Terry Gilliam Criticizes Marvel and "Alien"; Praises "Get Out," and "Whiplash"

Terry Gilliam isn't someone to hold back on what he thinks. During a recent interview with RogerEbert.com at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the 77 year old director attacked Marvel movies as having "no real tension," and for their predictability. 

On a technical level, these films are brilliant, but I find myself watching them from a distance because there is no real tension,” Gilliam said. “There is no real threat. You just know they’ll win somehow, or they’ll win if the whole civilization doesn’t collapse around them first. It’s kind of like us in real life. The heroes in my films don’t win, they survive.”

There’s always got to be reality in my films,” Gilliam said. “Maybe it’s the only way I can stop myself from going completely mad. It’s the tension between reality and fantasy that is interesting, and that’s why I don’t like all the big Marvel movies. There are too many of them, they are dominating the industry, and everybody just wants to see the next one and go, ‘Well, there’s the Hulk again.’”

I don't want to delve again into the nitty-gritty about superhero movies, I've tackled this topic countless times on this site, but I will say this: Not every Marvel movie is the same. As much as I dislike some of the MCU releases, and do agree with Gilliam that ALL of these movies are predictable and are, basically, carefully assembled marketing packages, I do think there are exceptions to the rule. For example I love how "Iron Man 3," Guardians of the Galaxy," and the "Captain America" tried to break the mold and set themselves apart from the others. These were worthy additions to the genre.

Gilliam went to cite "Get Out," and "Whiplash," two of the great movies this decade, as example of mainstream cinema done right.

I like the simpler movies that are about real people and good ideas,” Gilliam said. “What I liked so much about ‘Get Out’ is that you had to have been a black guy to have written and directed it. A white guy could’ve never done it, and I thought that was important. It was so specific to the black experience.