When “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin isn’t breaking our hearts by killing our favorite characters in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels and the hit HBO adaptation, he’s doing the same thing as the rest of us and going to the movies. And as a self-professed “Marvel fanboy,” Martin has plenty of opinions about the state of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, including its newest addition, “Ant-Man.”
In a recent blog post, Martin extolled the virtues of the Paul Rudd blockbuster, noting that “Ant-Man” has “a proper balance of story, character, humor, and action.” He compared it favorably with “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” writing that the action never “overwhelms the plot and characters, which was my problem with the last ‘Avengers’ film… and the one before it, to think of it. A superhero movie needs a fair share of smashing and bashing and stuff blowing up, of course, but IMNSHO that stuff works best when it is happening to people we actually know and care about, and if you jam in too many characters and don’t take time to develop any of them properly, well…”
But Martin did have one quibble with “Ant-Man,” and an ongoing criticism of the Marvel movies as a whole: the villains. While the author conceded that Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket makes “a decent villain” in “Ant-Man,” he noted, “I am tired of this Marvel movie trope where the bad guy has the same powers as the hero. The Hulk fought the Abomination, who is just a bad Hulk. Spider-Man fights Venom, who is just a bad Spider-Man. Iron Man fights Ironmonger, a bad Iron Man. Yawn. I want more films where the hero and the villain have wildly different powers. That makes the action much more interesting.”
As the man who created one of the most loathsome villains in pop culture history — the sadistic boy-king Joffrey Baratheon — Martin knows of what he speaks; but if you take his advice, Marvel, that doesn’t mean that we want to see any Red Wedding-style shenanigans in “Captain America: Civil War.”
Do you agree with Martin’s criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Share your thoughts below.