Avatar image for germanx
Posted by GermanX (558 posts) 1 month, 19 days ago

Poll: Should unfaithful portrayal of a comic book character in a movie be considered a valid criticism? (38 votes)

Yes, unfaithful portrayal is a valid criticism 55%
No 45%

We seen characters like DCEU Superman and Batman killing unlike their comic counterparts and we seen MCU Mandarin being merely an inebriated actor instead of the powerful martial artist in the comics.

Do you think unfaithful portrayals should be considered a valid criticism of a movie?

Vote and Discuss

Avatar image for ready_4_madness
#1 Posted by Ready_4_Madness (13297 posts) - - Show Bio

For fans but I don’t think you should criticise the quality of the movie based on that. On top of that it depends on the characters stature.

Avatar image for stahlflamme
#2 Posted by Stahlflamme (5406 posts) - - Show Bio

No, but sucky character potrayal is a valid criticism.

Avatar image for valorknight
#3 Edited by ValorKnight (11077 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends on how unfaithful the portrayal is, but generally I'd go with no.

Avatar image for richubs
#4 Edited by Richubs (1938 posts) - - Show Bio

If the character is too far from its original appearance then it would be valid.

For example when Ben Affleck's Batman was killing everyone without any buildup for why he is like that now.

Otherwise it should be allowed to have your own interpretation of characters where you change things but the character is the same. For example Nolan Batman.

Zack Snyder's interpretation of Batman isn't valid since he changed the most fundamental character trait without any explanation.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bdcbb8da1d15
#5 Posted by deactivated-5bdcbb8da1d15 (5093 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends on how unfaithful the portrayal is, but generally I'd go with no.

Avatar image for helloman
#6 Posted by Helloman (23561 posts) - - Show Bio

No.

Avatar image for rogueshadow
#7 Posted by rogueshadow (28616 posts) - - Show Bio

If you're going to fundamentally alter a character's attributes, history etc. then don't use that character. You're just abusing the IP.

Moderator
Avatar image for magian
#8 Posted by Magian (149823 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think it should. And while I agree that if you are going to change a character to such a degree that you might as well use a different one, that one only really applies to the fans. The casual viewers don't and won't care how different a character is going to be when compared to the source material.

Avatar image for christianrapper
#9 Posted by christianrapper (5894 posts) - - Show Bio

the mcu and dceu characters have to kill. the only reason the comic book villains don't kill is due to the fact that they need villains to fight. movies don't come out as frequently as comic books.

Avatar image for veshark
#10 Edited by Veshark (10308 posts) - - Show Bio

It’s a valid criticism but it’s not the conclusive statement on the fidelity of an adaptation. Superhero movies are, for the most part, live-action adaptations of comic-books that fans have followed for decades. It’s accepted that, generally, what you see on the screen maintains the essence of what you read on the page.

E.g. Nolan Batman takes huge liberties with Batman’s capabilities for a more realistic world, but stays true to the core of the character and his values. It’s faithful where it counts. On the other hand, Batfleck looks and fights like comic-book Batman, but he’s either written either as a revenge-obsessed killer and brute, or the comedic straight man in Justice League. I.e. It’s not faithful where it counts.

Avatar image for rl4
#11 Edited by RL4 (1700 posts) - - Show Bio

No. If its a good movie, its a good movie. Nobody shits on Titanic because Rose and Jack weren't real people. Get off your high horse.

Avatar image for mrmonster
#12 Posted by mrmonster (12227 posts) - - Show Bio

No. What should matter is whether or not it was a quality movie.

Online
Avatar image for alavanka
#13 Edited by Alavanka (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

Absolutely valid.

To put it bluntly, there's no hard and fast rule about what you can and cannot change from the source material, but if you change something then it's your responsibility to make sure it works. If the fans end up hating the changes, then tough luck - you failed. It's entirely the directors responsibility to make sure they capture the essence of what makes their characters popular in the first place. If they butcher that, then they deserve whatever criticism they get coming their way. @veshark sums it up perfectly.

Avatar image for outside_85
#14 Posted by Outside_85 (23042 posts) - - Show Bio

No, because movies aren't canon to the source material of comics, and as such they should be free to experiment with the material and characters to see if they can find a version that works for them. Like Nolans Bane, despite Nolan being noted as not liking gimicky villains like Bane, he remade the character into something he could get behind... and aside the voice, everyone is happy we can now forget that other Bane :(

Avatar image for the_badman
#15 Posted by The_Badman (2531 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark said:

It’s a valid criticism but it’s not the conclusive statement on the fidelity of an adaptation. Superhero movies are, for the most part, live-action adaptations of comic-books that fans have followed for decades. It’s accepted that, generally, what you see on the screen maintains the essence of what you read on the page.

E.g. Nolan Batman takes huge liberties with Batman’s capabilities for a more realistic world, but stays true to the core of the character and his values. It’s faithful where it counts. On the other hand, Batfleck looks and fights like comic-book Batman, but he’s either written either as a revenge-obsessed killer and brute, or the comedic straight man in Justice League. I.e. It’s not faithful where it counts.

This. Take liberties, but don't change the basic stuff. Also, no one cares about Mandarin like they do for Batman or Superman.

Avatar image for heroup2112
#16 Edited by HeroUp2112 (17384 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends on how unfaithful the portrayal is, but generally I'd go with no.

Avatar image for batman242
#17 Posted by Batman242 (11246 posts) - - Show Bio

No. Only if it's unfaithful to the point that it really changes the personality/mindset/character build of the character overall.

I used to hate how they veered off for a lot of characters in CBMs but realized they have to take liberties due to being films that can't cover EVERYTHING. Just look at it for precisely what it is; a non-canon, otherworld version of the character that can still be somewhere in the multiverse.

