August 25, 2013 by bck1402
As the Summer Blockbuster period draws to a close, we could probably give a sigh of relief that the carnage is over. When I look back at the movies the Summer has afforded us, it feels like it’s been the Summer of Destruction. Massive amounts of destructive power was unleashed on our big screens, billions in property damage and, for some, quite a lot of lives were lost, even if it wasn’t quite depicted that way. After all, most of them had to maintain their revenue line with the PG-13 rating.
It should probably be fair to say that a SPOILER WARNING is in effect for anyone who missed out on some of the movies of the Summer and still intend to catch them later, be it on cable, via downloads or the Home Video release on DVD or Blu-Ray. Of course, some people don’t mind getting to know what to expect.
The earliest example of mass destruction came in late March / early April when GI Joe: Retaliation made it to the screens almost a year late (delayed from a 2012 release to add a 3D conversion and supposedly add more Channing Tatum, whose character still exited the movie relatively early). The major effects set-piece was the destruction of London with a massive metal rod dropped from an orbiting satellite. Was it possible? Surprisingly, yes.
The Summer Blockbuster period kicked off earlier this year, and following London, Washington DC took some hard hits too. Olympus Has Fallen had an enemy plane shooting up the place and taking down the Washington Monument as well as crashing a helicopter on the White House, which itself takes a beating. Later in the Summer, White House Down also had a helicopter crashing on the White House, and that was generally about it. Then again, Olympus Has Fallen had a decent R-rating while White House Down stayed with the safer PG-13.
About this time, The Croods proved that mass destruction was alive and well even in animated form. Granted, lots of destruction, but minimal loss of lives as a family of cave-people tried to stay ahead of geological changes, that being earthquakes in general.
As the months rolled on, Tony Stark suffered massive property destruction as his Malibu home was taken out with missiles in Iron Man Three. While we didn’t see any of it on screen, the world was blown to bits with nukes and the moon was destroyed in Oblivion. (Fast and) Furious 6 gave us some highway mayhem with a tank crunching numerous cars (with drivers and passengers obviously inside, even if we didn’t see any of that). Lots and lots of vehicular damage there, and we should count the huge Antonov plane that gets destroyed too.
World War Z took out much of humanity (and some animals) with some virus that turned the living into the walking dead. Most property were safe tho.
Then London got blown up again in Star Trek Into Darkness, but to redress the balance, they crumpled Alcatraz and crashed a starship into San Francisco. Lots of buildings came tumbling down. Is it any wonder by the time Man Of Steel rolled around, we were suffering from destruction fatigue? The movie started out well with some promise, but we do have the destruction of Krypton, Smallville getting laid down, a World Engine in India and Metropolis itself gets toppled in grand style (and with an obviously high casualty rate), most of which was thrown at us in the span of half an hour or more, almost non-stop.
Not to be outdone, Pacific Rim’s giant robots battle it out with giant monsters and take out Hong Kong. Sure, Japan gets a look in too although we don’t see the fight happening in that one. But then, we do flash back to the Nagasaki atomic bombing in the opening sequence of The Wolverine. And just for something different, R.I.P.D decides to trash some of Boston’s buildings.
There are more, of course, but these are the movies that made it the screens over here. We could take in the world destruction of This Is The End into account too. Does that fall into the blockbuster category?
I kinda viewed last year as the Summer of Heroes. This year, the heroes don’t seem to care too much about collateral damage anymore. Most here are just trying to stop the bad guy, while not making a little effort to pull someone out of danger at the same time. Or maybe the film-makers just want to raise the stakes or say that it would be a little more realistic that the good guys can’t save everyone. I”m really all for that. Just do it right and show that the hero does care, and does try. A bit of dialogue to reflect that perhaps, and make it convincing. Not added as just some throwaway moment that’s really too brief to register.
Or have the movies and I just out-grown each other?
I hope not. After all, it’s just one summer…