Editorial: I don’t like Marvel films

Look – just hear me out before you respond in horror. 

As a film student, I’m required to watch films from many different time periods, genres and cinematic universes. However, whenever I’m confronted with watching a Marvel film, I find any way I can to avoid it.

Why? You may be asking, ready to cancel me wherever you can find me on the internet. 

My dislike of Marvel films comes from a place that some may call my “elitist film student viewpoint.” Simply put, I don’t like what the films stand for. 

I can understand why people enjoy films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – exciting fights, characters that may resonate with you and a lush fantasy universe where great power results in great responsibility. However, these films take up far too much of our modern movie landscape. 

At any one time, you can find some sort of “exciting” or “new” Marvel content to watch. There may be a new film in theatres generating millions in the box office, or on Disney+ in some exclusive ‘limited series.’ I believe that this oversaturation shows the sorry state of the film industry in our modern age. 

Believe me, I’ve tried to like the content that Marvel comes out with. I watched the entirety of WandaVision, trying to understand why people connected so much to this universe that they’ll eagerly gobble up whatever Marvel comes out with. However, after watching the final episode and taking a moment to reflect, I felt hollow. 

In my mind, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is comparable to a giant bag of popcorn. In the moment, you enjoy the taste and feel that your hunger has been satisfied. 

However, the food has no nutritional value and you come away feeling guilty. 

This is the essence of Marvel – pretty to look at, easily digestible in the moment, but hollow inside. 

I wish to clarify that I’m not shaming anyone who watches Marvel content and enjoys it. As a fan of Star Wars, I’m aware of the criticism one can garner when they speak on a Disney franchise they enjoy. 

My criticism is more for the Disney Company, which pumps out content so quickly to — no one’s surprise —  make sales. 

Based on this, I ask that people are more aware of the parts of the film industry they are supporting. When you go to the theatre, are you solely seeing big-budget film franchises? What about independent films that have a shorter showing time but are (often more) of a valuable viewing experience?

Without supporting every facet of the film industry, it is my fear that smaller and more independent films will get crushed by mass companies such as Disney. We need to be supporting them just as much as we’re supporting the next “greatest” Marvel film. 

To relate this back to my food analogy – it’s fine to eat popcorn. However, you should also remember to get some salad in there as well. A balanced diet keeps your system (and the film industry) healthy and diverse. 

In a world where the Disney company is slowly consuming every property you’ve ever enjoyed, remember the “little guys” as well. That’s all I ask.

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