Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L Jackson respond to Martin Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel films


Celebrated director Martin Scorsese managed to fuel a controversy when he offered his opinion on Marvel films and called them ‘not cinema’. When he was asked whether he has seen the MCU movies he said, “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.”

The fact that Scorsese does not find superhero films particularly compelling doesn’t come as a surprise but his quote of dismissing them entirely has generated an emotional and defensive backlash. Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L Jackson who are associated with the Marvel films defended the blockbuster franchise. Downey Jr said on The Howard Stern Show, “I didn’t expect it to become what it became and it is this very large multi-headed hydra at this point. I’ve always had other interests. And according to Scorsese, it’s ‘not cinema,’ I gotta take a look at that.” He further added, “In his view - and by the way, there’s a lot to be said for how these genre movies, and I was happy to be part of the problem if there is one - denigrated the art form of cinema. When you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal.”

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On the other hand, Jackson was more forthright. He said, “That’s kind of like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. You know, everybody doesn’t like his stuff either. I mean, we happen to, but everybody doesn’t. There are a lot of Italian-Americans that don’t think he should be making films about them like that. Everybody’s got an opinion, so it’s okay. It’s not going to stop anyone from making movies.”

Marvel directors James Gunn and Joss Whedon have also defended Marvel movies in the wake of the Scoresese’s comments and so does countless other fans. Many fans called Scorsese an ‘elitist’ and dismissed his films as glorification of ‘toxic masculinity’. Take a look at the tweets below:

Marvel films are aimed at pleasing mass audiences and reward loyal fans. They are funny but never offend or alienate audience members; more often than not they are family films that can be watched by kids as well. So it is a little understandable why Scorsese will not care for Marvel films, and who clearly prefers small-scale character studies, something that Marvel is not looking to accomplish.

(Source: YouTube/Twitter)