Superhero 2.0 Movies: 'Logan' and 'Wonder Woman'
Memo to studios: If we're going to be stuck with these big-screen comic book movies from now until doomsday, please mix it up a tad. Maybe make them idiosyncratic and weird, like Thor: Ragnarok; maybe don't make them such crass, blatant cash-ins and chaotic blunders like Justice League. Or, better yet, take a tip from the two movies that really did push these types of blockbusters into bold new territory and realize, like the Western and the musical and the screwball comedy, that there are a lot you can do with these conventions beyond "pow" and "boom."
James Mangold's Logan is the perfect goodbye to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, and an elegiac look at what happens when an invincible mutant suddenly deals with his inevitable mortality. And Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman not only broke the gender barrier (if not necessarily the genre barrier; it still ends with a familiar digital smash-up) but gave us a hero's story that was emotionally resonant, deeply humanistic and profoundly, proudly feminist. That these two movies were major successes – and the rancid Justice League severely underperformed – gave us hope for a kind of event film that is sucking up a lot of Hollywood-and-beyond oxygen. You can satisfy fans and still make near-great movies. Follow these examples.