MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Film Pulse Score: 6.5/10
The phenomenon of San Diego’s Comic-con has grown to astronomic levels in both attendance and exhibition since it’s inception in 1970. It has morphed into something much more than just a gathering of comic book nerds, packed into a hotel conference room. Comic-Con encompasses all things pop culture, be it comics, movies, games, or anything else people can geek out over. Famed director Morgan Spurlock decided to chronicle the 2010 con, and follow a select few to document their reasons for being there, and their experience.
In addition to following around a genuine, and interesting cast of characters, Spurlock sprinkles in some interviews with some of the con’s most prolific figures including Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, Seth Rogan, and many more. Having these people give their thoughts and anecdotes about the con was a nice touch, and added some flavor to the film.
The real meat of the documentary, however, is with the interesting group of central characters. We see two aspiring artists, a costume designer, a collector, a comic book dealer, and a young couple in love. All of the characters have different reasons for being there, and yet they all share the same passion for comics, movies, and games. The characters were varied enough to keep things interesting, and they were all very likable people. In addition to learning about who these people are, and their reasons for attending Comic-Con, we learn that there’s much more to the con than to simply see famous people and buy memorabilia. People use Comic-con as an opportunity to showcase their talents, and hopefully further their careers.
One of the other important topics discussed in this documentary is the concept of geek culture, the rise of geek coolness, and the commercialization of Comic-Con. As most of us know, many of the things that were considered nerdy when we were kids, are actually cool now, and as a result, many companies are cashing in. When Comic-Con began, it was just a small convention focusing on comics, however now, comics take a backseat to all the other stuff going on in the con. Nowadays, many of the people that attend, don’t even know, or particularly care about comics. This is upsetting to comic book fans, especially since the industry has been suffering for years.
Although Comic-Con Episode IV may not break new ground in the documentary genre, it does give people an inside look at one of the biggest pop culture events of the year. As stated in the film, everyone can find something to love about Comic-Con, and the same can be said about the film itself. It’s a light and enjoyable film, that’s certainly worth a watch, even if you aren’t a die hard comic fan.