Reviews and Comic Book Movies

lone ranger

Are you someone who pays attention to the reviews of a movie?

If it gets “Two Thumbs Up” do you have to go see it?  Or do you even care what someone has to say on TV or in a review column?

This past weekend, it came up in conversation that I wanted to go see The Lone Ranger.  It’s a big budget movie.  But has been plagued with bad reviews, even when the movie was still in production.

My one friend said “Are you sure you want to see it? I heard it sucks.”

I didn’t know how to answer that one.

I rarely care what the critics have to say about comic book movies.  Most reviews are about the film itself, not necessarily the content.  So far, many critics have praised Man of Steel.  The critical success (and financial success) has lead to a sequel being fast tracked so it will hit theatres next summer (possibly).  While some critics have gushed over the movie, I fell asleep during it.

Other comic book movies that I thought were amazing, have been torn apart by reviewers, overlooked and forgotten (The Losers and Tom Jane’s Punisher for example).

When a movie gets a bad review, it’s tough to convince the movie going public to spend the cash to see it in theatre.  This can be a death sentence to a marginal (at best) comic book movie.

The Lone Ranger is one of those odd properties.  It has such a long history, that I consider it comic book material.  It’s has lived on every kind of medium that has been available.  Radio, TV, Silver Screen and the comic book page.  It is a quasi-hybrid of pop culture that can adapt to any form to be presented to the public.

The negative reviews for The Lone Ranger won’t hurt the franchise in the long run.  The character has been around for a long time, and it has had it’s fair share of peaks and valley’s in its popularity.  There will be people who will go out to see it just because it is The Lone Ranger.

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As I said earlier, I rarely care what a critic has to say about a movie, but that doesn’t mean I totally dismiss their reviews.  Disney’s other huge blockbuster (that turned into a flop) John Carter, was crucified by reviewers as well. It is a movie I want to see, but I am not rushing out to get a copy of it.  The property itself has many of the same characteristics as The Lone Ranger.  The character has been around for years, and has seen life on many different platforms.  The only difference is people do not know who John Carter is.  The Lone Ranger is instantly recognizable, but John Carter isn’t.  The bad reviews was most likely the final nail in the coffin for John Carter and the future of the movie franchise.

Ultimately you have to make your own decision on whether you will see a movie or not.  You can listen to other people’s opinions, but don’t let that make up your mind for you… unless we tell you it’s good here at Comic Book Daily… always listen to us!!!! (just kidding!)

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Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.
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5 Comments

  1. Most reviews I’ve seen or read for Man of Steel have been negative, but there are many ways to look at something. The more intelligent reviews simply frame it and let the audience decide. This would be a good starting point for a discussion on “taste” but, who are we kidding here… right?

    In any case, the real reason for my 484th post is the often neglected medium: The Short Film

    http://malqueres.com/The-Flying-Man

  2. I tend to go by my interest in the property. I did see The Lone Ranger and I enjoyed it immensely, and I’ve recommended it to many folks, most of which were put off by (a) Johnny Depp playing Tonto and (b) a lack of interest in the character combined with (c) bad reviews. I really enjoyed John Carter as well, and I’ve rewatched it many times since it came out. I am surprised at the zeal by which some critics have in their need to put a movie down before it’s released as they were desperate to do last weekend with Pacific Rim (which is another genre movie worth seeing).

  3. Based on your recommendation above there Kevin, now I can’t wait to see The Lone Ranger. And I will pick up a copy of John Carter.

    That is the one thing I love about the comic book shop, you get to talk to people and you can get turned on to something new just by other people’s recommendations.

  4. Unless the critical reception is so bad it’s hard to ignore, then I do ignore it. I can usually tell from the trailer/buzz if I have any desire to see a movie and if it’ll be good. Most trailers give away the bulk of a movie these days anyway.

  5. And I don’t get the hate for Depp playing Tanto. He’s part native, and not a small part either.

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