C'mon Hollywood #130

... give Mark Steven Johnson something else to do!
by Sturdy

After watching GHOST RIDER a couple of weeks ago, I’ve realized that Hollywood needs to stop giving Mark Steven Johnson comic book movies. He seems like a nice guy and all, but he's really dissappointed me twice with DAREDEVIL and then again with GHOST RIDER. I think it's about time he venture out into a realm of films that don't involve people with superpowers.

The problem with Mark Steven Johnson is that he doesn’t fully screw up his comic book movies. It’s not like he put Daredevil in a green suit, or made the Ghost Rider wear sweatpants. He stays pretty true to the feel of the comic, he just makes his movies so average that they end up being a big letdown. DAREDEVIL and GHOST RIDER were both decent films, but they’re all also very forgettable films, and that’s not something you want in a comic book movie. I shouldn’t be watching a blind guy do martial arts or a skeleton ride around on fire and feel like I’m watching a Lifetime drama.

Ok, there were two things I liked about Ghost Rider...

Another problem I have with his comic book movies is that I don’t feel he takes his characters seriously. Both of his comic book films have moments that make you cringe from the cheesiness (the ride across the desert in GHOST RIDER was horrible). He also seems to be completely oblivious to what his characters are going through. Super heroes are typically complex characters, not just live action toys. Mark’s super heroes feel very one-dimensional because he never takes the time to develop them, he’s always too busy trying to get them into a fight.

Granted, he was only an executive producer, but ELEKTRA was pretty bad.

And since we’re talking about fighting, Mark Steven Johnson just doesn't seem to be able to choreograph a good fight scene. DAREDEVIL was ripe with potential for some great action scenes but none of them were even moderately exciting. How can you make such awesome characters like Ghost Rider and Daredevil boring? It’s hard to make an ordinary film when your lead character is a motor-cycle riding skeleton that happens to be on fire. It's that lack of excitement that leads me to believe Mark is ready for something different .

If you haven’t listened to one of his commentaries on his films, then I recommend it. He mentioned in the GHOST RIDER commentary that critics don’t like his films because critics don’t like comic book movies. The problem isn’t that critics don’t like comic book movies, it’s that critics don’t like his comic book movies. SPIDER-MAN 2, BATMAN BEGINS, SUPERMAN, etc. all got good reviews from the critics and managed to be successful. That’s because they were all fantastic films with great stories, great acting and great directing. It takes more to win critics over than to have a big actor and a recognizable character.

I don’t care what anyone says, I think Affleck was a great Daredevil.

So c'mon Hollywood, let Mark Steven Johnson do something different and give the comic book movies to someone else. With such dissappointing originals, the potential for quality sequels is less now because the first ones were released with a whimper. On the bright side, if THE HULK can get a sequel, maybe they can try again with DAREDEVIL.

Tags: Hollywood



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