A top Hollywood screenwriter has criticised the "depressing" scenes of large-scale urban destruction that are becoming increasingly prevalent in blockbuster films.
In last year’s Avengers Assemble and this summer’s Star Trek and Man of Steel movies, there are numerous CGI-driven scenes in which huge areas are razed to the ground.
Zack Stentz, who co-wrote the comic book adaptations Thor and X-Men: First Class, as well as the television series Fringe, wrote in the Hollywood Reporter that film industry executives are attempting to solve storytelling problems “with rubble”.
“Hollywood seems only interested in taking the collected talents of screenwriters, directors, animators, and previsualization artists and using it to… blow stuff up,” he wrote.
He cited G.I. Joe: Retaliation, in which London gets destroyed, and Man of Steel, in which “Krypton, Smallville and Metropolis go boom”.
Even comedies such as This Is The End and The World’s End are “playing Armageddon for laughs”.
Stentz said that part of the problem is audience tastes, as films with such little regard as to the human cost of such destruction earn hundreds of millions of pounds at the box office.
“Summer after summer, American and global audiences have been rewarding bloated, thinly told movies where stuff blows up real good.”
He claimed that after the September 11 attacks, it was predicted that audiences would reject the “light-hearted” ruination of city environments, but the opposite has proved the case.
Last year, disaster assessment experts at Kinetic Analysis Corporation estimated that the damage caused in Avengers Assemble would cost $160 billion to repair, almost double the price tag of the September 11 tragedy.
But those figures are dwarfed by estimates for the human casualties and physical damage in Man of Steel. Watson Technical Consulting said the damage to both major cities and small towns in the Zack Snyder film would cost $2 trillion.