Director John Landis Calls the Marvel Cinematic Universe a Boring, Interchangeable, CGI Mess

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 - 11:33AM
Comic Book Movies
Marvel
Wonder Woman
Yes
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 - 11:33AM
Director John Landis Calls the Marvel Cinematic Universe a Boring, Interchangeable, CGI Mess
Image credit: Marvel Studios
John Landis is not afraid of making Kevin Feige cry. In a recent interview, the director of Blues Brothers, Animal House, and An American Werewolf in London (the good one, not the remake) didn't mince words when it came to the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

Opening quote
"I'm just... truthfully, I'm bored shitless with the Marvel Universe now. All the superhero movies tend to be interchangeable, you always have these mass destruction of cities and huge computer-generated extravaganzas to the point where you could take a reel from any of the Marvel superhero movies and put it any of the others and nobody would notice. They're very well-made, it's just they're the same thing over and over again."
Closing quote


While Landis isn't exactly trying to spare the feelings of the Mighty Marvel Movie Machine's operators, he does kind of have a point. After all, what is Doctor Strange but a magical remake of Iron Man? Is there anything in, say, Age of Ultron that sets it apart from the first Avengers movie in a meaningful way? At the same time, it's easy for Marvel to dismiss this criticism as little more than jealousy. As Landis points out, people do keep watching Marvel movies, so the studio must have something right.

Taking that a step further, it would be wrong to label all movies in the MCU as destruction-filled CGI messes. Captain America: Civil War is the shining example here: a movie that's built on a very personal character story with a strong political debate at its core. It's clear that, in the right situations, Marvel is willing to give us something "off-formula."



The good news is that, at present, Marvel does seem to be working to give its directors more creative freedom. While movies like Thor: The Dark World and Age of Ultron suffer from Marvel's attempts to homogenize their every movie, it seems that Taika Waititi is being given free reign to do something a little less traditional with Thor: Ragnarok. Assuming that Civil War is the start of a new trend, we should be getting more character-driven stories for movies that, unlike Doctor Strange, are about heroes who are already very prominent in the public consciousness.

This can't come soon enough, as Marvel's facing more competition than ever before. Landis points out that DC's Wonder Woman succeeds in large part because that movie doesn't blow too much stuff up, and the same can be said for the critically acclaimed Logan, which tells a smaller story without any huge, city-wide catastrophe. Hopefully, we'll continue to get superhero movies that focus more on character and emotion, rather than big, impressive CGI explosions.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Comic Book Movies
Marvel
Wonder Woman
No
Yes