“Superheroes suck!” So blares the headline for the excellent film critic Matt Zoller Seitz’s provocative Salon.com article on the movie genre that will once again conquer the world this weekend in the form of Iron Man 2. I know, I know, a lot of you are either rolling your eyes or breaking out the torches and pitchforks. But Seitz is a far cry from your usual Ebert-ian dismissal of an entire subgenre on some sort of moral or aesthetic high ground. No, he loves superheroes — and it’s because he thinks so few movies do them justice that he’s sick of their cinematic incarnations.
After first citing his lifelong love of superheroes and a trio of memorable images from recent superhero movies — the Joker sticking his head out the car window in The Dark Knight, Superman hoisting the Daily Planet’s globe in Superman Returns, Peter Parker walking down the street to “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” in Spider-Man 2 — Seitz makes his case: