Garbage Opinions: Captain Marvel is Amazing but her personality sucks.
As I write this piece it's pretty clear that Captain Marvel is a hit and will probably hit the Billion dollar milestone in the next week or two. It's not surprising that the movie is successful. Every Film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe catalog has been a hit. Even the lesser films like Ant Man & The Wasp or the much maligned Hulk film movie made bank.
What is surprising, is that Captain Marvel is wildly successful despite tepid reviews from professional critics and lukewarm audience reactions across social media and film aggregate sites.
This piece isn't going to tear the movie apart. That's been done already. I posted a review a few weeks ago and gave the film a C. It's an average movie no more no less.
What I do want to pick apart is the weakest aspect of the film in my opinion. The personality or lack thereof of the central character.
Captain Marvel was sold as a feminist film. I admit there is some surface level feminist messaging in the film but none of it is really a big deal or offensive. Outside of Fury and Coulson, all of the men in the film are either toxic or attempt to take advantage of her and her abilities.
Carol is often depicted as overcoming patriarchal settings but beyond being a determined character I have no idea who Carol Danvers is or why she does that things that she does on screen.
Furthermore, in every scene of the film in which Carol engages with a guy, she's snarky, condescending, passive-aggressive or a bit of an asshole.
It's like the nerdy guy that is crappy toward women because he couldn't get dates in high school. It's easy to fall back and say that women treated you like crap because you're a nerd. A harder look in the mirror may reveal that you may have just been a dick and that's why nobody likes you.
In the opening scene of the movie Captain Marvel, she wakes her lead up in the middle of the night to spar. She busts Fury's balls every chance she gets. Her first instinct is to blast anything she thinks is a threat.
It's easy to say that most of the context of the missing personality traits are because of Carol's amnesia but based on the flashes we receive from the past and from her portrayal throughout the film. It's pretty safe to assume that Carol wasn't sitting around being bullied by anyone or feeling sorry for herself. I also hazard to guess that she gave as much as she got.
Even in the scene where the guy asks Carol to smile. She turns around and steals his bike. Carol isn't just an asshole, she's a bit of a bitch.
What is the context for the character? What was she like outside of duty, determination, or standing up for herself? Those aspects of Carol are missing from the film.
It's the same problem that Star Wars has with the character of Rey. Rey is a strong Woman and she wants to save the galaxy, but why?
When Wonder Woman defeats Aries, the God of War she is devastated as the fighting continues. There is a layered personality to Diana. She's relatable, you understand her motivations, triumphs, and frustrations.
With Carol we're left with a snarky asshole who's main traits are that she's a feminist and also the strongest hero in the Marvel Universe.
Ironically this is also the main problem I have with modern Marvel Comics in general.
Everything coming out of Marvel feels like an idea thrown on a whiteboard with no real thought put into it.
Wolverine with heated claws.
Let's Put Conan on the Avengers.
Iron Man is now a Woman.
Iceman is now Gay.
Hulk can now heal after being Dismembered.
Captain America is now a Nazi.
Weapon H has a Wolverine Hulk Hybrid with Adamantium claws.
Most of the ideas aren't bad but there's no real thought into long term storytelling and usually the story either suffers from the writer losing interest in the idea or the book being canceled for low sales.
Captain Marvel is a huge success. The movie isn't bad. I just hope that more time is put into developing Carol Danvers into a 3-dimensional character and not just a feminist avatar going forward.