No, not the movie. Not even the original in which a rather overweight and obviously phoning it in John Wayne starred with a really annoying kid.
Instead, we are looking at reboots. Franchises that have hit the window hard enough to flatten themselves into shit ticket levels of thinness but which are magically resucitated because the studios noticed you still had 10 bucks in your pocket and you will pay mondo money to see anything bat themed.
But every last reboot is called gritty. Why? Hell, whenever McDonalds reintroduces the McRib, gritty is not exactly a word they use in the adverts, partially because you don’t want sandy food but mostly because it reminds you that the McRib is a truly shitty product. But in movies …..
When Daniel Craig became Bond, it was hailed as a gritty reboot with 1000% more testicle smashing action. Hello! This is freaking James Bond here! A suave sex maniac who kills people nastily or with ridiculous (DARPA approved) gadgets for his damned living while spouting one liners that Duke Nukem would be ashamed to speak. How the hell are you going to grit that up, apart from never, ever mentioning George Lazenby in a frilled shirt?
Well, after literally microseconds of thought, the reason is clear. Movies are, and have been since their invention, a way of escaping your life for a while.
In the 30’s and 40s’ you’d pony up your 5 cent admission to be distracted from the war or the prospect of boiled shoe soup. In the 50’s and 60’s - hey a nickel or a dime was a cheap price to pay to forget for an hour or so that you didn’t know if the theater was going to vanish in a ball of nuclear hellfire before the third reel, or if your all expenses paid government sponsored tour of exotic Korea or Vietnam would be waiting for you when you got home.
Now? Your most pressing concern is trying to memorize the thousand fake names for coffee at Starbucks or whining that the mean TSA man took your nail clippers while fondling your genitals. Those TSA guys are true multitaskers. The only grit you ever get in your life is eating a sandwich on the beach. Or from Subway, but that is a seperate post.
The movie industry adapted to fill your needs. People need conflict and hardship. It validates them. If life doesn’t provide it, entertainment has to. For much of history, most people had lives so shitty that they didn’t need grit. They needed escapism from their entertainment. Bawdy songs, jokes, puns, the promise of an effortlessly wonderful life after death to make up for your horrific existance now - all distracted you from just how crap your life was.
We have to wind back a couple of thousand years to find something vaguely comparable to now. A population who were more or less at peace, with plenty to eat, no real enemies and even the basics of running water, hygiene and sanitation.
They gave us gladiator combat and the concept of bread and circuses.
Something to think on.