AGE OF ULTRON IS PROOF MARVEL IS KILLING THE POPCORN MOVIE

This piece originally appeared on Medium, and is republished here with the author’s permission.

Some time in the middle of Avengers: Age of Ultron, I came to terms with the fact that there will never be any more decent Marvel movies. In fact, there can’t be.

Some of what I have to say is going to read as genre snobbery. So let me get this out of the way: I fucking love stupid popcorn movies. They can be about superheroes, dinosaurs, aliens, a bus that can’t slow down; I’m not picky. Movies are unparalleled in their ability to portray scale. If you have a giant screen, huge speakers capable of blasting everyone with earth-shattering noise, and hundreds of people gathered together in the dark, you can — and should — occasionally use those tools to provide pure, overwhelming spectacle.

So I don’t object to Marvel, or to Avengers: Age of Ultron, just because it’s not an artful, subtle little movie. That’s part of it: A pop-culture intake comprised of nothing but big spectacle is just as bad for you as an all-cheeseburger diet. But if I wanted to see something artful, I could have gone to watch Ex Machina or whatever that new David Cronenberg movie is supposed to be. I didn’t. I went to seeAvengers on opening weekend. What I really dislike about Marvel is what they’re doing to stupid popcorn movies. This is a genre I care about, and they’re fucking it up.