A daily bulletin of news & opinion

3 August 2012

Are films taking themselves too seriously? I ask that because if you look at the new versions of iconic characters, such as Batman and James Bond, you can see how dark and serious they have become. Or dare I say it, gloomy and boring.

Some critics and directors seem to like this seriousness and they love the idea that a film should be almost three hours long. The name says it all – The Dark Knight Rises – such a self-important name. I’ve seen the previous two films from the new Batman trilogy and I’m sorry to disappoint the fans but I yearned for the first two Batmans. Jack Nicholson as the Joker was marvellous or what about the fetishist Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman?

The previous films had humour and they were colourful and camp, very different from the gloomy and “respectable” new Batman.

Another typical example of this new trend is one of my favourite characters of all time. Yes, I have to admit, I don’t think Daniel Craig is a bad Bond, it’s just that the films became a little bit like The Bourne Identity, so serious, complicated. Where are the sexy Bond girls, exotic villains, gadgets and the dry Martini. Oh, and the inspired opening sequences, with proper Bond songs, not soft-rock ballads please.

The trailer for the new Bond film, Skyfall confirms my theory, it’s very dark. I couldn’t spot Bond’s usual charm; it looked like a generic sleek action film. I have a theory that the element of fun in blockbusters disappeared after the enormous success of the cinematic version of The Lord of the Rings. Long, dense and oh-so boring. It was certainly beautiful to watch at times but I remember drifting off during The Fellowship of the Ring.

So directors and producers take notice, a little bit of fun and colour doesn’t hurt anyone. I mean there’s no need for sing-along ABBA songs during a speed chase. But please, at least don’t try to make every single film like an episode of CSI.


sign in to monocle

new to monocle?

Subscriptions start from £120.

Subscribe now





Monocle Radio


  • The Atlantic Shift