According to Mel Gibson, Marvel movies are, apparently, insanely violent films. During an interview with The Washington Post, the decades-long Hollywood actor criticized the violence in Marvel films as being “without consequence”.
“To talk about the violence question, look at any Marvel movie. They’re more violent than anything that I’ve done, but [in my movies,] you give a sh** about the characters, which makes it matter more. That’s all I’ll say.”
This isn’t the first time Mel Gibson has expressed his distaste for superhero properties. Earlier this year, he called Warner Bros. Batman v. Superman a “piece of shit”. Ouch. Now, if you’ve seen most of Mel Gibson’s films, as well as any of Marvel’s, his statement that Marvel movies are more violent than anything that he’s put out immediately comes off as patently absurd. In Lethal Weapon, his character Riggs Murtagh guns down scores of bad guys and later gets brutally shock-tortured in the same film. Apocalypto features scenes of human sacrifice, innocent villages being slaughtered, and the fall of the entire Mayan civilization. We don’t even have to explain Passion of the Christ (Gibson’s directorial debut) which is a straight up two hour torture-fest.
Is there violence in modern superhero films? Yes, obviously. But that violence is almost universally bloodless and gore-free (the R-rated Deadpool notwithstanding), and recently we’ve begun to these same movies begin to question and condemn these superheroes for the damage they leave behind when battling world-ending threats (although that is also something that I feel to be pretty ludicrous, but that’s a whole other topic in and of itself).
That being said, one can at least understand what he’s trying to get at here. Action sequences in superhero movies often feature plenty of humor and jokes to make light of all the violence that’s happening, something that I hope can be toned down in the future. And though many of Gibson’s are, let’s be honest, WAY more violent that ANYTHING that Marvel has put out, there is usually a purpose and clear consequences to that violence (even the Lethal Weapon series, believe it or not) which is helmed by an actor/filmmaker who has proven that he understands the value of stakes and story structure.
I just hope he finds it in his heart to not be so judgmental of modern superhero films and try to enjoy the show.