A Marvelous Realization

Growing up, like many other kids, I always wanted to become a superhero. I often fantasized about having special powers like the characters I saw in movies. Even though I did not watch movies regularly, I still watched every Marvel movie I could. Recently, my excitement for watching superhero movies was renewed when I anticipated the release of a new Marvel movie – Venom. After watching this movie, though, I realized something I had never thought of before.

Venom is an archetype of the typical superhero, in this case antihero. Like nearly every other such movies, it was about a character gaining some special super power and defeating the antagonist, thus saving the world, and it followed the hero’s journey. I had long known that these kinds of movies will follow a formula, but what is different this time is that I realized how this may subtly influence my perceptions of the movie. Because every superhero movie I watched as a kid followed this format, I would expect to see a new movie to do so as well. This means that subconsciously, I knew what to expect when watching it, that the hero will be called to the adventure, where the hero would need to cross the threshold, and so on. Because of this, I could focus all of my attention on the superhero and what makes each one unique from all of the previous ones. By noticing the individuality of each hero, I could better connect with all of them, which caused me to like every one of them even more.

This has helped superhero movies influence my values. Instead of just wanting to be any superhero, I wanted to be a superhero that is just like the ones I like and see in the cinema. My younger self have also aspired to be like them and save the world because I could connect with the protagonists of these movies while watching them in the theatre. Despite this, it is uncertain whether this trend will stick around for long. With more and more movies competing to gain the attention of viewers, some newer Marvel movies have had to adopt different storylines. A good example is Infinity War, which became the highest grossing movie of 2018. Nonetheless, one can infer that movies will still be a part of the entertainment world for a while to come, meaning that they will continue to influence us and shape our values and beliefs.