Last February, Marvel destroyed all their carefully set precedents by making a movie that the fans actually wanted to see: Deadpool. Deadpool was one of those movies that you had to be 18 to watch but 16 to fully appreciate. It features, to quote the makers, “God’s perfect idiot, A hot chick, A British villain, The comic relief, A moody teen, A CGI character, A gratuitous cameo,” and, if I might add, absolutely zero reverence for anything at all, ever. Deadpool is one of those quintessential teenage flicks – those movies where the theaters are packed with 16-year-olds with popcorn and the girls who will date them for the next three months. I doubt these are things which contribute to adult enjoyment of films, but as a teenager, there’s nothing more fun than photobombing some kid trying to take a selfie for his Snapchat in the middle of the movie.
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Another of the really obvious teenager movies was the Batman vs. Superman movie, a movie so utterly immemorable that I have forgotten the actual name of the movie. We watched the movie very soon after its release, and back when the debate was still on about whether it was Batman or Superman who would ultimately win. Before the movie began, there were 300 hyperactive teenagers crammed into a cinema shouting about who they thought would win. Amid all the chants of “Batman!” and “Superman!”, there was someone – some brave soul – with a piercing voice who shouted “Deadpool!”, and this is the thing – it had the whole theater in stitches. It’s not a part of your standard movie-going experience (unless you happen to be a Salman Khan fan) because if you tried to pass comments at 120dB during Inception, the ushers would ask you politely but firmly to leave the theater.
Curiously, the one franchise that you would most expect teenagers to be interested in, the Fast and Furious series, is probably one of the least enjoyable movies to watch in a theater. I was feeling a rather marked hatred towards my brain cells the other day, so I agreed to watch Fast and Furious 8 with my friends in the theaters. Needless to say, it was a movie that would have made our Hollywood heroes of the mid-90s proud. It featured several pumped-up chase sequences and Dominic Toretto doing things with a car that left physics weeping quietly in a corner. And you couldn’t even hoot at the screen. Every time you tried, someone would look at you as though you were in the process of slowly murdering their children. Not my idea of fun, to tell you the truth.
Now, I’m not saying that intelligent movies are somehow worse than the brain-dead superhero movies that are released throughout the summer. All I’m saying is that given a choice between watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and, say, Revenant in theaters, I would always go for the former. Not because I don’t much enjoy watching Leonardo DiCaprio crawl through snow for two hours (spoiler: I don’t), but because honestly, a teenager movie is just so much more fun.