Joe Russo, the co-director ofAvengers: Endgamedefended humorous overdose in MCU films.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has, over the years, been defined by a signature sense of humor whose origins can be traced to the very first Iron Man in 2008. A script unfinished at the time of filming paired with the comic roots of director Jon Favreau have thus been able to exploit the talents of improvisation and the natural sarcasm of Robert Downey Jr. isn’t actually a cover for Tony Stark, but let’s move on). And it is true that the untimely taunts of the millionaire playboy had something to smile about.
Building on the success of the first stone in the building of the Marvel empire, the studio then applied itself to reproducing these multiple traits of mind, whose installation is confirmed within the first Avengers. The humorous banter exchanged between the Avengers will therefore complete set up what would become the famous (and sometimes maligned) hallmark of the MCU. A stamp that Joe Russo justified in Deadline :
“Do I look like I’m screwing up?”
“Well yeah, the Marvel magic recipe is that Kevin Feige likes movies to be entertaining, you know? And the entertainment usually includes some measure of humor. Kevin is very fond of testing films with an audience, he likes to sit at the test screenings and observe the reactions of the spectators in real time. It allows us to better understand: “Okay, every two minutes, the film amuses them a little” and it is a rather effective way for him to judge what the film will give in theaters. So I think so, humor is very important to him. »
Joe Russo is right, Marvel humor is popular, and generally works well, no one will argue otherwise. After all, it’s not for nothing that so many other studios struggle to reproduce this same lightness in their own productions. However, if it is true that a little blagounette here and there has never killed anyone, the comic overdose can also be right for the general tone of a story. Regularly, Marvel banter doesn’t hit the spot, or even weakens the tension of more dramatic scenes.
Clearly we’re kidding here
Beyond the joke itself, a humorous trait still depends largely on its timingsomething that Marvel movies sometimes seem to overlook. The stakes of the films thus sometimes seem to be set aside in favor of an immediate reaction from the spectators. Main defendant at the bar of this court of derision: Avengers: Age of Ultron which, beyond being a fundamentally mediocre film, is the most to blame in terms of misplaced humor.
But let’s not spit in the soup. The MCU has also been able to make good use of its lightness in order to address serious themes without falling into pathos, like the carnage of colonialism with Black Panthermourning with Spider-Man: Far From Home, or even, spread over several films, the severity of post-traumatic stress through the prism of Tony Stark. We will therefore forgive (but only halfway) Kevin Feige for sometimes confusing entertainment and fun.