As reported by The Daily Wire, noted filmmaker James Cameron went on a rant against the superhero film genre in a recent interview with IndieWire.
After complaining about the upcoming Marvel Entertainment film Avengers: Infinity War, Cameron whined, “Enough already!”
He said, “I’m hoping we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon.”
Cameron continued, “It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hypergonadal males (men who produce too much testosterone) without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!”
Translated, he sees men standing up and protecting innocent people as “toxic masculinity.”
He added, “It’s a continuation of the same characters … but what happens when warriors who are willing to go on suicide charges and leap off cliffs, what happens when they grow up and have their own kids?”
Cameron opined that the the Marvel Cinematic Universe lacked “heart” and an emphasis “on family.”
While no one can deny Cameron’s directing abilities, there are several problems with this sentiment.
First of all, the Titanic director is a little bit of a hypocrite. Cameron was on board to direct the first Spider-Man film when the rights were with Cannon Films. The deal fell through and the director’s chair eventually went to Sam Raimi via Sony Pictures. That being said, it comes off slightly bitter that he would go after a franchise that he almost launched.
Another note: Cameron started The Terminator franchise, which repeatedly recycles the same characters and premises. More recently, he’s also planning on launching his derivative film Avatar into a potential five-chapter franchise. While neither is at the scope of the MCU, this is a somewhat disingenuous argument.
Additionally, Cameron clearly has not seen any of the films if he whines that they have no “heart.” While some Marvel movies have been lackluster, many have struck a cord with the viewers. Iron Man is about a man struggling with his family legacy. The Avengers is about a group of remarkable people coming together to fight a common threat. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is about a man from the past trying to live in the present. Spider-Man Homecoming is a young man’s coming-of-age story.
Third, what makes audiences continually return to the MCU is the fact that we can watch our favorite character grow. To say that they don’t, again, is to be ignorant of the franchise. Each character has grown with each step and it is culminating with Avengers: Infinity War, opening this Friday.
This elitist attitude that James Cameron and several others in the Hollywood bubble have taken, that they know better than their consumers when it comes to “art” and “storytelling,” is why audiences run to the superhero movies. They can watch characters that they connect with and empathize with and engage in extraordinary circumstances while not being preached at during the experience.