I was challenged to the new "Unpopular Opinion Challenge" by Trevor Norkey, a fellow creator, (whom you should give a follow, by the way!)
The Unpopular Opinion Challenge is to make an article that expresses an opinion that is largely unpopular. Ready or not, here we go!
The LEGO Video Games Develop Our Favorite Superheroes Better Than the Movies!
Yeah. I really just said that. The superheroes we know and love are such deep and interesting characters, but sometimes, Lego's innate goofiness allows for more character development than the more serious-toned films. I promise I won't explore every individual character, but let's look at a few representative ones.
Representative line from video game: "Who's behind all this? What exactly are they up to? And... will it cut into my hot tub time?"
Representative line from film: "I told you, I don't want to join your super-secret boy band."
Yes, we all know that RDJ basically IS Tony Stark, but the version we see in Lego Marvel Superheroes crackles with so much more typical Tony snark. Almost every other sentence Stark says in the video game is a one-liner. In the movies, Stark shows that he is willing to sacrifice himself for others from time to time, but in the video game, it's all about Tony all the time. There's not a whole lot besides that to say about Tony, because Marvel nailed its casting with Robert Downey Junior. So, let's move on.
Representative line from video game: "I'm gonna spangle you 'til you see stars."
Representative line from film: "Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away and what are you?"
Let's just be honest. Chris Evans is pretty amazing as Captain America. But the truth is, the reason that his films are so grim is that Marvel failed to acknowledge that our "Star-Spangled Man With A Plan" actually has a sense of humor. Granted, even in the original comics, Steve Rogers isn't known for being the one-liner king like Spider-Man or Iron Man, but he's gotten in his licks from time to time, something he isn't known for in the films. While it is true that Steve's jokes are generally the quality of "dad jokes", the guy deserves a break, he's 95 years old!
Representative line from video game: “This is what I’ve been reduced to: relying on such pitiful mortal creatures for my plans. Though, he does have a cool throne, and a metal face.”
Representative line from film: "I am Loki... of Asgard. And I am burdened with glorious purpose."
Let's be honest. Tom Hiddleston is to Loki as Ryan Reynolds is to Deadpool or Robert Downey Jr. is to Tony Stark, but even Hiddleston's almost-perfect personification of the character still misses the mark on a few things. For example, Hiddleston's Loki seems to live by the philosophy of "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them". He would no doubt place himself in the third category. However, the Loki that we see in the video games, rather than being power-hungry and sadistic, really just wants to wreak havoc for no other reason than the fact that he can... which, in a way, makes him pretty sadistic.
Now that we've explored some of Marvel's characters and their video game counterparts, let's turn our attention to the DC universe! To start us off, the Caped Crusader!
Representative line from video game: "We can't rely on Superman or anyone else to save us whenever things get rough. The only person we can depend on is ourselves."
Representative line from film: "He has the power to wipe out the entire human race. And if we believe there is even a 1% chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty!"
Batman isn't known for his sense of humor. I get it. But that's not to say you'll never hear the Dark Knight crack a joke. That is true of his video game version and his film version, but one thing the video games demonstrate much better than the films is Batman's inherent distrust. And I don't just mean of Superman. I mean his distrust in all of the Justice League and even in humanity as a whole. Batman is a disillusioned, melodramatic character who believes self-reliance is the greatest virtue known to man. His butler Alfred, his sidekick Robin, and even the Justice League, attempt to convince him otherwise, but at least in the video game, the only thing that snaps Batman back to reality is fear of Robin being hurt. But what other characters does Lego do better than the films?
Representative line from video game: "You know, you should really try not to make such a mess while you're fighting crime!"
Representative line from film: "I grew up in Kansas, General. I'm about as American as it gets."
Yes, the Man of Steel is far less of a grim and foreboding character than the Dark Knight, but that doesn't mean he's constantly cracking jokes either. Superman is a much more balanced character, both in film and video games, but the video games tend to stress the fact that he believes Batman takes himself too seriously (which is probably true). The other big thing the video games do with Supes that the films aren't known for is making him a much more arrogant character who is confident, (perhaps overly so) in his own abilities. But enough about heroes. Let's look at a villain from the DC universe.
Representative line from video game: "I'd have to be CRAZY to say no to THAT offer! Unless you're just one of the voices in my head, in which case, I'm crazy anyway."
Representative line from film: "I'm not gonna kill you. I'm just gonna hurt you. Really...really... bad."
While Cesar Romero's Joker was a clown, Jack Nicholson's was a gangster, Heath Ledger's was an anarchist, and Jared Leto's is a psychopath, the Joker that Lego presents to us is at the same time all of them and none of them. He enjoys causing disaster, not because he's fed up with the way the world is, but just because he's a nutcase. The charismatic and yet simultaneously off-putting Joker that we see in the Lego games reminds us that rather than being just a bundle of anarchist tendencies and purveyor of wanton destruction, the Joker is really just a big kid who wants to pretend he's Godzilla and Gotham City is his Tokyo.
In conclusion, my humble, unpopular opinion is that Lego's video games does a better job portraying our favorite characters than the characters' actual films do. But that's just me. The real question is, what do you all think?