As long as the character is still the same with core characteristics (which they still can be even with lots of liberties taken), there's no issue.

Then there's some that just suck no matter how we look at it; Here's looking at you Leto Joker.

Avatar image for purpleperson
#18 Posted by PurplePerson (819 posts) - - Show Bio

If it's unfaithful to the extent that it bothers me then yes, it is a valid criticism. Objectively it doesn't necessarily detract from the quality of a film, but anything that makes my subjective experience worse is something I can criticise.

Avatar image for anthp2000
#19 Posted by ANTHP2000 (21892 posts) - - Show Bio

No.

The comicbooks are a baseline, but the adaption to the small or big screen allows for free development of the character with what the writer feels would work.

Avatar image for vertigo-
#20 Posted by Vertigo- (16991 posts) - - Show Bio

If you're going to fundamentally alter a character's attributes, history etc. then don't use that character. You're just abusing the IP.

I agree with this

Online
Avatar image for au_141
#21 Posted by Au_141 (772 posts) - - Show Bio

Why not just use another character otherwise?

Avatar image for skardas_videk
#22 Edited by Skardas_Videk (219 posts) - - Show Bio

If you're going to fundamentally alter a character's attributes, history etc. then don't use that character. You're just abusing the IP.

Best analogy

Avatar image for itouchedtheboat
#23 Posted by ITouchedTheBoat (3227 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends how far it goes. nitpicking small parts like the end of Man of Steel (killing Zod) is unfair, because (although I don't think it's happened) I can imagine Superman having to kill someone if he sees no other option. Batman on the other hand killing people left right and centre is too much and it'd be a fair criticism

Avatar image for king-ragnar
#24 Posted by King-Ragnar (2167 posts) - - Show Bio

Casting a British actress to play the character of an Old Tibetan man is about as unfaithful as you can get and is a valid criticism.

If you're going to completely change the character, use a different one.

Avatar image for metaljimmor
#25 Posted by MetalJimmor (5729 posts) - - Show Bio

If you're going to fundamentally alter a character's attributes, history etc. then don't use that character. You're just abusing the IP.

This is my take on it too. An adaptation is fundamentally supposed to take existing concepts and apply them to a new medium. If you plan to radically alter those concepts then you're not really making an adaptation anymore, you're creating something new and lying about what it is to rope in fans of the character you've changed.

Avatar image for quinlan58
#26 Posted by Quinlan58 (1380 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a valid criticism against it as an adaptation, but not as a movie in general.

Avatar image for deviseddream
#27 Posted by DevisedDream (556 posts) - - Show Bio

Depends on the portrayal of the character. A portrayal could stray from the source material, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. Changes are to be expected in CBMs, problem is when they take it too far or miss the mark completely.

Avatar image for buttersdaman000
#28 Posted by buttersdaman000 (22139 posts) - - Show Bio

Only if you know what you're talking about, and keep consistent with your standards. Also, I don't agree that killing is out of character for Superman in the way DCEU portrayed it. You guys gotta read some of his comics.

Avatar image for amonfire1776
#29 Edited by Amonfire1776 (2582 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes...all film os subjective after all...

Avatar image for arc_conductor
#30 Posted by Arc_Conductor (135 posts) - - Show Bio

@buttersdaman000: Isn't it pretty much the standard that aliens are fair game when comes to Superman taking them out?

Avatar image for buttersdaman000
#31 Posted by buttersdaman000 (22139 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends how far it goes. nitpicking small parts like the end of Man of Steel (killing Zod) is unfair, because (although I don't think it's happened) I can imagine Superman having to kill someone if he sees no other option. Batman on the other hand killing people left right and centre is too much and it'd be a fair criticism

Superman has condoned killing before, and he's killed Zod like 2 times in the comics but it's always retconned out for various reasons. Hell, in Reign of Superman it honestly looks like Superman is trying to kill Cyborg Superman. IIRC, he even remarks that his vibration attack "probably didn't work". He even killed Zod in Superman 2. This narrative that Superman will never kill is remarkably misunderstood.

Batman on the other hand....I understand the criticism, especially since it was so egregious in BvS

Avatar image for buttersdaman000
#32 Posted by buttersdaman000 (22139 posts) - - Show Bio

@buttersdaman000: Isn't it pretty much the standard that aliens are fair game when comes to Superman taking them out?

No, I don't think so.

Avatar image for DeathandGrim2
#33 Posted by DeathandGrim (4617 posts) - - Show Bio

For judging the film as a standalone product, absolutely not unless the film demands the viewer fill in gaps of character development with outside knowledge of said character

For judging the film as an adaptation, I'd say yes. But it'd have to be far off base not just a little.

Avatar image for johncena69swag
#34 Posted by JohnCena69swag (3481 posts) - - Show Bio

Sure. A lot of people watch these movies because they already like the character. The movie can still be good but its a really shitty move to create your own character and then paint over it with a well known ip just because it will sell better.

Avatar image for deathstroke512
#35 Posted by deathstroke512 (2281 posts) - - Show Bio

Let's see when a large majority of mcu villains and especially Thanos are getting criticized.

Avatar image for mazahs117
#36 Posted by MAZAHS117 (11424 posts) - - Show Bio

No, because movies aren't canon to the source material of comics, and as such they should be free to experiment with the material and characters to see if they can find a version that works for them. Like Nolans Bane, despite Nolan being noted as not liking gimicky villains like Bane, he remade the character into something he could get behind... and aside the voice, everyone is happy we can now forget that other Bane :(

Pretty much where I’m at with this topic.