Superhero Destruction

Back in 1996, the film Independence Day was an impressive piece of blockbuster spectacle. The amount of destruction on display done with outstanding visual effects for the time was a sight that demanded to be seen on the big screen. However, 20 years later, that destruction isn’t nearly as captivating in Independence Day: Resurgence, and it’s just one of the many problems the sequel has that keep it from measuring up to the original.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that all the destruction in Independence Day: Resurgence not only feels like a computer generated rehash of what we already saw done with more practical effects back in 1996, but it’s also been done countless other times in recent years in several of the Marvel movies and more recent DC Comics movies. Director Roland Emmerich has certainly taken notice, and he thinks the third acts are basically retreads of what he’s already done. Find out what Roland Emmerich had to say about superhero destruction after the jump.

In a recent interview with Loaded, the filmmaker was asked if Independence Day: Resurgence was his way of showing the superhero movies how mass scale destruction is really done since the third acts of some of those movies are basically “mini Roland Emmerich films.” Here’s the interview, with the relevant part around the 1:48 mark:

For those who can’t watch, after a little chuckle, Emmerich responded:

“No, but I felt that too. I felt like when I saw some of these Marvel movies or DC movies from Warners. I felt, ‘oh my God that looks familiar to me’. Why is Superman bashing so many buildings? I was actually warned already by Steven Spielberg that this will happen. He said Independence Day will be the most imitated film of the next 20 years – and he was right. Smart man.”

Emmerich certainly isn’t wrong. There was plenty of imitation that followed Independence Day as far as large scale destruction is concerned. Movies like the dueling asteroid flicks Deep Impact and Armageddon dished out some property damage, and Emmerich himself even decided to tread that territory again with his movie 2012, and it sounds like he’ll go back to that well with his new project Moonfall at Universal Pictures.

As for his influencing the Marvel and DC movies, sure you can see some flares of Emmerich’s work here and there, but cities being attacked and damaged during superhero battles has been a part of comic book history since long before Independence Day arrived in 1996. It’s just that technology has allowed them to realize that destruction on the big screen in a much more realistic fashion. The problem is that Hollywood is over-utilizing their ability to do that now and it can get boring.

In the end, it’s the characters that make the audience get invested in the action, something that Independence Day did quite well that went by the wayside in Resurgence. And that’s why fans aren’t quite as fed up with superhero destruction as they are with entire cities being wiped out in disaster movies.

Despite his recognition of Independence Day‘s influence on superhero movies, Emmerich isn’t much of a fan of that kind of storytelling. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Emmerich said:

“A lot of Marvel movies, they show people in funny suits running around. I don’t like people in capes. I find it silly when someone dons a superhero suit and flies. I don’t understand it. I grew up in Germany, that’s probably why.”

Forget the fact that there’s only two Marvel superhero on the big screen who have a cape (Thor and Vision), Emmerich just doesn’t have any interest in superheroes. He’s not bashing the films themselves or the quality of filmmaking (most of them are better than any of the movies Emmerich has made since Independence Day), but his childhood merely didn’t have any connection to superheroes.

Anyway, the next time you see large scale destruction in a superhero movie, you can thank Roland Emmerich. And if you’re getting sick of seeing that kind of thing in blockbusters, you can also blame him at the same time.

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