Why I'm not interested in Captain Marvel

GRRM on Captain MarvelConsidered just on its own terms, the movie is hugely entertaining. I look forward to seeing how the Marvel teams uses the captain in the forthcoming Avengers movie. Once she comes fully into her powers, she is far and away the most powerful character in the MCU. She could eat Iron Man for lunch and have Thor for dessert, with a side of Dr. Strange. Thanos is in trouble now.

Did she earn any of that, or is she a Mary Sue on the order of Rey? I submit to you she has not; not with one movie released 6 weeks before EndGame, set 20 years in the past.

Why should a completely unknown character come out of left field to save the day against a threat that the Marvel universe has been building up for 18+ movies? Are the existing Avengers stupid, incompetent, useless.. or just weak? And whichever one or combination of those Endgame will imply for the original Avengers' inability to solve a problem Captain Marvel is apparently destined to solve easily, why should fans of those original characters show up to see them dissed by the new girl who just got her origin story and is a demigod by authorial fiat?

Thor offered his life to save just a few humans he had met a few days ago in his first movie to prove himself worthy. and repeated the action to forge the weapon that ultimately reached Thanos. Tony redeemed himself from a career as a arms merchant (nothing wrong with that, but letting his company sell arms to terrorists was a colossal oversight for which he bore responsibility) and offered his own life in trade for New York during the first Avengers. Captain America, Dr Strange, and Vision both gave their lives to keep an infinity stone out of the hands of evil (The First Avenger and Infinity War). 18 movies of building up heroic and self-sacrificing characters.

And Captain Marvel... got abducted by aliens and gifted with superpowers 20 minutes ago and now she's ready to wipe the floor with Thanos? She hasn't earned that.

And that's leaving aside that starring actress Brie Larson doesn't want men to see her movie. Or review her movie. And she seems to not care about whether fans of A Wrinkle In Time liked the movie, because she says it wasn't made for them.

When you have to immediately follow up the phrase "Am I saying I hate white dudes? No..." with "but", you hate white dudes. And the lovefest for this movie among the liberal left (even some I respect) is about how groundbreaking it is, that's a tip-off that the movie itself just isn't anything special.

Daniel Keys MoranSo the last few years have been instructive, no? This is a list of movies the Usual Suspects predicted, and surely wanted, to do badly, in the last 3-1/2 years:

The Force Awakens 12/18/2015
Rogue One 12/16/2016
Wonder Woman 6/2/2017
The Last Jedi 12/15/2017
Black Panther 2/6/2018
Crazy Rich Asians 8/15/2018
Captain Marvel 3/8/2019

I'm sure Dan would cast me in among those "usual suspects", but I respect the man enough to hope he can look beyond that. Let me go through his list.

The Force Awakens I had great big hopes for. I was excited. I was hoping it would be a return to form after the prequels. I was disappointed, but only after seeing it. It was a below-average movie, even with points for nostalgia. It did well because people didn't know that before they went to the movie to see it.

Rogue One I delayed seeing as long as possible because that is the only way to make the point that you didn't like the prior movie in the series (aside from not seeing the movie at all). It was barely recognizable as a Star Wars movie. Wasn't awful, but did not excite me either. I had no reason to dislike it going in; any animosity was related to the poor decisions that they made in The Force Awakens.

Wonder Woman was good, if not great. I had nothing against it (no reason to "want it to do badly"). Saw it, enjoyed it. DC is not as good at doing movies as Marvel generally is, aside from occasionally Batman megasuccesses, but it was one of their best efforts.

The Last Jedi I again delayed as long as possible because of The Force Awakens, and it was awful. Seriously awful. I regret going to see it at all. Mark Hamil's dissatisfaction should have been enough to tip me off. Nothing to do with anti-feminism -- except perhaps as a reaction to rabid feminism being pushed in my direction. It was just really, really, really bad. It was bad even if you ignored the heavy-handed feminism and anti-male angles. The plot was full of holes. The characters rang completely false to their prior history and nature. Rey became even more of a Mary Sue. The script completely failed to sell the attempt to make Kylo redeemable. It was just bad on literally every front.

Black Panther? I wanted it to succeed. I was a little nervous among how they would handle the huge potential for offending people, but they succeeded in making a decent movie. It was not groundbreaking, historic, or in any way important other than "Gosh, it's a superhero movie with a black lead." As Marvel movies go, not great, not bad. I'm glad it did well.

Crazy Rich Asians: not a movie I'm interested in at all. Skipping it.

Noticeably left off the list, but which I will add for my own commentary purposes, are Into the Spiderverse and Aquaman. I held off on both of them.

I did eventually see Into the Spiderverse when it became available on streaming video, and I did that based almost solely on its 95% or so review rating from both critics and the audience. I thought the trailers looked amusing, but generally, I'm not into (Western-style) animation, especially not in theaters. It worked, but I wouldn't go to see a sequel any faster.

I still haven't seen Aquaman, despite liking the actor in prior roles, including his part in Justice League (which I did not like, overall). The trailers, similar to Captain Marvel, just don't quite interest me. There's a similar lack of smiles, a similar lack of good humored banter. The story is pretty much the usual secret king story. (But you liked Thor! No, Thor fucked up and his story was one of redeeming himself in his father's eyes). I'll probably see it eventually, but I'm not in enough of a hurry to go to a theater.

I'm including those last two to stop a certain type of reader from screaming "sexism" when I say...

Captain Marvel: I'm holding off this one too. Not because Marvel's last movie was bad, but because the trailers for this movie are awful. There's no sense of fun. The character isn't interesting. "Oh gosh I have amnesia and have to discover my past and my secret powers" is about as meatless an origin story as you can get. It's an origin story that is literally the absence of an origin story.

Brie Larson's comments about reviews of Captain Marvel and 40-year-old white males (I resemble that remark) frankly offended me. As a fan of the book A Wrinkle In Time, who did not recognize anything I liked about that series in the movie trailers, her comments about who that movie was made for also offended me. And seeing her in the role in the Captain Marvel trailers did not make me want to see the movie either. Not because she is female, but because the trailers weren't any good.

And yes, the excessively feminist promotion of the movie did turn me off -- including the blog posts by Dan and GRRM above. Not because I'm offended by a female superhero, but because I'm offended by a female superhero who thinks a message is enough to make a good movie. And it hasn't escaped my notice that people are talking about how significant the film is while also finding ways to write between the lines how it is flawed, or how the representation of female superheroes in blockbuster movies is all very significant, or how the character is so powerful (once upon a time, George, you knew what a Mary Sue was)... but somehow avoiding mention of whether or not the film itself is any good.

Which leads me to conclude it's... well... not.

And so, yeah, Brie: you didn't make Captain Marvel for me, a 40-year-old white dude. I get it. You do you. I just won't be watching.

This entry was published Fri Mar 15 09:43:54 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2019-03-15 09:43:54.0. [Tweet]

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