In the late 1980s to early 1990s, filmmaker John McTiernan unleashed a trio of films in a row that are still considered formative films of the Hollywood action genre – primal but smart blockbusters which changed how those kind of movies were made.
Those films were “Predator,” “Die Hard” and “The Hunt For Red October”. McTiernan has had a few success stories since then, most notably “Die Hard with a Vengeance” and his “The Thomas Crown Affair” remake, but otherwise has yet to be able to recapture that elusive spark – making headlines more for legal woes than anything in recent years.
Even so, McTiernan remains an Academy member with strong opinions and has unleashed those opinions in a new interview with Premiere (via The Playlist) where he offers both the superhero genre and George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” some harsh words. Though he says he likes the first “Mad Max,” he dismisses last year’s ‘Fury Road’ as “Pffff … corporate product.” He has even harsher words for comic book movies, saying:
“Comic book heroes are for businesses… these are films made by fascists. Captain America…The cult of American hyper-masculinity is one of the worst things that has happened in the world during the last fifty years. Hundreds of thousands of people died because of this stupid illusion. So how is it possible to watch a movie called Captain America?”
McTiernan does have praise for his old collaborator Joel Silver whom he says “will always produce real action movies.” McTiernan also is a huge fan of Ben Affleck’s “Argo”:
“He did something incredible. And he was a better actor than in all his other films. Normally when a filmmaker gets to the screen, it’s the opposite. He put aside his ego, he began to act like a hero in a John Ford film… And it’s very different from his other roles. There is something about him that a lot of people find annoying. This arrogance, coldness… It disappeared in this film.”
McTiernan is currently prepping a female-led action movie, shot in Europe, with minimal dialogue. The script is reportedly ready, but the project hasn’t been greenlit as yet.