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Monday, February 27, 2017

Blankman v. Meteor Man: Clash of the Black Superhero Parodies Part 2

To anyone out there, 'sup. Here is part 2 of the clash of these movies.

Arsenal/Gadgets/Powers
Next up is whose arsenal was cooler. I’m talking about the powers, the gadgets, and overall look of the heroes. All Meteor Man had was his powers and his costume which was fine. He had the usual superpowers like strength, speed, flight, and x-ray vision. He could also talk to dogs, he had the super green thumb, and he had telekinetic powers. As for Blankman, he created a lot of gadgets to use. He also created a chemical that could make his clothes and costume bulletproof. He even had a hideaway in an abandoned subway. Then, there was J-5, his trusty robot/washing machine. That thing went out with a bang!
When it comes to who had the better arsenal, I’m going for a tie on this one. It’s my list, after all. Most of Blankman’s gadgets were kind of cool. Those automatic nunchukus were kind of cool. Plus, the “Blank Station” looked pretty swanky especially with that motorcycle. As for Jeff, He had the powers of Superman as well as a couple of weird, Silver-Age ones.  I also liked his costume a little better too. Hey, there’s a lot of good to like with both, so it’s a tie for this section.

The Meteor Man – 3
Blankman – 2


Comedy
Next up is one of the most important things a comedy movie must have: good comedy. Do these movies make me laugh or make me cringe? They both go for low-brow humor though Blankman goes for it more. Robert Townsend, the director and star of The Meteor Man, is (or was, is he directing anymore?) known for getting funny moments into his movies. One of my favorite movies from him is actually The Five Heartbeats, a good drama with some pretty funny moments sprinkled in. Also look for a few comedians in different roles like Sinbad and Bill Cosby.  With Blankman, we had two veterans from In Living Color (Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier), Jason Alexander, and other bringing the laughs.

Both movies have their amounts of laugh-out loud moments. Blankman’s is much more over-the-top. The movie is like an overlong spoof from In Living Color at times. All we needed was a couple more Wayans brothers and Jim Carrey to show up! The comedy with The Meteor Man wasn’t as over-the-top. I’m saying that even though the hero can do some pretty wacky stuff with his powers. A lot of the comedy comes from his use of his powers. You’d also get other characters bring the laughs like Jeff’s parents, Sinbad, and Bill Cosby who was playing a vagrant with no lines. Cosby probably wishes he was that vagrant now since… eh, never mind.
I don't know how folk would react to a scene like this today. It's still freakin' hilarious though.

When it comes which comedy I liked better, I got to go with The Meteor Man on this one. A lot of the folk cracked me up in it especially James Earl Jones. Plus, seeing Jeff get into trouble with his powers was pretty funny. You had a couple of places where the comedy didn’t hit but it was only a couple. As for Blankman, there were funny moments. Unfortunately, there were a few places where the humor didn’t work for me.

The Meteor Man – 4
Blankman – 2


Story/Overall film
Finally, it’s time to see how all of those different elements played into the overall story and film. Both films have their pros. They both try to set out to do something interesting. Blankman doesn’t do as much as Meteor Man but it tries to be the ultimate spoof film. I can say that it try to do the best in spoofing its inspiration, the 1960's Batman show. The Meteor Man does that but it also tries to do more. It tries to get a message across about taking a stand for yourself and we see that in Jeff’s character throughout the movie.  Most comic book stories try to teach a moral and Townsend tried to follow suit with that.

Unfortunately, these movies have problems. There’s a reason critics didn’t rate them well and I can’t blame them either.

  • The Meteor Man starts out well and sets up certain things well. It does start to get pretty spotty in the middle and towards the end. It kind of felt like the movie was in fast-forward most of the time. I heard that there were a couple of scenes left out of the movie. It also felt like there was too much going on in those 100 minutes especially in the middle part. The ending was also a bit of a weird one for me. It was like they ran out of room for a proper ending.
  • Blankman also starts out well but it does get a little spotty in places. It is helped by telling a simpler story but there are times where it can be a bit of a chore to watch. As I said before, there are times where Blankman himself can be a little too much to take. Hey, at least Darryl gets to make out with Robin Givens at the end. It’s unfortunate he had to spaz out or whatever was going on with that. Get a room, man!

Overall, I’m going with The Meteor Man on this one. I just felt that the movie was trying to do more than just spoof Superman. The movie had a message to tell and while it wasn’t all that good, I think the message was clear. At the end of the day, Blankman is just a spoof film that at least has an really inept guy try to do right. If had been just a little better, this battle might have ended differently.

The Meteor Man – 5
Blankman – 2

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At the end of the day, it’s The Meteor Man that gets the ultimate win for me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like Blankman. For what it is, Blankman is fine. I just think The Meteor Man just worked better for me. Heck, both movies showed a somewhat original black superhero, so they should be remembered for that even if they aren’t good. At least we are getting better superhero properties these days especially ones involving black superheroes. I’m not one who just looks for race when concerning superheroes but it is cool seeing one of us be the hero. It’s even better when it’s a well-written character. Well, I’m outta here. Peace, God Bless, pick up the pieces, and play that funky music!

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