Review: Monotony of Doom—Zhang Yimou's "Shadow"

This last week in April has seen, with Avengers: Endgame and the Battle of Winterfell episode of Game of Thrones, the culmination on the largest scale possible in our fractured culture of a long-simmering trend in American action filmmaking away from color in favor of a grim, murky, monochrome darkness. The TV show was immediately criticized for being nigh unwatchable on a normal television, its images being so dark and cluttered with digital artifacts, while the Marvel movie chose to stage its splash page final battle, the climax of a decade of franchise-building, not as a triumph of four-color majesty but as a dull smear of muddy gray. I’m not sure where exactly the trend started, it might have been when Tim Burton’s shadowy Batman movies outpaced Warren Beatty’s lively Dick Tracy, or it might have been when the pseudo-realism of Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan
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