In just one week, Marvel’s next film in their epic Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel, is slated to be showing in theaters worldwide. The Internet is buzzing about its impeding release. Are they talking about how it the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first film that has a female as the lead? Is it because Marvel has been hinting that she’s powerful enough to take down Thanos? Is all the hype surrounding how it’s the film that’s just before Avengers: Endgame? Why are there a lot of people the Internet all talking about Captain Marvel?
Well, it’s because fans are supposedly planning to boycott Captain Marvel.
Yes. It’s true. While many fans are still planning to go see Captain Marvel when it comes out, there is a very strong fanbase that are planning to not go see it. It’s the lowest ranked Marvel movie ever according to Rotten Tomatoes, with a 31% “Want to See” rating and plummeting. Well, that was before Rotten Tomatoes removed the “Want to See” rating recently.
I currently am planning to see Captain Marvel when it is released here in the Philippines. But if Rotten Tomatoes “Want to See” rating was for real, this is the first real chink in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s impenetrable armor. It could be their actual first big flop, which makes Captain Marvel an incredibly important film for Marvel and Disney. But for really weird reasons.
A little background is probably necessary as to why there is a serious backlash against Captain Marvel. From what I’ve seen, fans aren’t really mad at Marvel or Disney directly but more indirectly… but I’ll get to that later as this hate may have been brewing for some time. More specifically, however, fans are upset at Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson and her allegedly hating on all white males and being a “feminazi.”
This, of course, is linked to her personal views and interviews that were conducted with her. It’s definitely true that Brie Larson has made a lot of statements that can be construed as being a little too pro-female. You can see so many fans on YouTube who will gleefully recite these Brie Larson quotes and prove that she simply hates the white male demographic. I’m not going to link any particular white male’s video here because it would make it look like a extremely biased view. Instead, I’m going to show you a white female’s video ranting against Brie Larson’s views. It’s only fair, right?
Basically, it’s not just the white male demographic that she’s pissed off; it’s more than that. She’s pissed off a lot of people in the very fanbase Captain Marvel is supposed to appeal to: nerds and geeks. Oh, it’s so easy to point at the more conservative groups and say that they’re the ones who are all riled about *gasp* a woman being incredibly powerful. It’s also people that are fed up with her “holier than thou” attitude she gives off.
Honestly, I get that. No, really, I do.
Brie Larson does come off as a little too big for her britches in a lot of interviews. Her heart may be in the right place but it’s the way she says things that ticks me off. It’s great that she’s pushing for more diversity not just with movie roles but for things like film critics. But she has to be more diplomatic when saying something that can be controversial.
The best example would be her acceptance speech from the Crystal+Lucy Awards when she said that she “…[didn’t] want to hear what a white man has to say about ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ I want to hear what a woman of color, a biracial woman has to say about the film.” That’s an actual quote. To be fair, she was saying that to show the disparity of women and, more specifically, women of color doing film reviews.
That just doesn’t sound right, does it? Instead of encouraging more women and people of color to become film critics, even when the deck is stacked against them, she just attacks the people who do have the job, disregarding the fact that they must’ve worked hard at becoming film critics as well. It also comes off like the “white man’s” point of view is unimportant, despite A Wrinkle in Time being a movie that’s supposed to appeal to the child in everyone. It wasn’t just for the young girl with colored skin in everyone… wait, that didn’t sound good. But you get my point. It’s statements like that that really raises the ire of a lot of people, not just the supposed misogynistic group.
This leads me to another aspect of why Captain Marvel is getting a lot of negative attention. Strangely enough, it’s the “mainstream media” defending Brie Larson and attacking the people who are against Brie Larson. They call the people who dislike her statements “misogynists” or “trolls” or some other kind of negative metaphor. I will not deny that there is definitely a good number of people who will fall under those nicknames but a lot of these articles are written in such a way that it makes it seem as if you’re automatically one of them because you don’t like Brie Larson’s statements. That’s simply not the case! Much like the Sith, they’re dealing with absolutes.
