American filmmaker John Landis candidly reveals that while he did immensely enjoy himself with Wonder Woman, he is bored with the MCU. The director whose career spans decades has directed films like National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers, ¡Three Amigos!, Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop III. He also helmed Michael Jackson’s 14-minute Thriller music video, which has since then become one of the most iconic music videos of all time.
DC’s Wonder Woman is no doubt one of the most successful films that have emerged from the superhero/comic book movie genre this year. It continues to break DCEU box-office records and has won both fans and critics for its clever storytelling, endearing characters, and cool action set-pieces. More so, it is the course corrector that the DC Extended Universe has long been waiting for since launching Warner Bros.’ own superhero cinematic universe.
During an interview with entertainment.ie, Landis did not mince words in regard to what he thinks about the successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. His main gripe of the franchise? He thinks that Marvel movies just always recycle the same city-saving climactic scenes over and over again:
“I’m just… truthfully, I’m bored shitless with the Marvel Universe now. All the superhero movies tend to be interchangeable, you always have these mass destruction of cities and huge computer-generated extravaganzas to the point where you could take a reel from any of the Marvel superhero movies and put it any of the others and nobody would notice. They’re very well-made, it’s just they’re the same thing over and over again. But, I don’t know, people are showing up. One of the reasons Wonder Woman has been received so well by the critics is that it doesn’t destroy cities! (laughs) Even the superhero stuff is on a very human scale, it’s the gods! We’re not seeing skyscrapers tumbling! (laughs).”
Landis’ criticism of the MCU is not without basis. In his defense, the civilization destruction has been a recurring theme for most of their movies, in fact, it has even spawned a lot of memes online. But while Marvel likes their climactic scenes in the middle of a bustling city to project a dire situation that only their superheroes can save, one could argue that they have been great in keeping things interesting in terms of storytelling.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has centered around familial ties, Captain America: Winter Soldier is a political thriller, Ant-Man is a heist film, and Doctor Strange — despite its similarities with the first Iron Man, opens up the door to the mystical side of the MCU. Moving forward, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a John Hughes-vibed superhero flick, while Black Panther melds the genre with straight-up politics. In retrospect, every single film in the shared universe has its own flavor, but for it to be cleverly woven together, it needs to somehow have some uniformity to it.
Despite the flaws that the MCU has, there is no denying that it is the model (for both business and creative sides of movie making) that a lot of other Hollywood studios are trying to replicate. Marvel Studios was able to build a massive empire at the brink of total bankruptcy and has since consistently put up movies that have put it on top when it comes to moviemaking.