Filmmaker Paul Verhoeven has been expressing his dismay about the lack of physical relationships in modern movies, James Bond included.

You can add Paul Verhoeven’s name to the list of directors who don’t consider themselves fans of Marvel movies. In fact, it seems that the Basic Instinct director isn’t really interested in any of the blockbusters coming out of Hollywood these days, most notably the 007 franchise.

“It’s about crashing and blowing up,” Verhoeven said to Variety when asked about modern blockbuster films. “Sometimes these movies are fun, but the narrative tells you nothing about us now. I don’t see any other thought in Marvel or Bond movies.”

Whilst another respected filmmaker throwing their hat in the anti-Marvel ring is nothing particularly new or surprising, Verhoeven’s comments about the Bond films are interesting. When asked what he would do with the franchise, the filmmaker said “I’d go back to reality” with “cars that don’t leap up into the sky” before adding “there was always sex in Bond! They did not show a breast, or whatever. But they had some sex.”

Verhoeven, whose most recent film, 2021’s Bendetta ‘had some sex’ and was well reviewed, is clearly not going to be taking the reins of the 007 franchise but he makes an interesting point about the ongoing sanitisation of mainstream cinema. It was City Of God director, Fernando Meirelles who argued a couple of years ago that Marvel movies didn’t interest him because of the lack of sex (although last year’s Eternals kind of broke that duck) and Verhoeven seems to agree, with his comment that these stories “tell you nothing about us now” making an incisive point perhaps about the nature of modern cinema.

What are your thoughts? Have modern mainstream films lost a dimension of what it is to be human? Are we being slowly infantilised by blockbuster films not depicting sexual relationships, even in an off-screen capacity? Let us know your take in the comments below. Keep ’em clean…

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