Marvel Now Has Another Defender As Bruce Campbell Blasts Martin Scorsese

Avengers: Endgame

Another day, another celebrity sharing their opinion on Martin Scorsese’s comments that Marvel movies aren’t cinema.

The latest defender is longtime B-movie star Bruce Campbell. While speaking with fans at the Spooky Empire horror convention, Campbell didn’t hold back in calling out Scorsese. Not only does he feel the director’s comments are harmful to the industry in general, but he also thinks he’s a hypocrite when it comes to criticizing movies with special effects.

“[Scorsese] was ragging on Marvel movies, right? Martin Scorsese is one of our greatest filmmakers, so when he says stuff like that, it hurts. Because it’s not like movies like that are easy to make, and it’s not like The Irishman doesn’t have digital effects out the ass. [The Irishman has] more digital effects than any Marvel movie, I can tell you right now. To get Robert De Niro to go from nine to 108, that’s a lot of work, that’s a lot of digital work. So [Scorsese]’s kind of full of crap in that respect.”

It’s a bit hard to analyze these comments properly without having been in the room with Campbell because the last part is quite ridiculous. Yes, The Irishman has visual effects due to the de-aging of Robert De Niro’s character. But to suggest there are more digital effects in The Irishman than any Avengers movie is ludicrous.

It’s definitely a rant by Campbell, who was clearly playing it up for an audience full of fanboys of genre flicks. And it didn’t end there. The Evil Dead star went on to say that all movies are fiction, whether they’re about gangsters or superheroes and one shouldn’t be held in higher regard than the other.

“Every movie is just as fake as the other one. Nothing is real. Guess what? You’re doing a real story about Erin Brockovich, that’s not even what Erin Brockovich looks like! It’s not a real story, even though they say it’s a real story, so nobody gets to play, ‘I am a filmmaker, you make silly Marvel movies!’ No, they’re all bullsh-t. Every single bit of every movie is bullsh-t. Good bullsh-t, lousy bullsh-t, boring bullsh-t, they’re all as fake as you can get.”

You can never accuse Campbell of being subtle.

When it comes to Marvel or Star Wars or any other popular IP, fans have always felt a certain level of insecurity when the thing they love is belittled. They feel a sense of ownership to these franchises that I’ve never quite understood.

For his part, Scorsese offered a rebuttal for his original comments. In an Op-Ed in The New York Times, he made it a point to praise the filmmakers behind superhero movies, but also says that they’re just not for him. His main argument against Marvel and superhero movies in general is a lack of stakes.

“What’s not there is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger. Nothing is at risk,” said Scorsese.

A perfect Marvel movie to cite is Captain America: Civil War. The famous airport fight is thrilling and cool to look at, but at the end of the day, it’s good guys fighting other good guys. There’s no stakes to the scene until the very end when War Machine falls from the sky nearly dying.

But the end of the movie is full of revelations, emotions and risk. Tony Stark discovers that the Winter Soldier killed his parents and that Steve Rogers knew and didn’t tell him. It’s one of the most powerful scenes in the entire MCU and sets up a brutal fight between the three characters that fractures the Avengers. And without that conflict, the scenes between Stark and Rogers in Avengers: Endgame would lack the same emotional impact.

I think what Scorsese fails to articulate in his Op-Ed is that it’s getting harder and harder for mid-sized films or just original ideas to get made these days. Of the 20 highest domestic-grossing releases of 2019, only two were not a sequel, remake or in someway based on a pre-existing property (Us and Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood).

It’s just the state of the industry at this moment. Audiences want some idea of what they’re getting into when they go to the theater and they know Disney movies and comic book movies.