I personally don’t like how Brie Larson’s statements come off and I’m neither “white” nor a “male.” I’m a petite girl with very strong Asian features! I also like diversity and I will definitely root for more equality overall but not at the expense of someone else’s freedoms. Yet I bet those very same websites and columnists will lambast me for siding with “the enemy” instead of following their point of view like a good little girl should.
Not all of the blame falls on Brie Larson and her statements. I actually have to fault Marvel themselves. More specifically, the company that owns Marvel. That would be Disney. I feel that fans have been looking for a reason to hate on Disney for some time and things are reaching a head just now. And a lot of it has to deal with Star Wars.
People forget that when Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas, there was excitement in the air. Maybe excitement isn’t the right word. I think “nervousness” is more appropriate. Some fans relished the idea a new Star Wars trilogy without George Lucas as they were burned by Jar Jar Binks and the whole “I don’t like sand” thing. Others wailed like Anakin Skywalker at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
Then Episode VII came out and it looked like all was right with the world, I mean, the galaxy far, far away. Fans liked it enough as it followed enough beats of the Original Trilogy. But even then, the Dark Side was looming over the franchise. Some fans complained it wasn’t original enough as it was basically Episode IV all over again. More importantly, some fans took issue with the series new protagonist, Rey.
They claim that Rey was a Mary Sue, a character that is perfect in anything she does with no explanation as to why she’s so good at everything. And she kind of is on the surface. She manages to use the Jedi Mind Trick on the Daniel Craig Stormtrooper, pretty much escape The First Order’s compound on her own, pilot and repair the Millennium Falcon with ease and use a lightsaber deftly with no formal training. I can sort of explain or excuse everything except for the Jedi Mind Trick (she knows tech as she scavages old ships for a living, can fight using a stick really well so she should be good with a lightsaber as well and she’s already deft at hiding as she is an orphan living a harsh life on a harsh planet). So I don’t really think she’s a Mary Sue in the strictest sense but I can certainly see how people can see Rey that way and that’s a problem.
Compile this with what happened in The Last Jedi, the most divisive film in Star Wars history. Star Wars fans, especially the really hardcore ones, hated The Last Jedi with a passion! They hated the milk-drinking Luke Skywalker. They loathed the purple gal’s command style of not explaining her orders. They hated the needless sidestory of the casino planet and how they made the silver Stormtrooper look like a chump once again. Me? I personally liked The Last Jedi because it was different from what I expected. It took me by surprise and really got me invested with what they were going to do next. Of course, I’m not exactly a hardcore Star Wars fan so what do I know?
Once again, a lot of criticism fell to Rey as being a Mary Sue. But it wasn’t just that. Fans had issues with how most of the male characters were generally the idiots while the female characters had things all together! To be fair, yeah. I can see that, except for that purple haired gal because the entire mutiny wouldn’t have happened if she just explained her strategy to Poe! But that’s besides the point. To a lot of fans, The Last Jedi looked like it had an agenda: Female = Good / Male = Bad. Whether this was true or not isn’t the point. That’s how some fans felt and they expressed their anger regarding it. This led to the mainstream press calling those feeling angry about the situation “misogynist” and “trolls.”
Sounds familiar? That’s because that’s what’s happening with the entire Brie Larson situation! I don’t think the geeks who are upset with the entire Star Wars situation has fully forgiven Disney. And now we have a new Disney owned movie franchise that’s calling them out again for a second time.
So why is Captain Marvel their most important movie? It’s because of the backlash. It may seem unfathomable but, if fans are significantly upset with the entire Brie Larson situation and do actually boycott Captain Marvel, this will be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first box office flop! This is something Disney cannot afford, especially with their other tentpole franchise, Star Wars, being on bad terms with fandom. You’ve all seen what happened with Solo, right?
Captain Marvel, under normal circumstances, was going to be another Marvel superhero movie. It may have a female hero this time around but, besides that, no one was really expecting it to be important in the grand scheme of things. Now, thanks to Brie Larson’s comments, the “misogynists” and “trolls” as well as “mainstream media” attacking the “misogynists” and “trolls,” this isn’t the case. Captain Marvel, for all the wrong reasons, can be the movie that breaks the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s streak and be the proof that even successful franchises can crash and burn.
What do you think of the entire Captain Marvel situation? Let me know in the comments section below!