Superheroes: Captain Marvel Resurgence

Screenshot of Brie Larson in ‘Avengers: Endgame’. Copyright goes to Marvel Entertainment and Disney.

Hi! It’s Annie!

A while ago I made a post about masculinity in female characters in the media and the way it is being misused. I’m not going to go more into that here since I made a previous post about it, but one of my major examples was the character of Captain Marvel. Really, this entire topic can be difficult to talk about because it’s a difficult line to walk. It isn’t fair to see feminine erasure in female characters or femininity being portrayed as less strong, while at the same time it is also accurate to say that masculinity is present in anyone of any gender. The definitions of femininity and masculinity are rightfully changing. But, the movie ‘Captain Marvel’ has been relentlessly attacked since its release and Brie Larson has also seen her fair share of abuse just for this movie coming out. When it was announced that we would be getting a second movie, there was a giant resurgence of people attacking the movie. Many people said that the sequel shouldn’t come out at all because they insinuated that no one liked the first one. And when anybody tried to voice their support of the first movie or say why they liked it, they were attacked by hundreds of people telling them why they were wrong. And while I admit that the first ‘Captain Marvel’ movie had some issues, I don’t think that attacking it or its fans in this way is productive. People have also been using female criticisms, like the one I wrote above, as excuses to attack people. So, let’s get into why attacking ‘Captain Marvel’ in this way doesn’t make any sense.

‘Captain Marvel’ is Not the Worst Marvel Film:

Can we all just admit to ourselves that ‘Captain Marvel’ is definitely not the worst movie that Marvel has released? In fact, it isn’t even a bad one. Did the movie lack some much needed character development? Yes. But that doesn’t make it bad. The acting in the movie was phenomenal and it provided the MCU with some much needed representation. It was also a fun watch! Between the adorable aliens, badass Nick Fury, the return of Coulson, and actual female friendships, this movie got a lot right. Of course it isn’t perfect. But in the end it was a start. My criticisms of this movie have never come from a place of hating this movie entirely. They come from a place of being frustrated that we aren’t seeing enough of the representation we need yet and wanting things to improve over time. And I will admit that this movie made strides forward in female representation just by having the “I have nothing to prove to you” line. That was the absolute best way they could have handled that main villain in my eyes.

Brie Larson is NOT Your Punching Bag:

I have no idea what happened in the hate of this movie that made people think it was ok to go after Brie Larson. Did she write the movie? No. Then why are you blaming her for all the failings of the movie? People were even zoning in on certain interviews, pointing out meaningless body language of other actors, and claiming that this was proof that nobody liked her. I can’t even put into words how ridiculous it is to frame-by-frame go through interviews to justify to yourself why you don’t like a person. And I can’t put into words how ridiculous it is to decide you don’t like someone because you didn’t like the movie they were in. Brie Larson did not deserve this hate and I think it’s pretty saddening to see the lead of the first Marvel female-led film being treated like this. For virtually no reason. It’s one thing if you dislike the movie, it’s an entirely different thing if you attack the actors over it. Also, why is it that Brie Larson is praised by men when ‘Scott Pilgrim’ comes up but then absolutely spit on by those same men when ‘Captain Marvel’ comes up? Can someone explain this to me, because I am really confused.

Captain Marvel is Not A Horrible Character:

Now, I’m not going to claim here that she’s the best character ever. She’s not. I have a lot of issues with her character and the way the writing restricted her. I think we saw elements of her becoming much better in ‘Endgame’ though. I think ‘Engame’ had some pretty strategic moments where her personality and sense of humor shone through that we didn’t get nearly enough of in her singular movie. And I think her portrayal in ‘Engame’ actually marks what could be a turn in the right direction for this character. But even before, I didn’t think she was awful. I liked some of the elements of her character that we saw, which was the same rebellious, sarcastic, and humorous nature that we saw more of in ‘Endgame’. I just think the movie didn’t take as much time as it should have to focus on that. The movie struggled with developing almost all of its characters, not just Carol Danvers. And things like this can often happen when a movie decides to center on an amnesia plot. If the main character doesn’t know who they are or who anyone around them is, it can be difficult to discern that as an audience member as well. Some movies can balance this confusion and make this kind of plot work and this wasn’t one of those movies. Thankfully, we won’t be dealing with that storyline anymore, so hopefully we’ll see more concise writing for her in the future.

Men Mis-using Arguments:

I have an issue with men taking female concerns and attacking women over liking a specific piece of media by telling them that other women have concerns about it which means they shouldn’t like it either. This happens a lot with Captain Marvel. I have seen so many positive tweets about Carol Danvers made by women, end up trashed by men because they argue that other women didn’t like Captain Marvel either. And that’s ridiculous. We can have concerns over a piece of media and still like the parts of it that succeeded. I especially saw this with the argument I mentioned above about how Carol was written with almost no feminine traits. Women will say that they like her representation and then men tell them that they can’t even count Carol as female representation if women don’t think she was written in a feminine enough way. And that entire thought process has so many things wrong with it that I don’t even have the energy to tackle that entire sentence. Basically, what I’m saying here is that you don’t get to guilt people into having your opinion. Especially when it is not your place to do so.

Leave People Alone:

At the end of the day, we’re talking about a movie. Something that was created to be enjoyed. And this movie isn’t bad in any way nor is it extremely problematic. I don’t understand why there’s such a pushback when it comes to people liking this movie or even bringing it up. If people like it, let them like it. You don’t have to like it. Nobody ever said that you were being forced to like this movie. And there’s no purpose in trying to get all people to universally condemn this movie. It doesn’t make any sense and everyone has different and valid opinions. So, why can’t you just be fine with people liking what they like? You don’t have to tell them that they’re wrong just because you have a different opinion. I’m really tired of people just trying to share wholesome art pieces of Carol or tweets about how much they loved that recent Brie Larson movie and being attacked by people just for doing those things. The exact same thing happens for anyone who says that they like the sequel trilogy movies in ‘Star Wars’. Yes, we get you don’t like it. But not everyone has to share your opinions, Jerry.

I am personally pretty neutral on ‘Captain Marvel’ as a movie (which is the same stance I have on the sequel trilogy). There were good things about it and bad things about it. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. I’ll watch it if other people want to, but it wouldn’t be one of my go-to movies. But there are people out there who love this movie, and their opinion is not more or less valid than my own. There is no reason for ‘Captain Marvel’ to be trending on Twitter every other day due to fan wars just because they announced there would be a second movie. I’m really sick of seeing it, guys. Just leave fans of Carol Danvers alone, ok? They aren’t doing anything wrong. And I want the second ‘Captain Marvel’ movie to come out if only because we’re getting Ms. Marvel and Park Seojoon in a Marvel film. Let me repeat, Park Seojoon of ‘Itaewon Class’ is going to be in a Marvel film. I’m excited!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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