A year ago (give or take), my friends and I went to see Suicide Squad in theaters. At the time, I remembered liking it. Only to find I was in an extreme minority of people.
Believe me, that’s far from the first time that’s ever happened. Like I said yesterday, I think I’m the only human being on Earth who LIKED Apollo 18. Inversely, I’m used to hating movies everybody likes. I’m of the opinion Moonrise Kingdom sucked like a hoover, and I’m puzzled that there are people who actually liked this fucking movie.
I’m no stranger to being the contrarian. At the same time, though, I’m no stranger to opinions changing. My opinion on Suicide Squad was one that started out really positive… Until I saw it a second time, and really thought about what I was watching. It also helped… Or maybe hindered, that I wasn’t spending most of the final battle thinking “Christ I got to pee!”. All that said, the second viewing really changed my mind on this movie, and… Yeah, it sucks.
I’m nos tranger to this phenomenon. I personally referred to it as “The Transformers Effect”.
In 2007, the internet was abuzz with talk of an upcoming Transformers movie. People were super fucking stoked their childhood was coming back. Finally, the movie came out, and everybody absolutely loved it. At first.
As time went on, the movie made its rounds, and eventually got put on DVD, bluray, and probably HD-DVD (I think that was still a thing in 07), people’s opinion of the movie soured. By that time a year later, a lot of people actually ended up hating it.
It didn’t help that a couple years later, the sequel movie would come out, and foretell the ominous future of the franchise, but that first movie…
At the time, it was hard to believe that a movie with that much hype behind it would suddenly decline in popularity so rapidly. But I know what the problem was.
Transformers was, from what I can tell, the very beginning of the Hollywood trend I have long-since come to call “Generation: Nostalgia”. Sure, seventies and eighties crap had been getting remakes long before the mid-to-late 2000s, but it wasn’t until some time around 2009-2010 when the reboot machine went nuclear.
Transformers got away with the nostalgia factor because people weren’t conditioned to see through the bullshit just yet. They saw their favorite childhood franchise get pulled out of the grave after it lived a good hardy life (including that weird Beast Wars phase it went through in the middle), and they were expecting something great. They were even willing to look past the fact Michael Bay was on board (assuming more than the snobbiest of movie goers even know who Michael Bay even is), all so they could relive their fucking childhood for an hour and a half or so. But once the hype died, the nostalgia factor became a nonentity, and the smoke cleared, what we had was a CGI movie that promised more than it could ever hope to live up to.
Unfortunately, because of that success, Generation: Nostalgia is now the norm in hollywoo right now. In the last seven years, I’ve seen reboots of Karate Kid (sucked), Robocop (REALLY sucked), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (it was okay), Get Smart (not terrible, but not great), Mighty Morphing Power Rangers (haven’t seen it yet and don’t plan on it), Chips (I hear it sucked), and I’ve HEARD Back to the Future might be up next on the chopping block. If they’re not remaking old franchises, they’re gender-swopping the shit out of them like they did for Ghostbusters 2016, and gender swopping is, hands down, the laziest form of reimaging out there. Or maybe it’s not a matter of reimagining, and it’s a matter of the neoliberal, Antifa, “fuck white people” mentality that ultimately led to Donald fucking Trump to become president in the first place. Who can say? All I know is I’m fucking sick and tired of this nostalgia trip, and I want something NEW.
As an author, I know there’s only so many stories out there. At the same time, though, I’m sick of seeing these remakes, reboots, reimaginings… Just give me something new. If you have to MARKET it as Back to the Future with chicks, fine. But if you’re actually going to MAKE Back to the Future with chicks, you can guarantee that I’m not going to see it. Which according to your neoliberal, social justice warrior, “Kamala Harris 2020” logic, that makes me sexist. No, it makes me FUCKING BORED!
“Ooh, I wonder what would happen if Doc and Marty were girls?”
I don’t know, maybe the same fucking thing that would happen if they were guys? They’re still traveling back to when Marty’s parents are kids, fucking up everything, and threatening to erase themselves from time and space in an effort to accidentally become their own grandparent. The fact Marty’s a girl now doesn’t add shit to the plot, except for an opportunity for period jokes or something.
You know, I’m pretty sure I was talking about something else a minute ago.
Oh yeah, I saw Suicide Squad a second time a year later, and yeah, I agree. That movie actually kind of sucks now.