Categories: world

Film Review: Captain Marvel is about female power – not empowerment

If there is a line, a quote that will endure from Captain Marvel it will probably be this one from Carol Danvers himself: "What happens when I'm finally free?" It's rhetorical. Danvers says this, because she will realize the real awesomeness of her powers. For years she has had her past hidden from her, been gas lighting to believe she needed to empty her forces to be a better warrior for Kree. This was not true. She had struggled with a hand tied behind her back, and when she realized who she would really fight for, her power was released. She is unstoppable. Yes, at the end of Captain Marvel it becomes clear why his titular character is referred to as the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (It also becomes very clear that Thanos is about to receive purple asses handed over to him in Avengers: Endgame .) Because of her strength (I will not destroy it), half-Kree warriors can pretty much take on any villain, any weapon. Her discovery of this toughness is at the heart of the film, a women's specific origin story that challenges so many of those who came before it. As Captain Marvel Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) begins fighting with a man. She is on the planet Hala and sparring with Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), another Kree warrior who encourages her to hold back, to control, the force that can shoot from her hands. If it is not channeled, she gets to know…

If there is a line, a quote that will endure from Captain Marvel it will probably be this one from Carol Danvers himself: “What happens when I’m finally free?” It’s rhetorical. Danvers says this, because she will realize the real awesomeness of her powers. For years she has had her past hidden from her, been gas lighting to believe she needed to empty her forces to be a better warrior for Kree. This was not true. She had struggled with a hand tied behind her back, and when she realized who she would really fight for, her power was released. She is unstoppable.

Yes, at the end of Captain Marvel it becomes clear why his titular character is referred to as the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (It also becomes very clear that Thanos is about to receive purple asses handed over to him in Avengers: Endgame .) Because of her strength (I will not destroy it), half-Kree warriors can pretty much take on any villain, any weapon. Her discovery of this toughness is at the heart of the film, a women’s specific origin story that challenges so many of those who came before it.

As Captain Marvel Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) begins fighting with a man. She is on the planet Hala and sparring with Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), another Kree warrior who encourages her to hold back, to control, the force that can shoot from her hands. If it is not channeled, she gets to know that things can get bad. But when a rescue mission to extract a Kree operator from Skrulls goes wrong, Vers (which she is known at Hala) land in Los Angeles in 1

995 and slowly realizes the Kree-Skrull war not what she had been told and that she’s strength is greater than she knew.

I say this is an unconventional history of origin for us to be blunt: Dude Avengers acquires or is born with their forces and rarely gets to count them. They turn them to 11 and are not shy of it. Hank Pym told Scott Lang how to use Ant-Man’s suit and Scott did pretty much what he wanted. Tony Stark does not hesitate to build stronger Iron Man costumes. Thor’s hammer was his first right. Steve Rogers was jacked by science and given a shield. Without any of them, Hulk is perhaps the only one who has to control himself, but Big Guy is basically Bruce Banner’s other personality, not his own. Carol Danvers is not told to control herself because she has no agency over her wife Hyde. Like witches and suffragettes and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Captain Marvel learned that her anger in a fight was too much for her to get into trouble. It was not true, it was just that everyone was afraid of their power. (For more on this topic, see Rebecca Traisters Good and Crazy .) Authorization does not have one but two definitions: to be given power by someone or something, and to realize their own potential, to empower yourself. Many heroes are dependent on the former. Captain Marvel embodies the latter.

Do I read too much into this? Maybe, but I doubt it. Captain Marvel is MCU’s first solo superhero film with a female lead; the studio had to go big. It was also necessary to explain why women heroes had been held back so long. The concept is amplified smoothly over and over again. Danvers, in her life on earth, was an air force pilot, who together with her best friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) did not have to fly combat missions because of her gender. (Temporarily, the first female air force that saw the fight Martha McSally, now an American senator, deployed to Kuwait in 1995, after the ban was lifted in 1991.) There is also the issue of the audio track, which includes Elastica, TLC, Hole, Garbage, and especially heavy-in-kind use of No Doubt’s “Just a Girl.” The 1990s were nothing if not a time of rebellion grrrls and feminist rock and hip-hop, which were all too often discounted and discredited. Maybe board members Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck just wanted to put some nostalgic jams into their movie, but there is no denial that the film has a spirit of revisionist history, a look at how the world could have been as if people took seriously the things Courtney Love shouted in their faces.

Empowerment has two definitions: to empower someone or something, and to realize their own potential, to empower themselves. Many heroes are dependent on the former. Captain Marvel embodies the latter.

But while the message of Captain Marvel is clear, whether it will be heard or thought is another matter. It has already been talked about bombarding the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes page in an attempt to refuel the film before it was released. (That effort was met with a review of RT’s rules that make it impossible to leave comments before a movie is released. It also seems to have failed, the movie still traces to make at least $ 125 million in its opening weekend.) It’s been trolls ; There are people on YouTube and Reddit (and my Twitter mentions ) who call Larson a bigot to try to see the film’s press tour was not as “overwhelmingly white man” as before. According to The Daily Beast, men’s rights activists and incels lose “their fucking minds”. Some people will enjoy the movie, others will not. Some may think it is feminist; Some may think it is not feminist enough. Some may like or dislike it for reasons that have nothing to do with its meaning, directly or implicitly. The beauty of being a fan of everything is that you have to make your own (damn) mind.

What I know is this: Some may read this review, see that I wrote some nice things about Captain Marvel, and say I wrote them because my byline sounds female. It is okay; It is probably things I identify with because the film has a woman’s perspective. Moviegoers of all sexes have been asked to relate to stories of men for decades-and have had it to do so. Putting oneself in a protagonist’s shoes is the whole point of movies. It’s just so long, the heroes have been men. Everyone is free to love or hate Captain Marvel to the same extent. But to say that only women will like Carol Danvers or that her movie is about Marvel finally making a female front-end girl, is to tie a hand behind her back – and it’s time to set her free.


More Great WIRED Stories

Share
Published by
Faela