Saturday, July 21, 2012

why we love superhero movies

I just got back from seeing "The Dark Knight Rises", the third Batman movie from director Christopher Nolan. I have many thoughts running around in my head and I thought blogging about this might help me process things.

As I look back on the last 10 or 11 years, superhero movies have become extremely popular. Even if you didn't care for them, many have been successful at the box office.

Spiderman 2
Spiderman 3 (we'll try and forget this one, though)
X-Men 2
X-Men 3
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men First Class
Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer
Superman Returns
Iron Man
Iron Man 2
The Hulk (with Eric Bana)
The Hulk (with Edward Norton)
Captain America
The Avengers
The Green Lantern
2 Michael Keaton Batmans
1 Val Kilmer Batman
1 George Clooney Batman (we'll just try and forget this one, too)
3 Christian Bale Batmans (the best, in my opinion)
a new Spiderman
Iron Man 3 (filming)
Thor 2 (filming)
a new Superman movie (coming out next summer), which we saw a preview for before Batman:

And it's not just teenage boys going to see these superhero movies. I looked up the stats. It's males AND females. Ages 10-80. All demographics. You name it.

Why do we love these movies? Why do we keep going to see them? Why do we see them multiple times? Why do we watch them and then pay more money to see them again when Hollywood remakes them 5 years later? (ie. Spiderman, Hulk, Superman, Batman, etc)

I've never read comic books. I've never watched superhero cartoons. I have no attachment or childhood nostalgia for these characters. I am a grown woman in my thirties. And yet I have seen almost every movie on the above list.


Because I think, deep down, we want a hero.

We want to believe heroes exist.

This world we live in is crazy. There is hurt, grief, tragedy, and sadness. Unfair things happen to good people. The wicked seem to win.

How many times have I watched these movies and seen someone in need, or someone hurting, or someone not able to defend themselves...and then Zooooooom, the superhero flies in and saves the day. They fight off the "bad guys", pick up the broken and bruised victim, and give hope to everyone as they fly away.

They will be there to fight for us.

Good will overcome evil.

I think you guys can see where I'm going with this.

As I was driving home, thinking about how good the movie was, I was struck by the parallels between superheroes and Jesus. Not that Jesus flies in wearing a cape to snarl at the bad guys. That is reducing Jesus to a flawed human in a mask.

But I think these superhero movies are so popular because subconsciously, we all want and need to be saved.

From sin.

From guilt.

From death.

We want hope.

Where does your hope come from?

I like these movies because even when it looks like the bad guys win, they never do.

Aurora, Colorado - my heart is heavy. The sadness I feel cannot be put into words. I can't even imagine what you are going through. It was wrong, evil, and unfair.

But James Holmes does NOT win.

Evil does NOT win.

Good will overcome evil.


My hope is in Jesus.

The defeater of sin, guilt, and death.

The giver of love, hope, and peace.

1 comment:

New Branch said...

good blog sis
i think they make all the superhero movies because they make a ton of money. but your reasons are good too :) ps we saw this the other day - i'll send you my personal thought recap on the ridiculous story telling we believe in these comic book movies.