There are certain characters and stories that never translate well to the silver screen, and the sad fact is that most studios will continue to repeatedly make horrible films simply to keep their copyrights or because false-positives showed that an audience was out there somewhere. You know the names. Tomb Raider, all items Frankenstein (I, Frankenstein, Van Helsing, that Robert De Niro Frankenstein atrocity), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Resident Evil, 30 Days of Night, Fantastic Four, and The Transporter are just a few examples that cannot be made well. So the fact that we’re getting a new Transporter film, a new Fantastic Four film, and rumors of a Tomb Raider reboot are true head-scratchers. Haven’t we had enough?
Let’s rewind a bit.
At the beginning and mid-way through the 2000’s, fans were yelping about Uwe Boll and the inability to translate games to a competent cinematic formula. However, with WB and Rocksteady‘s recent PC failure otherwise known as Batman: Arkham Knight, we’ve now seen the blood flowing the other way. Popular failure films are now being translated into mediocre games. The Arkham franchise is nothing to sneeze at. The first two games in the series were much more satisfying than the most recent cinematic trilogy. The TV spot for Arkham Origins managed to be more poignant and soulful that the entirety of Nolan’s saga, which peaked with The Dark Knight and ended with a finale of a plothole riddled and laughable featuring Bane. Batman was over, a statue erected to honor his sacrifice before the audience discovered he had actually hooked up with Catwoman in France. Now, search for anything on YouTube related to The Dark Knight Rises and you’ll most likely get videos of mockery, confusion, or just plain questioning what in the hell Bane was actually saying. With the departure in tone from previous Arkham games, making Batman grittier, nastier and more military (having him ride around in a tank), it’s no surprise that Rocksteady aped the most laughable aspect of Rises, and promised to bring an end to Batman.
Inexcusably, this same “End of Batman” theme bled down from the cinema and into gaming. It used to go the other way, Tomb Raider becoming a film after the success of the game, but Batman: Arkham Knight recently tried to end the Batman story after Nolan had already tried. This time, after promising to show “how the Batman died“, much to the same effect. Nobody likes the idea. Nobody wants to know about how Directors and game developers want to bring their take on Batman to a close.
Because there’s something we should get straight: you can’t truly end Batman. Not anymore.
Ending Batman is the new cinematic/gaming impossibility. Nobody likes it, and it never goes over well with anyone outside the small group that developed the stupid idea. Nolan nuking Batman, Arkham finally eliminating Batman, the constant DC New 52 comic reboot that has shown Bruce Wayne re-birthed as a caveman drawing a Bat-symbol – STOP! It’s schlock of the worst kind, and Batman’s ingrained cultural stamp assures his immediate return, and negates any poignancy or impact that the ending might ever have had. For example, now that the Arkham Batman is dead, Bat-Affleck is about to rise.
On WB/DC’s end, they should know that this is a putrid practice. Remember when they killed Superman? Nah, he was just in a coma! In fact, Superman has died something like five times now, not counting elseworlds, and every single time DC performed ass-pulls so tremendously gymnastic, we have to wonder if they don’t have super-agility themselves. In short, they’ve M.Night‘d their fans to death with unintelligible twists and turns. While fans can see the resurrections coming a universe away, DC is nearing a state of “we don’t know what we’re doing“. It just won’t stop. Didn’t the Joker die in the second Arkham game? Wait, he died in DC’s comic lead in to Injustice: Gods Among Us as well? Hey, hey, Mr. J- he’s arisen once again in the new Suicide Squad film, so don’t worry.
Listen, DC, if you’d just continue a relevant story and let these famed characters (Joker, Superman, Batman, et al.) evolve naturally, then us fans would become more sympathetic and retain our loyalty. It would be the worst thing for a global company like WB or DC to have fans just drop their mics and walk off-stage as if they never cared. But, that’s what happened with Dark Knight Rises, yet it shows no signs of stopping in other media outlets. It would probably happen in Arkham Knight too, if anyone cared enough to treat the death of the Batman with any credulity at all anymore.
Suffering through Uwe Boll and the whole “video games make terrible movies” phase was appalling. What makes anybody think that this new “movies that failed make terrible video games” phase won’t be any less so?