Legendary film director Martin Scorsese is about to be eaten alive by an angry horde of Marvel fanboys for saying the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) installments amount to little more than theme park rides that say close to nothing about the human condition.
Speaking with Empire Magazine, the director of such film classics as “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” and “Goodfellas” declared that the Marvel movies are not “cinema.” To those who would say that Scorsese engaged in elitism, the director admitted that he tried to give the movies a fair shot but ultimately determined they conveyed nothing real despite being technically well-made.
“I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” said Scorsese, as reported by The Guardian. “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Martin Scorsese is not alone in his belief about the Marvel movies and is joined by director James Cameron — arguably, one of the highest-grossing blockbuster directors of all-time — who once said the films lack a heart.
“I’m hoping we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon,” Cameron told IndieWire in 2018. “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!”
Cameron cited his upcoming sequel for “Avatar” to demonstrate his point that Marvel movies seem to lack a human characteristic.
“I’ve found myself as a father of five starting to think about what would an ‘Avatar’ story be like if it was a family drama. What if it was ‘The Godfather?'” he said. “It’s a generational family saga. That’s very different than the first film. There’s still the same setting and the same respect for the shock of the new. We still want to show you things that you haven’t even seen or imagined, but the story is very different.”
“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?”
Marvel head Kevin Feige, however, disagrees with the assertion that the MCU is not cinema. In an interview last year, Feige said he’d rather have a solid fanbase than any accolades.
“Maybe it’s easy to dismiss VFX or flying people or spaceships or billion dollar grosses,” Feige said. “I think it is easy to say that you have already been awarded in a certain way. [Alfred] Hitchcock never won best director, so it’s very nice, but it doesn’t mean everything. I would much rather be in a room full of engaged fans.”
While director Steven Spielberg has issued no condemnation of the Marvel franchise, he has lamented the death of cinema with the rise of streaming and may have even worked behind the scenes to help prevent Netflix from earning Academy Award nominations.