Is Hollywood Appealing To The COD Crowd Now?
Know what I love most about Fridays? Apart from the fact that for once everyone else is happy too, not bitching and moaning like the rest of the week. Fridays offer us here on eGamer a chance to stray from the usual topic of gaming and enter slightly more random, more eclectic, more off-topic conversation, including movies and comics and series and anything else you can think of, within reason. Thus, today I get a chance to talk about something that I’ve been meaning to for a while now, but have held off on because it’s not, strictly speaking, directly related to games. TGIF, right? (The G stands for Gordon, of course.)
Last weekend I watched Man of Steel for a second time. It was every bit as awesome as the first time I watched it and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I was overtly aware of the lack of character progression and the very ‘human’ flaws of this new Superman. I welcomed these changes because I didn’t see it as fearful safe-playing or ignorant oversight, but rather as a newer, different version of Superman. Because honestly, I fucking hate that boy-scout asshole who ends up playing lackey to America’s government after the Justice League breaks up. This new Superman errs, he is capable of flaw because he was, after all, raised by humans to be a human. Only he’s not, and that’s the defining difference. I prefer things this way because although the new Superman seems unsure of himself and lacks basic preservation skills — tearing up half of Metropolis instead of taking the fight elsewhere, like regular old Superman would have done — he is an edgier and more realistic imagining of the nearly-century-old hero from the comics.
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As for the character progression, I mean, this is a Nolan movie. You were expecting it to be slow and methodical, right? Well, Zack Snyder got in on the action too, and well, we know what he’s all about. Unfortunately the two egos didn’t quite mould properly and while the movie is still great, in my opinion, you’re going to be left wanting for any real character progression, specifically on the part of Superman, himself. Thankfully Henry Cavill, that beautiful man, was a great casting choice and played the role well, even if he wasn’t given that much to work with.
Now, after returning home that evening, I decided to trawl my usual favourite places on the internet and find out some more opinions of Man of Steel, and I came across a video from one of my favourite online vloggers, YouTube personality comicbookgirl19. Sure enough, a lot of opinions on Man of Steel seem polarised. Some are overwhelmingly positive while some are alarmingly negative and there are very few in between those. I want to maintain right now that there is truth to both of these groups, where the context is important. For example, I hated the old Superman and I understood why Man of Steel needed to exist; after all, we’ve seen more than enough of Lex Luthor and it was time we got something a little different, wouldn’t you agree? On the other hand, there are those who’ve seen and read much better and felt that Man of Steel was an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of recent Superman comics. (At some point, I actually plan to check these out, now that Man of Steel has renewed my faith in Superman.) For now, let’s all watch the following video:
Okay, so, now that you’ve watched it — yes I know she’s hot, but mostly it’s her ‘I don’t give a fuck’ mentality that I like, I promise — you might have heard her throw around the following statement, when criticising Man of Steel: “Call of Duty.”
You know, I didn’t even need her to say it, to understand what she was getting at. In fact, while watching the movie, I understood what she was getting at. It seems that Hollywood is now trying to appeal to a crowd that it knows, is larger than any other in current trending media. Executives have looked at the gaming industry and noted how Call of Duty is printing money for Activision, to the point that the publisher needs barely even do that much in order to rake in truckloads. It’s obvious that Hollywood wants some of this money. It’s obvious, also, especially given their recent adaptation of everything and its uncle that they’re short of ideas and so have stooped to feeding off other avenues for inspiration.
Is it so far-fetched to think that Call of Duty has begun to influence even movies? Such is the power of the brand, I guess. And I have to say, I felt it somewhat, while watching that movie. A lot of the action seemed of the unnecessary, over-the-top, rollercoaster variety. I didn’t dislike it! I mean, I’m one of those who actually enjoys the Call of Duty games and understands the popcorn action flick styling of each. Still, the notion of a game influenced by movies now influencing movies doesn’t quite sit well. Have we not already suffered enough in the games industry, because everyone is trying to appeal to the Call of Duty crowd by borrowing from the series?
If this is the direction that movies are taking, then I have to say, I’m unsure of how that will be taken. Sure enough, they’re going to achieve massive successes with some movies, Man Of Steel’s box office revenue thus far must be astronomical, but what about movies that require a more deft touch? Will Aquaman or Green Arrow have similar amounts of balls-to-the-wall action without the slightest hint of a cohesive story or character progression? Will all the other elements of movies that aren’t climactic be removed entirely, in favour of appealing to the dude-bros of the world? Is Hollywood so clueless about how to do a proper movie that it must now look to game makers who’ve looked to Hollywood for years… I just don’t know any more.
Let’s discuss it, shall we? What do you think of this movement of movies towards appealing to the Call of Duty crowd? Of forgoing story elements and basic cohesion in favour of action and ‘cool stuff’ to the point that we have an hour long of ‘he punched me, I punched him’ instead of something more substantial. Did you enjoy Man of Steel as much as I did, or were you of the group that did not enjoy it because of what it wasn’t? In parting, I’d like to leave you all with a funny:
Henry Cavill makes me question my sexuality…