Robert Downey Jr. Labels MCU Movies ‘Not Heavy Entertainment’

Recently, renowned filmmakers Martin Scorcese and Francis Ford Coppola, sitting on their pedestals of cinematic accomplishment, released statements — or should we say, their opinionated views — surrounding Marvel films. While the first likened MCU installments to theme parks, the latter, kicking the criticism up a notch, deemed these movies “despicable.”

MCU Actor Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr. at the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Press Conference | Vera Anderson/WireImage

In short, the above two directors, responsible for some of the most Oscar-winning and iconic films in history, argue that these movies fall to a lower less of cinema. A level they see as primarily driven by financial desires and lacking the “psychological experiences” akin to more classic filmic ventures, as Scorcese explained. These harsh comments have, to no one’s surprise, stirred controversy; MCU actors, directors, and enthusiasts have since emerged from all corners arguing that these living legends have “missed the point.”

A while back, during an interview with HeyUGuys, Robert Downey Jr. — the face of Marvel and the man often credited with catalyzing the franchise’s decade-long success — described these action movies more appropriately. Downey pointed to what Scorsese and Coppola recently argued years before they said such. However, he did so in a positive, different way; he did not condemn the films, but rather, displayed a well-rounded grasp of their intentions. 

Robert Downey Jr. talks MCU movies

During an interview for Avengers: Infinity War, Robert Downey Jr. discussed the amount of work that goes into these major cinematic spectacles. Robert Downey Jr. discussed how those behind the films have listened to the fans, allowing for “creative synergy” to exist. 

Downey hints at the behind-the-scenes effort, pointing to the degree of knowledge required to make the “light” movie you see on the screen. These movies may not be “heavy,” but they are by no means “simple-minded” or despicably artless. Downey gives the following explanation of Marvel movies: 

Considering these films are basically, they’re just kind of light to medium, but not really, it’s not heavy, you know, entertainment. But, I mean, the painstaking years and thousands of hours of us just all pulling out our hair trying to keep it viable, and interesting, and entertaining…I’m glad it worked out this way because we have been really working…

HeyUGuys

Downey explains that there is great attention to detail that goes into each and every one of these films. Furthermore, the creative connection existing between the fans and the creators is inspiring. 

The effort needed to keep these films fresh should not go unnoticed. Just because the final product may be on the lighter side does not mean the journey is not filled with the same artistic ingenuity, the same creative hurdles, and the same intentions reminiscent of “heavier” films. 

The Avengers movies may not be heavy, but that does not take away from the artistic integrity inherent to each installment. Downey’s word choice, as someone who came to represent the franchise for over a decade, is on the mark (maybe because he has actually seen all the movies). The light to medium film you see entails one heavy creative process — one that should not be minimized due to how much money these films make or the type of entertainment they offer. As Viola Davis recently said, “Art lives in that world of imagination” Marvel and DC movies present.