Are The Russo Brothers Overrated?
This is probably a highly unpopular thing to ask but: are Anthony and Joe Russo a tad bit overrated? I ask this because of the enormous fan response to their films and their being hailed as the greatest thing that has happened to superhero cinema in a long time. They seem to have developed very opinionated stances on things and are a tad bit egotistical when they do not even plan on sticking around the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It serves in great contrast to some of the things that Warner Brothers has done with Christopher Nolan, in particular. He never had an ego or any stances on things and let his work speak for itself. If he was selling a moon alarm clock, he certainly was not forcing anyone into anything.
With the Russo Brothers, they seem to be very inclined into their own fame. Marvel has not stopped them either. I believe that everyone is entitled to an opinion and should be free to do whatever they wish. However, they are representatives of a brand and a company. Most audiences do not want to hear the opinions and beliefs of cinematic types. They simply wish to be entertained and taken out of their lives for a few hours. Hearing different things in interviews about what they are trying to do with their films is kind of annoying when it overlaps into other areas.
As a viewer, this has been accomplished in several films including Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. While the film was made, the director, writers, actors, and crew simply talked about the film and the story. They did not go beyond that and sought not to put the film in certain pretenses. It is funny when you look at the craftsmanship Nolan puts in his films and how he relies on real sets and real locations.
Even James Wan, who directed Aquaman, which featured a lot of CGI, talked about how he used real locations when appropriate. I am not criticizing the films of the MCU but I am simply expressing how important it is that superhero films be left to stand on their own merits rather than serve as parts of a person’s resume. Now, all you see is the Russo’s seeking to do other movies.
Did they simply use the MCU films as resume builders for themselves? Before those films, they had been part of the television show, Community, and directed You, Me, and Dupree. It seems like a strange leap for the directors to go from doing that to making Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While the latter is indeed a great film, it borrowed a lot from The Dark Knight in terms of story and tone. That is to say, what the Russos did was not wholly original. The same could be said for some of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. It was Joss Whedon, who did the first superhero team-up films with The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Captain America: Civil War, while touted as the end of the Captain America trilogy, was simply another installment of the Avengers franchise.
As a superhero fan first and foremost, it’s important to see films that are not just giant action spectacles and that do not have superhero film directors telling audiences what to think about films. It also defeats the purpose of suspending disbelief when a director team or writing team answers every question a fan has about the film, which has been the case with the Russos and their writing team, Christopher Marcus and Stephen McFeely.
The point of this is not to complain about a moon alarm clock or anything like that. It is simply to point out that true films should speak for themselves. The creatives behind the films should let their films speak for themselves. It should not be the role of writers and directors to answer everything or give speeches about things they feel are important. It should simply be a great film that makes the audience think about the characters and the world of the film. Causing one to reflect in their own life is proof of a good movie.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, consumer electronics, and the entertainment industry.