Is Marvel Cinema?

Cinema is an art form and an extremely complicated and nuanced one. However, do Marvel features fall under this category, or are they a lesser category of movies without the subtlety of respected motion pictures?

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Timur Markowitz

Are all Marvel movies considered to be cinema in its simplest form?

 Argued by many acclaimed and respected directors is the question of whether Marvel movies should be considered actual cinema. Martin Scorsese made comments concerning this topic, stating that Marvel did not qualify for film as an art form. Cinema is an art form and an extremely complicated and nuanced one. However, do Marvel features fall under this category, or are they a lesser category of movies without the subtlety of respected motion pictures?

  Marvel films have large budgets and are extremely popular, but while some do count as true art, a majority of them fall under the category of lesser films. Few Marvel features contain any message apart from “root for Iron Man.” They lack not only nuance, but any semblance of depth. Without any clear purpose, message, or theme, Marvel pictures tend to feel lifeless and meaningless.

  Furthermore, if one was to consider Marvel movies “cinema,” then they’re horrible examples of it.  They tend to lack creativity and ingenuity to the extent that they become inevitably indistinguishable from one another. Additionally, whatever view they present, they tend to be simple or unclear. The opinion shown within a movie does not need to be complicated, it just needs to be there.

  An example of this is The Dark Knight, which has themes of the connection between people and how empathy forms our opinions on them, unaffected by whether we know them personally or not. It is an idealistic theme; the view presented within films does not need to be complicated or ingenuitive, it just needs to be there.

  However, the general theme in Marvel tends to focus around “Good guys win.” While no one is looking towards a movie in which billionaires have flying suits of armor expecting themes that are going to reinvent cinema, one would hope for the bare minimum of creativity.

  What is the bare minimum? Thor: Ragnarok. One of the most popular Marvel pictures, this has a simple theme that resonates with audiences: the strength of brotherhood and family bonds. The single Marvel movie that excels in this category is Black Panther, which presents a theme of more fortunate countries assisting less fortunate ones. This shows that while Marvel movies are capable of displaying complex ideals and messages, it is a choice not to, and this choice is not something that makes these films better.

  Due to the lack of themes and messages in a majority of Marvel films, they lack the components necessary to be considered cinema, and instead are merely meaningless blockbusters.