If there's one thing Mel Gibson movies are known for, it's their depiction of violence. Several of his films showcase some brutal action alongside a clarity that always lets the audience know what's going on amid the chaos. If nothing else, Gibson knows a thing or two about violence in movies, and he doesn't have a high opinion regarding how it's done in modern blockbusters. In fact, he singled out Marvel movies in a recent interview in which he claimed that they were more violent than anything he's ever done.
In an interview with the Washington Post about his new film Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson discussed the violence in his movies and cinema in general. Gibson believes that violence has to almost be a "sporting event" and "ordered chaos." He laments that modern films "use violence without conscience" and primarily used Marvel films as an example of how to do violence poorly. In typical Gibson fashion, he doesn't really mince words about it.
Now, I think what Gibson is saying here is not a critique of an over indulgence in violence like other comic book movie critics, but that Marvel just throws violence on the screen with no real method. In that regard he's kind of right. You could single out a few films in the MCU that just have things exploding because that's what we've come to expect from these movies. Like he says in the interview, that's chaos, not necessarily ordered chaos.
Where he goes wrong, though, is where he states that a) Marvel films are more violent than his own and b) that we actually don't give a shit about these characters. I think it's more accurate to say that Mel Gibson doesn't give care about these characters. If you're looking at it on paper, then yes, a movie where a city falls from the sky is more violent than a movie with a single battle from World War II. But the devil is in the details, and Marvel's depiction of violence is nowhere near as brutal as Gibson's. Marvel paints with broad strokes, and I don't think that's an inherently bad way of depicting violence when you're movies are marketing to wide audiences.
As for the character aspect, I think most MCU fans would disagree with Mel Gibson. The characters are the reason people keep coming back to the theater. The Avengers wouldn't be the fifth highest-grossing film in the world if people didn't like seeing these superheroes interact with each other. There are a lot of criticisms you can make about the MCU (the villain problem, too similar visual tone per movie, lack of individual voice for each film, too much banter, bad soundtracks etc.), but the characters have always been a positive aspect.
What do you all think? Does Mel Gibson have a point, is he off base, or do individuals just have individual opinions? Sound off in the comments below.
Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.
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