Once in a while, a geek-themed movie comes along and the general fannish enthusiasm for it just annoys me, and I find myself rooting for it to be a critical and/or financial failure. It’s petty, but I won’t deny it. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was one of those movies for me; just something about the way its fans worked themselves into a lather about it bugged me. Another example is Watchmen, but that was more about the cult of Zach Snyder than the movie itself.
But with my fondness for Pacific Rim, I seem to be on the other side of it now. Like Scott Pilgrim, it’s done fairly well critically, but there is definitely a contingent of people who are against this film, for whatever reason. I thought Scott Pilgrim suffered from a certain anti-hipster trend that was going on at the time. With Pacific Rim, I think some of it comes from an admittedly warranted sense of “blockbuster fatigue.” I’m not sure that’s the whole story; maybe the concept was just too seemingly dumb on its surface for people to accept.
It will be interesting to see how Elysium, another original, science fiction-themed, would-be blockbuster that will likely be a critic’s darling, will do at the box office next month.
On a related note, is this the most crowded geek-oriented summer movie season ever? Here’s what we’ve got this year:
- Oblivion (science fiction)
- After Earth (science fiction)
- Iron Man 3 (superheroes)
- This is the End (fantasy)
- Star Trek Into Darkness (science fiction)
- World War Z (science fiction)
- Man of Steel (superheroes)
- Despicable Me 2 (kind of a superhero movie)
- The Lone Ranger (superheroes)
- Pacific Rim (science fiction)
- R.I.P.D. (fantasy)
- The Wolverine (superhero)
- Elysium (science fiction)
- Kick Ass 2 (superheroes)
- The World’s End (science fiction)
There are $100+ million movies that are afterthoughts in that list. And that’s to say nothing of the action movies like White House Down, Red 2 and 2 Guns.