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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Avengers Infinity War: No Spoilers Here, Just Plenty of Bathos


Wazzup Pilipinas!

We are a culture adrift in bathos. The kneecapping of drama - making it dramatically nonsensical. The emotion is cheapened by the comedy. The quips from superhero movies were fun at first when no other superhero movie was doing them, but now they're all quipping.

And I'm not arguing if they are funny or not....

I really wish they pulled back on the comedy and allowed the "hero" moments to shine through. Not everything has to have a joke attached to it. Do they make jokes to undercut the drama, or accentuate it? I was very disappointed with how so many potentially earnest and emotional moments were weakened by quips, jokes, and poking fun at the situation.

Best example is the Avengers Infinity War movie. The writers keep ruining the serious heroic moments just to add humor to the scenes. How many chuckles did Marvel Studios tried to cram in that film to alleviate its dark somber tone? Did the flippant attitudes and comic timing in the movie served to reinforce the emotional weight of the narrative, and not harm it? The 'bathos' is becoming too prevalent and severely undercutting emotional impact.

I don't think Marvel Studios does what they do because they're afraid of being cheesy, I think they do it because they're afraid of being cliche.

"The superhero movie has matured to a state where the classic narrative elements, told with sincerity, are considered old hat. It's hard to innovate thematically and stylistically so filmmakers turn to irony, self-consciousness and self-referentiality in their films in order to try to freshen things up. The use of bathos feeds into this chronic knowing winking that is going on between the film and the audience, this sense of 'we all know what the tropes are, let's undermine them.' The important question that arises is: how long can this go on for? Ironic subversion is itself a form of innovation, but it can only go on for so long before it collapses in on itself without new tropes or trends to feed off. It's a dead end without other forms of arguably more substantial innovation."

So aside from Thanos, there's plenty of Bathos at this Avengers movie that the superheroes should be fighting against a character called Bathos instead. I know it's not at all realistic but at when you're at the verge of serious moments not too many could really afford to crack a joke.

The superheroes do not need to be funny for us to appreciate them more. Their heroism is no laughing matter.

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