Some advice for Ethan Hawke: Log off from the internet for the rest of the week. That’s assuming he wants to avoid the wrath of infinitely spawning nerds and trolls forming the wave of backlash in response to some recent comments he made. What did Hawke say to irritate these masses? Simple: He bashed comic book movies.
Perhaps “bashed” isn’t the proper term. In a lengthy interview with The Film Stage, Hawke suggested that we not include superhero films in the same category as regular movies. “Now we have the problem that they tell us Logan is a great movie. Well, it’s a great superhero movie,” he said.
Related Story: What Wonder Woman’s Success Means For Superhero Movies
Hawke isn’t necessarily arguing superhero movies aren’t worthwhile enterprises — at least it seems he isn’t making that argument. Instead he’s seemingly positing that superhero movies exist as a separate art form. And we have to say, he kind of has a point.
[Logan] still involves people in tights with metal coming out of their hands. It’s not Bresson. It’s not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is. I went to see Logan cause everyone was like, “This is a great movie” and I was like, “Really? No, this is a fine superhero movie.” There’s a difference but big business doesn’t think there’s a difference. Big business wants you to think that this is a great film because they wanna make money off of it.
Before you get up in arms, here’s a spoiler-y question: Watching Marvel’s Infinity War, the movie event of the summer, did you really feel the emotional resonance of the characters’ deaths? Did it pain you when a surrogate father sacrificed his daughter to achieve ultimate power with the Soul Stone? Did you weep when Spider-Man faded to ash in Tony Stark’s hands — a relationship by proxy symbolizing a son pained to fail his father, and vice versa? Your “yes” answers were likely fleeting, disappearing as soon as you stepped outside the theater when you remembered the big business game being played here.
This tweet sums it up.
Hawke’s comments are worth thinking about, if only to recontextualize our relationship to these movies. That statement may attract the ire of the legion of superhero fans unwilling to do so, which is where the advice offered to Mr. Hawke comes in handy: logging off for the rest of the day to avoid trolls.