As demonstrated with Thor: Love And Thunder, some movie characters can exist in the medium for so long that they eventually change genres. Consider older characters like Batman, Dracula, or even Peter Pan, they’ve all been made and remade countless times since they first hit the silver screen. Some have even gone from serious film leads to comedic spoofs of themselves.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but comparing the Thor that first hit theatres in 2011 with the version fans know today is practically like apples and oranges. A compelling dramatic lead might be the star of the silver screen today, but they could be lampooned tomorrow just as easily.
The Wicked Witch Of The West (Oz The Great And Powerful)
The Wicked Witch of the West is one of the first villains audiences are introduced to at a very early age, and many still have nightmares about Margaret Hamilton’s performance to this day. However, as demonstrated with the previously demonstrated Ripley, there is such a thing as overkill.
Oz the Great and Powerful provided an origin story for the titular Wizard of Oz, but it also reimagined the origins of the Wicked Witch and the results were more than a little over the top. Mila Kunis gave a solid performance, but the visuals tried to mix seductive and scary in a way that came off as somewhat cheesy.
Ellen Ripley (Alien 3)
Although she’s technically a clone of the original and brilliant Ellen Ripley, the version of the character seen in Alien 3 is decidedly not a perfect rendition of one of sci-fi’s greatest heroes. Despite its intentions, it’s a sci-fi/horror movie that tries way too hard to make Ripley stronger than she already is.
The best way to describe Ripley in this film is „overly badass,“ and that’s not an easy thing to do with someone like Ron Perlman in the cast. With her shaved head and Xenomorph DNA, this rendition is overkill in this underwhelming sequel.
Venom is possibly one of the scariest characters in the Marvel universe, yet despite the reception of his solo outing starring Tom Hardy, the sinister Symbiote has gone soft. What should’ve been an unsettling monster movie soon turned into an unconventional bromance that left some scratching their heads.
That all being said, the movie was certainly entertaining for audiences and it was also enjoyable to see him tango with Carnage in the sequel. However, Venom has gone from being one of Spiderman’s most terrifying enemies into something of a monstrous goofball.
Dracula (Dracula Series)
Count Dracula is a timeless fixture in the horror genre. His seductive mannerisms, hypnotic gaze, and long black cape are features that everyone associates with the world’s most famous vampire. The problem with being the most famous of anything in the world is that soon it becomes a cliche.
Dracula is the vampire by which all other vampires are judged, and anytime someone is looking to imitate, mock, or otherwise exploit the stereotype, they typically rely on him. Just look at the Hotel Transylvania series. Sure, certain variations are still scary, but that doesn’t save him from becoming a parody of himself.
Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Like Dracula, Leatherface is an icon of the horror industry. Unlike Dracula, however, Leatherface made his scary to silly switch much quicker than the famous count. Tobe Hooper’s sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre decided to go from gruesome exploitation film to over-the-top horror-comedy with a flick of a switch.
The chainsaw-swinging slasher in the sequel is not nearly as brutal or unhinged as he is in the original, and there are times when he goes from gruesome to goofy at the drop of a hat. That being said, it is still pretty satisfying to see him locked in a chainsaw duel with Dennis Hopper.
Blofeld/Dr. Evil (James Bond/Austin Powers Series)
Blofeld is a very special case, simply due to the parity of the character becoming more recognizable and arguably more successful than the original. Whether they have seen the original 007 series or not, immediate references to Dr. Evil of the Austin Powers franchise will instantly be made.
It’s one thing to be a parity of a character, but it’s another to take their entire identity and turn it into something funny. Everything visually about Blofeld can be found in Dr. Evil. From the gray suit to the scar and the cat, they’re practically inseparable. There’s a reason Christoph Waltz when a different direction with his interpretation of the character.
Bane (Harley Quinn)
Bane gets an honorable mention because while his character in the Harley Quinn animated series might take a visual cue from the comic books and previous Batman cartoons, his voice and motives are a direct representation of Christopher Nolan’s variant from the Dark Knight universe. It’s understandable to see why the creators did this, but it takes away so much from the character.
Bane is more than just a mask musclebound villain. He’s highly intelligent and resourceful, not to mention the fact he’s the man who broke the Bat. This version of the character begins the series as the muscular punching bag for the Legion of Doom, and that over-the-top voice coming out of a luchador’s body just doesn’t fit.
The Blue Falcon (Scoob)
The Blue Falcon might not be the most well-known superhero in the medium, but the version of the character seen in Scoob completely took everything away from the original character to the point where it was almost insulting. In the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Blue Falcon was the straight man to his sidekick Dynomutt’s goofy antics. Switching their personalities might have had good intentions, but it was just one of the many issues this movie had.
Granted, the Blue Falcon in this film is actually the original’s son, but the personality shift is still somewhat of a shock. Even if they wanted a personality swap with Dynomutt, the filmmakers should have gone all the way with the idea and given Dynomutt a more appropriate persona to better offset the silliness of Blue Falcon’s successor.
Batman (The Lego Batman Movie)
Batman shares a similar situation with Dracula, other than the affinity for bats and black capes. The Dark Knight has been around so long that even the most tried-and-true versions of the character eventually venture into cliche territory. However, Batman’s comedic Lego variant uses all the cliches to his benefit for one of the most entertaining versions of the character.
The standard Batman would never behave like his plastic counterpart, but that’s what makes him so funny and part of what makes The Lego Batman Movie great. Batman has run the gauntlet of themes and looks throughout the decade, it’s time he was able to laugh at himself.
Jason Voorhees (Friday The 13th Series)
Jason Voorhees will always be an intimidating figure, however, it’s his environment that’s made him from a masked serial killer to a self-aware horror icon. From Jason Lives onward, the Friday the 13th movies toe the line between meta-humor and parody, and it shows.
Part 6 turned Jason into a zombie, Part 8 brought him to Times Square, and Jason X sent him to outer space and morphed him into a cyborg. He might have a long and decorated career, but Crystal Lake’s resident slasher is the living definition of „Jumping the Shark.“
NEXT: 10 Most Misunderstood Movie Characters (According to Reddit)
Why There’s No Avengers Movie In MCU Phase 5
About The Author