Ethan Hawke has a varied and eclectic career. He’s been in direct-to-DVD films to blockbuster hits. He has a unique view on film making as an art and as a business. After Hawke commented on superhero movies he left fans divided. Insulting one of the most well-loved superhero movies in recent years, which is saying something with the number of movies the genre has had, put a bad taste in a lot of fans mouths. Twitter lit up, both coming to Hawke’s defense and trolling him – hard. Was he right? Or is he too out of touch with the average Joe to know why they like what they like?
Ethan Hawke lobbed a pretty heavy grenade at the superhero movie industry. In an interview with The Film Stage, Hawke claimed superhero films are “overpraised” and “overrated”, targeting fan favorite Logan for the heaviest hit. Few fans disliked Logan, the film is generally regarded as one of the best Fox X-Men films. It’s been praised for its treatment of mental illness. Hawke said of Logan, ” “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.” ”
While dissing your favorite movie in no way justifies the hate Hawke has seen on social media, it’s this kind of elitist snobbery is the kind of thing the comics industry has faced for years. Still looked at as an immature medium, not a legitimate artform, something for kids and that adults shouldn’t enjoy, comic books manage to prove to fans time and time again that they can be meaningful and should be considered as art every bit as much as any other medium. The superhero genre itself resonates with more than just children and can be a vehicle for intense stories and topics that be told through a lens that few other genres can touch the same way.
For Hawke to rag on superhero films comes across as petty. They stole some awards, some acclaim, and money? Is that why you make art? While the movie industry as a whole has changed, and superhero movies have had their hand in that, mid-level movies like court dramas, family films, coming of age stories, and slice of life films have moved towards the indie side of the industry, or even to streaming services. The audience for those films won’t shell out the cash for a movie ticket, but they’d happily tune in to Netflix to watch the brooding male lead win the heart of the sassy female lead.
Let it be said again, trolling isn’t helpful. It only gives nerds a bad name. True, it can be cathartic, we’re all guilty of some level of it. The internet gives us the protection to say what we want, how we want, when we want, with little to no repercussion, for the most part. But to hate a guy for his shitty opinion and bad mouthing a genre of movies isn’t doing anyone any good. Our superheroes can stand up for themselves. It begs the question, what do Hawke’s fellow actors who have made their fortunes on superhero films think of his attitude towards their hard work on their art?
If any of them were asked, the response would be something along the lines of “WHAT? I’M SORRY. I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF ME SPENDING ALL THIS MONEY I’VE MADE.”
Do you agree with Ethan Hawke, are superhero movies overrated? Should superhero movies be moved into a separate category to be excluded from awards and accolades? Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!