The Ingenuity of Marvel Movies

Aarya Oswal, Staff Reporter

After the success of Spider-Man No Way Home, the debate on whether superhero films should be called genuine films comes back into conversation again. There is no doubt that big franchises, such as Marvel and Star Wars, are dominating not only the box office, but the film industry itself, nevertheless, the amount of success they earn shouldn’t take away the fact that they are real cinema and not inadequate films.

Martin Scorscese, an Award-winning filmmaker and producer, once commented in an infamous interview with Empire in 2019 that he didn’t think they were true cinema as they’re not for him. To emphasize his points, he wrote for the New York Times in an article explaining why he believed he was correct. Before I go any further however, let me make a disclaimer that I am not belittling Scorsceses’ mastermind in any way, only trying to prove a point.

He argued that first of all, it was a matter of personal interest and temperament, and if he were younger, he may find superhero films more entertaining, but the matter of fact was that he did not. He continued to talk about many different films that were true art made by directors who understood the beauty of storytelling in films. And then he brought up the point that modern film franchises are mostly audience-targeted and/or market-researched and whatnot until they are ready for the public to see them. He isn’t wrong in this sense. Many film franchises use these tactics to make sure they make as much money as they can.

One could argue that Disney’s Star Wars franchise does this – to make movies just for money. However this argument is not very convincing because the money making is up to the studios. The director is usually the one with the creative control on set. (Yes, there are many instances where the studios get involved in the movie making process, but the failure of those movies – such as Spider-Man 3 – is a different story). Superhero films have, over the years, become a genre of their own, just as horror is its own category as well as family films or even holiday films. The directors just do their job in making this specific genre of film true to its own version of storytelling.

Tom Holland, Spider-Man No Way Home star, went out his way to defend comic book movies.

“I’ve made Marvel movies and I’ve also made movies that have been in the conversation in the world of the Oscars, and the only difference, really, is one is much more expensive than the other,” Holland said. “But the way I break down the character, the way the director etches out the arc of the story and characters – it’s all the same, just done on a different scale. So I do think they’re real art.”

And that’s all the difference is. Creatively, the process is the same, and the only difference is financially. 

These films tell stories about many different types of people from different backgrounds which makes it vital that these films are better represented so people have something and someone to look up to. That’s why comics were made in the first place, is it not? 

For someone/something people could look up to and appreciate. That’s all these movies are. Stories with a tad bit more action than normal. If they can make the audience feel something inside as Spider-Man No Way Home did to many fans across the world, (as seen by the success of the film) there’s no reason why it should not be called proper cinema.