For whatever reason, the snootier subset of cinema enthusiasts tend to look down their noses at the raft of superhero blockbusters that come to multiplexes on an annual basis, as if it’s a bad thing for crowds to enjoy spectacle-driven action designed to put a smile on their face. Admittedly, some of them are vapid and hollow as hell, but others have received just as much critical acclaim as an awards-baiting prestige drama.
It can’t be denied that Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola are two of the most legendary filmmakers to have ever stepped behind a camera, boasting an astonishing back catalogue of all-time classics between them. However, the duo’s repeated comments on comic book adaptations have been dismissed and criticized by countless alumni of the genre, largely because there’s absolutely no harm in populist filmmaking packed with spandex-clad crimefighters.
Jason Momoa has now weighed in with his opinion, and while he admitted that they’re not exactly designed to be high art, he offered a fitting comparison between Hollywood’s superhero obsession and pop music, as well as defending the number of talented artists that work on these projects across every department.
“It’s like how people say that music is poppy and this music is 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.”
Having headlined the highest-grossing DC Comics adaptation in history, with sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom currently in production, Momoa knows a thing or two about how to sneak a broader message into an action-packed extravaganza, especially when he’s admitted in the past he was integral to cracking the stories for Arthur Curry’s adventures.
“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’.”
Like Momoa says, it’s entirely subjective, and nobody’s either right or wrong if they like or dislike the comic book genre. However, blasting something that a lot of people love because you don’t care for it isn’t the most mature way to handle the situation.