Martin Scorsese’s previous criticisms of franchise and comic book films have come under fire once again with James Gunn commenting on the matter in a recent interview and now Aquaman star, Jason Momoa, is giving his two cents on the matter as well.
While speaking with “The New York Times“, Momoa shined a much different light on the genre when compared to some of Scorsese’s more pointed criticisms. Momoa said, “It’s like how people say that music is poppy and this music cool. But you know how hard it is just to get your music out there for people to hear? It’s all subjective. I try not to pick on anything. So, yeah, superhero movies are bubble gum, but they’re like Greek mythology: They have good and evil and heartbreaking moments. And, gosh, you’re taking away other art forms if you stop making them. You’re taking away visual effects, you’re taking away what you can do with makeup.”
Momoa’s comments actually make a lot of sense, especially when he says a lot of this stuff is all subjective. Comic book films aren’t trying to be Taxi Driver and they are mostly popcorn entertainment but they do have big sweeping moments that elevate them to a more epic scale. The whole concept of good vs. evil, which has been central in so much of our storytelling, can be done very well in comic book films if they are handled correctly. Momoa goes on to say that that genre has afforded him the ability to tell stories that he wants to tell:
“I’m not someone who gets hired to play in a lot of cinema, but by being able to do a superhero movie, I can make a movie about something I really care about. I have a vision for the whole totality of Aquaman. There are environmental issues that I get to put into it. So while you’re going, ‘Oh yeah, it’s just this popcorn movie,’ I’m like, ‘Well, I get to open people’s eyes to things that are important to me.”
Martin Scorsese, who is considered by many to be one of the best filmmakers of all time, made comments that went viral back in 2019 that seemed to demean comic book films as a whole. Many people took his one comment about them not being cinema and ran with it as if he was saying that were of lesser quality compared to other films and genres. Scorsese walked back a bit on some of his criticisms after his initial comments by saying comic book films, Marvel films, in particular, had elements in them that defined cinema but said there was no “revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger.”
You’ll find many people that defend the comic book genre and others that firmly agree with what Scorsese has said in the past. I think these factions have split equally because defenders of both aren’t wrong. There are some comic book films that lack some of the qualities that Scorsese speaks of while others definitely hit that mark. Some are made for popcorn entertainment while others are made to explore bigger ideas. The great thing about loving movies is that there is room for both and we can all be equally entertained and moved by any we choose to watch.
What are YOUR thoughts on Jason Momoa’s comments?