Monthly Archives: April 2016

Marvel movies and ethics

Hello and welcome to whoever is reading!

Let’s get one thing out-of-the-way: this is not going to be an analysis of the ethics of the characters in the Marvel universe. That was a disclaimer for whoever came here to read about Hulk’s righteous anger or Hawk Eye’s family duties.

On this day, let us discuss something more interesting about the Marvel movies: Why are we as a culture so obsessed with them?

1. It’s a series: All hail to the Lords of trilogies*/septologies#!

It’s a problem with our species really: to run around seeking permanence when everything is impermanent. We like to follow stories that draws us in for more. And even though, the Marvel universe is nothing like the real world it does address some of the same problems. For example, choosing whether to be selfish or intelligent, how to use the power you have effectively and even though when you disagree, how to work together.

2. The magic of CGI rich cinema: Yay to digitalisation of film!

The cinematography in all Marvel movies is fascinating and it will keep you at the edge of your seat whether or not you watch it in 3D. Which, let’s face it, you probably do! The great advances of technologies aka magic has made watching high budget action films a pure joy for any cinema lover.

3. The stories themselves: They aren’t that bad?! Are they?

There is usually some talk about how the story is slow because they are setting up the next film but that’s why you go to watch a Marvel movie. So that you can remember what happened in a random scene of Thor 2 because it would be relevant in Avengers 4.

But honestly, they are good stories. Stories about good triumphing evil. Of very different individuals setting aside personal issues and coming together to fight what in unquestionably a righteous war.

Oh wait, I haven’t said anything about ethics yet. Yes, that would be because our obsession isn’t ethically questionable – but the way it is being used maybe is.

The ethics of the Marvel movies business are pretty darn dubious.

Putting aside how much money Marvel movies make, they also fail to keep the promises the Marvel universe makes.

Everyone wants to be part of an inside culture, Marvel universe (comic books) provide that inside culture. But Marvel movies have become a mainstream culture.

Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t know the comic books and I absolutely watch all Marvel movies and shows (well, only the Netflix Marvel shows).

The things that really bother me about the Marvel movies with every passing year/movie are:

  • No movie is complete. It is annoying that I cannot watch a movie and be told a good story. JUST TELL ME ONE STORY.
  • The Marvel merchandise is stuffed in my face for months before movie comes out. It would be a pain to be working in the marketing department for these movies. I personally pity them. I’m not even sure if they’re actually proud of marketing the same shit again and again. Though I’m sure the money is great.
  • The race to the theatre: From the day the tickets go on sale, it is a race to when you will be able to watch the movie. Well, I’m all for early reservations. BUT, I like to make a decision 3 days before and not 1 month in advance. I mean it is absolutely ridiculous that you cannot walk into a Marvel movie during the first week of release. YOU CANNOT. (There are no tickets available. I’m not standing at the door and sending people back ;). I do not work in customer service at a movie theatre.)
  • SPOILERS: The trailers are full of spoilers – they literally stuff the trailers with everything except the ending and some trailers actually have scenes from the very end of the movies. LIKE, WTF?! And, it’s not just the trailers – it is also very distressful to enter a social media platform until you have seen the movie.
  • You never come out feeling overjoyed: Somehow, whether is it because of the continuity of the series or because the writers make it objectively dark or that some parts of the movie don’t make sense to you: you do not get closure.

So, my conundrum is that it ethically bothers me to watch this movie but not enough to stop me. I despise their marketing and the shoving of movie trailer down my throat and their complete ignorance of the meaning of ending, but I find myself watching these movies.

That is the most troubling part of this Marvel movie business. I don’t even think about whether I like Thor or not: I go and watch the Thor movie because it is part of this series, there’s a bigger cultural phenomenon around these movies etc.

The way we spend our resources is the way we shape the world around us.

This is a fact. You can apply it to economics, ecology our science – it would still be true.

They take my resources and in return I get dissatisfaction and an almost existential crisis about whether I’m in control of my own decisions.

* Lord of the Rings
Harry Potter