Movie Review: Captain Marvel

Be warned:
There will be spoilers in this review, although they will be mild. Proceed with caution.

I saw the new Marvel movie, and it was about as expected. Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good: Entertainment Value

The movie was entertaining at the grass root. The costume and makeup was good, and the CGI was phenomenal. In fact, it was possibly the best CGI I have ever seen. It was not overdone, and was close to breathtaking.

As Marvel does so well, the comedy was strong, and the fight scenes were stronger. The writing was a bit predictable and cheesy at times, but it is a superhero movie trying to reach a very wide audience. It had a Star-Trek vibe, but much cooler. Overall, it wasn’t a bad time. The strongest aspect of the movie was Samuel L. Jackson, but more on that later.

The Bad: Politics

Although politics and worldview are so related they ought not to be separated, I had enough to say about both to separate them for organization purposes. The political nonsense in the film is continuing to make Hollywood laughable.

The film did throw a subtle barb at President Trump. It certainly was a Trump vs. Refugee film, but the front and center political agenda was egalitarianism. Unfortunately, this began before the movie even aired when Brie Larson complained about too many white men giving negative reviews of movies. This became a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy for at least one reviewer, saying

Larson, unsurprisingly, is magnificent in the role. The young Oscar-winner’s talent comes as no shock, but she still leaves a stamp on the character that takes full ownership of where Captain Marvel goes from here. Just as Robert Downey Jr. defined Tony Stark and Chris Evans defined Steve Rogers, Larson has now defined Captain Marvel, a tricky task given the character’s confusing comic backstory. There’s nothing so simple as a super soldier serum of a fortuitous spider-bite. There’s a lot more narrative baggage, but Larson’s performance always keeps us on her side.

It’s hard to imagine we saw the same movie quite honestly. Larson was, in a word, terrible. Samuel L. Jackson completely stole the show, and that was primarily because he was partnered with Lawson so often. To claim Larson defined the role at the same level Robert Downey Jr. did with Ironman just screams that this person fell into the social justice trap Larson set for him. It is impossible to imagine anyone else playing Ironman, but I left Captain Marvel wondering how, with all the millions of actresses available, Larson got the gig.  Certainly an “Edge of Tomorrow” Emily Blunt would have been a significant upgrade.

However, to go easier on Larson, a large part of the problem was the politics involved which turned her character into the most unlikable, unrealistic character in Marvel movies so far. From the same reviewer above,

On the one hand, it’s a thrill to see a female superpower with god-like powers. I enjoyed it in 2017 with Wonder Woman and I enjoy it now with Captain Marvel. But interesting characters have flaws and foibles, and Captain Marvel seems afraid to give its title character anything that could be perceived as weakness. This in turn, deprives Captain Marvel of some of her humanity and the shading that other superheroes receive… Thematically, there’s a bit of growth in Captain Marvel’s story with regards to her relationship to Yon-Rogg, but it gets overshadowed by the basic and bland character development. There are some interesting themes bubbling beneath the surface (to specify would spoil major story turns), and I look forward to the discussion and analysis (particularly from women) about what qualifies as a “Strong Female Character” and if the trade-off here—denying Vers relatable human weaknesses in exchange for just watching her kick total ass—is worth it. Sadly, there still aren’t that many female-led superhero movies, and so Captain Marvel is finding the path by walking it. For me, I like the idea of Captain Marvel presented here, but when I look at the nuts and bolts of her story, I find it lacking.

Now that this lackey reviewer has finished groveling at Larson’s SJW boots, he is free to be honest with the character without his review being dismissed due to not being a cisgendered, female, person of color. He paid homage to demanded egalitarianism, which earned him some cap room for criticism, provided he shifted the blame to the men, and not the women.

One twitter user did a great job decoding this review. In other words, Larson’s character is fake. She had no flaws, no character development, nothing interesting at all. She isn’t a real woman at all. And it’s not because she has super powers I say that. It’s because there is nothing interesting or relatable in Captain Marvel at all.

The reason this was done is because the entire movie was an on-the-nose promotion of egalitarian nonsense. The whole movie was about butt-kicking women acting masculine, and overcoming all of the male haters who told them not to fly, not to drive fast, not to play sports, etc. Captain Marvel had no flaws because that is how women are to be seen nowadays. They have no flaws, no limits, no roles, no boundaries. Any flaw could be interpreted as misogynist, and so they simply remove the flaws, and make the character perfect and unstoppable, which in turn made her entirely uninteresting.

All of this is not to mention that Larson did not pull off the “bad girl” vibe well at all. She could have used a stunt double for almost any scene involving her running, and the character did less to move women forward toward an egalitarian utopia where they pull their weight on highly trained, special unit assassin squads, and did more to perpetuate condescending tomboy stereotypes.

The Ugly: The Worldview

Worse than the egalitarian agenda was the anti-christian bias which has become so common to Marvel movies.

Larson’s character Vers was at one time brainwashed, and during that time was told she was “reborn.” During that time, she would also receive personal revelation from “the supreme intelligence.” By the end of the movie, she rejects her “rebirth” and turns against the “supreme intelligence.” All of this is done by her accepting “her humanity” and realizing the Supreme Intelligence, which boasted of giving her all the abilities she enjoyed, was only holding her back. And that is the cliche narrative of every apostate in the country.

This movie was about breaking free from the shackles of born-again Christianity, rejecting the God of it, embracing your gifts as self-created, and turning toward humanism. This was drive home further by the fact that the entire movie presented the cliche heart vs. brain battle, and in the end, promoted feelings over thinking. Ben Shapiro’s famous “facts don’t care about your feelings” slogan was not welcome in that theater. This movie presented feelings as an important, reliable means of achieving the facts. And those are some famous last words.

This has become commonplace for Marvel. Compare this to the DC movies which seems to be doing the exact opposite. Aquaman and Superman are clearly positive Christ-figures, and I have written elsewhere about how Wonder Woman was one of the best cinematic portrayals of human nature and grace. Wonder Woman managed to create a female superhero, and still go out of the way to maintain femininity.

Marvel movies are more enjoyable. They are funnier, and tend to be more entertaining. They way they have weaved these stories together in the Marvel universe is quite brilliant, and their famous “after the movie teasers” could not have been a better idea. Nonetheless, it seems DC is still more deserving of the Christian conservative’s money.

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