One of the most prevalent qualities of blockbuster cinema is constant one-upmanship, where each new $200 million dollar behemoth has to up the ante in terms of seemingly endless destruction, brought to you by whatever cutting edge technology best renders skyscrapers crumbling to dust while killing thousands of CG extras. Even though we know that the citywide destructions depicted in pretty much every superhero movie released these days are pieces of fiction and that there isn’t a real human cost to the mayhem, it’s becoming increasingly hard to find guilt-free entertainment value out of such displays of wanton carnage.
One of the most famous examples of this problem is the finale of “Man of Steel,” where the damage that Superman and Zod’s game of extreme tag around downtown Metropolis would have cost the city an estimated $2 trillion in damages. That’s without even mentioning the death toll, which must have been in the millions. PBS Idea Channel must have notice this ongoing trend, so they created a video where host Tom Honeycutt compares the fictional damages of such action scenes in superhero or disaster movies to the financial and human costs of real life disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
This is a fascinating video, mainly because it succinctly illustrates the stunning gap between the ways rebuilding efforts take place in real life vs. the superhero world. Watch the video below.