Most people would regard Breaking Bad as one of, if not the best TV series of all time. Legendary filmmaker Oliver Stone would not be one of those people, though.
Stone has an incredible body of work, from war movies like Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, to stylish action movies like Natural Born Killers, and even a movie based on a true story with JFK. He’s an Oscar-winning director who clearly knows his stuff when it comes to what constitutes good and bad in the entertainment industry.
Well, most of the time, anyway. Speaking to the press in 2013 (via Forbes), Stone was critical of the hit drama series Breaking Bad, in particular pointing out flaws in its grand finale.
Stone said: “There’s too much violence in our movies – and it’s all unreal to me. I don’t know if you saw the denouement [of Breaking Bad], I happen to not watch the series very much, but I happened to tune in and I saw the most ridiculous 15 minutes of a movie – it would be laughed off the screen.”
The filmmaker clearly wasn’t a fan of the creative decisions for the finale, adding: “Nobody could park his car right then and there and could have a machine gun that could go off perfectly and kill all of the bad guys! It would be a joke. It’s only in the movies that you find this kind of fantasy violence. And that’s infected the American culture; you young people believe all of this shit! At least respect violence. I’m not saying don’t show violence, but show it with authenticity.”
Stone would go on to mention franchises like the MCU and Transformers, on which he said: “I don’t understand the meaning of it and the reason for it, except that it appeals to some visual sense, some kinetic sense of dynamism and a need for action. But action is not always a solution, character is.”
I mean, he’s not wrong. You can’t just have gratuitous violence and make it look cool and expect to land a great story. However, Breaking Bad was a very well-crafted longform story. We’ll let you decide whether Stone was right, and in the meantime why not mull over our list of the best movies of all time.