Thursday, March 14, 2019

Captain Marvel—fun movie, but she didn't have to be a neoliberal Mary Sue (spoilers after first paragraph)

Lightly edited things I said elsewhere: Fun. Brie Larson is only okay, perhaps hindered by a character who's a bit of a Mary Sue, perhaps miscast. Good use of Samuel Jackson. Wanted more Coulson and Hill. Last act is the weakest. Would see it again.

I suspect both Jackson and Larson would’ve been better with a stronger script. Carol seems like a Mary Sue because she doesn’t have a well-defined character—she’s just a girl who gets up when she’s knocked down. It’s all about her, unlike my favorite, Steve Rogers, for whom it’s all about others. Or if the writers had been willing to give her some weakness, they could’ve gone with the egocentric hero, like Stark. She’s just a good pilot who got her powers by accident.

It's a neoliberal idea of strength. Stark has the virtue of being a guy with a problem. