You ask for it, they listen. The folks over at Screen Junkies heard your cries and are back with two new additions to their popular Honest Trailers series. This time they take aim at the latest piece of the dystopian young adult landscape, Divergent, and one of the least popular superhero movies in recent memory, DC’s Green Lantern.
Divergent, or “not The Hunger Games as they call it, is a futuristic tale about a young, doe-eyed heroine who must defeat a sinister, scheming dictator. Yeah, they notice the similarities, too, except there’s no fight to the death, so things are totally, totally different things. There are also jabs at the set up, which is somehow simultaneously over simplified—people are sorted into groups based on a single personality trait—and ridiculously complex. They draw the parallels between Divergent and the laundry list of other popular YA movies, like Harry Potter and Twilight. And especially the creepy romance between Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her much, much older instructor, Four (Theo James). But it’s okay because he’s so dreamy.
Like the first trailer, the Honest Trailer for the DC, or “not-Marvel,” adaptation of Green Lantern, compares the story to a different group of Guardians of the Galaxy, no, not the ones you were hoping for. Also like the previous offering, they compare the Ryan Reynolds debacle (cards on the table, I don’t hate Green Lantern nearly as much as everyone else, it’s not the greatest superhero movie, but it could have been worse) to other, much more successful superhero movies, like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and various Marvel offerings.
This doesn’t really make fun of any elements that you haven’t already noticed, like the less-than-stellar special effects, the boring origin story, and the fact that Parallax looks like a slowly moving poop cloud. Overall, it feels unnecessary since this has all already been lampooned numerous times.
The one interesting thing they point out, however, is that they call the film “too nerdy for mainstream America” but “too mainstream for nerdy America.” That’s definitely something to consider when discussing superhero movies. These are big, expensive endeavors, so you have to appeal to a wide audience, but at the same time, you don’t want to risk alienating the already existing fan base. That’s why Marvel has been so successful, they’ve found a formula that is full of nerdy minutia that is a nod to their obsessive comic book fans, but at the same time, they also make movies that are readily accessible for general audiences that aren’t familiar with the source material. Their latest, Guardians of the Galaxy, is a prime example of this. Hopefully DC will figure out a way to strike a similar balance. Wouldn’t we all love to see them routinely making good movies, and see the two comic book giants push each other in that arena?