Captain Marvel is undeniably powerful, as a character and as a film

By Staff Writer Timothy Howard. So I saw Captain Marvel twice. I think this movie, more so than 2017’s Wonder Woman, was the watershed female superhero movie of our generation. The role of Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson, is the feminist icon the world needs. She’s more powerful as Thor, with the fighting skills of Black Widow. So yeah, she’s cool. She is also a woman. That fact, unlike Wonder Woman, was not plastered all over the movie. Brie Larson plays Captain Marvel as a strong, intelligent, character who is just so happens to be female. So it feels like every other Marvel movie, but with the same level of significance for women as Black Panther had for the African American community. I saw Captain Marvel for the second time with my sister, and her reaction to it was just as enjoyable as the movie itself. She has a young daughter, and knowing that she will have a superhero that she can call her own was an emotional moment for her. Everyone deserves a superhero whom they can relate to, and Captain Marvel serves that purpose. My sister was so jubilant in fact that we left the movie theater punching and kicking the air because of how awesome the film was. On our way back her house, we discussed impact of this film is having on society. The internet’s reaction to this movie makes evident that it speaks to a larger issue at play. When Captain Marvel first released, there was a media storm of hatred and anger that Marvel Studios would have the audacity to put forth a superhero who is as strong as her male counterparts (both figuratively and literally). Online reviews for this movie have been some of the worst I have ever seen. To be clear, this was NOT the worst Marvel movie I have ever seen. I would put this movie in my top five Marvel movies. That’s pretty good for a film franchise with twenty one movies and counting. The reviews were so bad for that Rotten Tomatoes, the aggregate film review website, had to remove thousands of user reviews from Captain Marvel’s page. They said the movie was actively being “review bombed” in which an angry sect of people try to tank a movie by bombarding it with negative reviews and press. When a movie review website has to actively change its policy because of the divisiveness of a movie, one can assume it is more than just a cinematic experience. Captain Marvel is a cultural moment. It is a film that’s unabashedly feminist. It puts forth the notion that gender equality is not some abstract issue that was settled when women won the right to vote. Women in today’s society are still not equal, and Captain Marvel (in an admittedly subtle fashion) addresses that inequity. There is a power dynamic that still exists in American society in which women are frowned upon for being strong, independent and powerful. Women face a daily burden of proof that men impose upon them. If you think I’m over-analyzing this film, there is quite literally a scene in which a male character is fighting Captain Marvel and proclaims “prove to me ready, prove to me that you can beat me” to which Captain Marvel responds “I have nothing to prove to you.” Such toxicity spewing from the internet is, in my opinion, a genuine fear of the change this movie is the poster child for. Men, and some women, are scared of the shifting power dynamics that this movie highlights. To quote Brie Larson “to me, that’s a part of what the meditation of this movie is [about] female strength, but what is female strength? What are the different ways that can look?” I hope that Captain Marvel is the superhero that my niece emulates. I want my niece to have the same self-assuredness and strength that Captain Marvel promotes. Go see this movie. It’s worth the money.

Leave a Reply