their best, but they couldn’t stop Hela or Surtur no matter how they tried. In the end, Asgard was destroyed and the people were homeless, at least until they met up with Thanos, and then a great many of them died. Movies in which the villains win or at least accomplish their mission in life before they’re taken out are a lot more interesting sometimes since it mirrors the real world far better than a hero movie in which everything is saved or put back as it is. Hero movies today bank too much on being able to piece the world back together and create order from the chaos that they help to make, while villains are simply out to do what they can for themselves and in some cases to prove that they’re right.
That’s why, despite being insanely dangerous at times, villains are a lot more fun, because they don’t often uphold the righteous and noble goals that the heroes do, and are out to challenge the status. Hero movies still serve a purpose since amidst the chaos there does have to be order to balance things out, but until we get to see heroes such as Moon Knight, the Punisher, and several others that are a little less lenient on villains, it’s likely that Gunn will continue to be right, that hero movies are getting kind of boring.