Superhero films dominate the modern cinema landscape, with 6 of last year’s top 10 highest-grossing films domestically coming courtesy of comic book adaptations such as Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. Despite their ability to rake in huge numbers at the box office, however, actress/director Jodie Foster recently declared that the genre is “ruining” the industry altogether. Further, she stated her belief that they’re destroying the “viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world.”
The filmmaker’s controversial statement caught the attention of an individual behind another entry on the list stated above. Thus, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn took to his Twitter to weigh in on Foster’s comments.
1. I think Foster looks at film in an old-fashioned way where spectacle film can’t be thought-provoking. It’s often true but not always. Her belief system is pretty common and isn’t totally without basis. https://t.co/IgthsjsSYm
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 2, 2018
Gunn elected to elaborate specifically on Foster’s point that superhero films had transformed movies into simple “theme parks,” intentionally presented as “bad content” purely to appeal to movie-going masses. Gunn’s rebuttal declared that while the filmmaker’s opinion wasn’t “without basis,” it isn’t always true.
Backing up Gunn’s perspective are the Rotten Tomatoes scores for the majority of the biggest comic book films of 2017. The movie review aggregator doesn’t hold back on giving superhero film’s negative scores, as shown by low percentages for movies such as Justice League and Suicide Squad. However, it also currently has super-high scores for Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Wonder Woman, Thor: Ragnarok — and Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Not only are the movies “certified fresh,” they all rank above the 90 percentile.
The critical praise shows that the bulk of superhero blockbusters aren’t only appealing to general audiences commercially, but also to reviewers critically, and the industry shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. The 2018 slate for comic book adaptations is a robust one with numerous superheroes set to either return or debut on both the small and silver screens.
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