Marvel Studios have created a cinematic universe — the MCU — that has not only gone on to become the most successful film franchise of all time, it has also altered the very landscape of cinema. I mean, 12 years ago, the idea of what is essentially a sprawling TV series on the big screen, would’ve sounded ridiculous and implausible. Now, every major studio out there wants a cinematic universe of their own.
However, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, Casino, The Wolf of Wall Street) doesn’t care much for these Marvel movies. In fact, he doesn’t even consider them “cinema.” In an interview with Empire, Scorsese whose upcoming film The Irishman will be dropping on Netflix in November, was asked what he thought of the proliferation of the superhero genre and Marvel movies. To which the filmmaker said:
“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. 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.”
I can’t I fully agree with Martin Scorsese here. Yes, a good chunk of the Marvel movies are just fun theme park rides that give you a rush while you’re watching but don’t stick with you once you exit the hall. Ant-Man 1 & 2, Thor: The Dark World, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange are just a few examples that come to mind. However, there are also plenty of Marvel films that are absolutely brilliant pieces of cinema.
I’m thinking about the likes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man 3 and Black Panther. These aren’t popcorn flicks, they’re action films that also explore human emotion, vulnerabilities, flaws and psychology. Who can forget the brutal final fight in Civil War between Cap, Iron Man and Bucky? Or the PTSD stuff in Iron man 3, which was more a Tony Stark film than an Iron Man one.
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman will drop on Netflix this 27 November.