Tom Hiddleston Understands

Courtesy of Marvel
Actor Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in both Thor and The Avengers, and was chosen for the role by Kenneth Brannagh because of the amount of genuine, raw passion he was able to impart to the character, has written an editorial for The Guardian. I highly recommend that you read it. It's a love letter to superheroes, essentially, but more then that, it's a man taking pride in his work, and defending it with the same passion that got him the job.

I'd like to take this opportunity to elaborate on some of the thoughts Hiddleton brings up.

Superman was important because it was the first superhero movie to take the subject seriously. Whether it's a good movie or not, unlike Batman '66, which played up the campiness for laughs, Superman was interested in telling a real story, with real characters. It wasn't all about believing a man could fly, it was about believing he was a man, not a cartoon. Superheroes have always been plagued by the perception, that because they came out of a publishing industry that used primary colours, that because they were seen as a kid's medium, that they shouldn't be taken seriously. For every step forward (Batman '89, with it's mirthless, bleak outlook), there is a step back (Batman and Robin, with it's complete disregard for anything approaching shame) And the modern superhero movie, an era that started with Bryan Singer's X-Men, has wandered back and forth between the two. X-Men played it straight, and believed it. Fantastic Four played it straight, with a smirk.

I honestly believe that, when done with passion and conviction, instead of a wink and a nudge, superhero movies are no different from any other kind of film. Like cartoons, they aren't even their own genre, they are a medium through which we tell stories. Sometimes they are dramas, sometimes they are comedies, but they should always be about the human journey that the characters undertake. Are they worth less of our attention because they are adapted from cartoons? What about Pixar films, then, are they just as unworthy? Does the love between Thor and Jane mean less then that between Rick and Ilsa just because a rainbow bridge is involved? Christopher Nolan proved that just because people dress up in costumes doesn't mean that they are fools. And the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Joss Whedon's efforts with the Avengers specifically, will prove that even when the films aren't steeped in philosophical allegory and societal metaphor, these movies are worth something. They are worth our time, they are worth our attention, and they are worth our memory.

Today, we remember Heracles, and Zeus and Thor and Arthur. These are the legends that make up the back bone of our culture. Remembered and retold through generations, brought across oceans and through wars, and a thousand thousand retellings, shaping the characters into indestructible ideas written into our DNA. I'm not claiming that in a thousand years we'll still remember Batman, or Superman, or Spider-Man. But I can guarantee that we'll remember the story of a man who could fly.

Via The Guardian and Collider.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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