Kevin Smith Responds To Martin Scorsese's Superhero Movie Critiques

Martin Scorsese has seen pushback for his superhero movie critiques, though fellow filmmaker Kevin Smith has his own thoughts on the matter. Scorsese is best known for his work in the gangster drama, having sat at the helm for the likes of Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New YorkThe Departed and The Irishman. The Oscar-winning filmmaker is also known for his frequent collaborations with Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, who have worked with him on the likes of Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, The Aviator, Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Despite receiving acclaim for his films, Scorsese came under fire in 2019 for his outspoken superhero movie critiques, comparing them to amusement park rides and feeling they don't have much value for cinema. Several filmmakers within the genre have spoken out against Scorsese, defending their work in the field and believing him to be undervaluing their worth. Though a few years past his initial comments, another major name is sharing their thoughts on Scorsese's superhero movie critiques.


Related: Why The Fake War Between Martin Scorsese & Marvel Is So Dumb

In a recent interview with Forbes, Kevin Smith reacted to Martin Scorsese's superhero movie critiques. The Clerks III director took a very middle approach to the situation, noting that it really comes down to the Oscar winner coming from a different time period where it wasn't popular and that journalists should stop asking filmmakers those kinds of questions. See what Smith said below:

"Oftentimes those directors, it seems, have been in situations, were doing junkets or an interview situation, and it's a question that gets thrown in there, and it's not like them going, 'Get me the New York Times! I want to tell somebody how I feel about comic book movies.' It's also an adjacent to a zillion other questions that are being asked, but in our culture, in our very tribal culture, somebody like Martin Scorsese referring to comic book movies as amusement parks and theme park rides gets a bunch of people who have made comic book movies their lives for the last 10 years very unhappy. You're asking a guy who made Goodfellas what he thinks about [Spider-Man], what do you think you're going to get? He's a very serious filmmaker, and he's a man who's of a certain age and stuck in his ways. You should not be surprised that's his response. For every old filmmaker who's like, 'I don't get it,' there's a bunch of young filmmakers who are like, 'I get it and I want to do it.' We don't have to ostracize the people that maybe don't get or aren't into the same movies we are."

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Smith becomes the latest major filmmaker to express an appreciation for Scorsese's superhero movie critiques. Original Superman director Richard Donner shared in late 2020 that he could see why the Oscar winner and others would feel critical of the comic book movie genre for the sheer over-saturation of the field, though defended that "every once in a while" a "wonderful story" can come from the genre. Famed DC Extended Universe director Zack Snyder also defended Scorsese's superhero critiques, calling the director "a genius" and joking that he wasn't talking about Snyder's films.

While known to some for his indie movie work, Kevin Smith is also a well-known superhero geek, owning his own comic book store named after his Jay & Silent Bob characters from the View Askewniverse, hosting the AMC genre talk show Comic Book Men and multiple podcasts. Smith's reaction to Martin Scorsese's superhero movie critiques is sure to come as an interesting playing of devil's advocate or both sides of the argument, understandably noting the filmmaker's age and specific filmography as the true reason for why he doesn't connect with the genre rather than a larger critique of it. It will be interesting to see how other filmmakers respond to superhero movie critiques in the near future, especially as the once acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to see a rollercoaster of divided reviews.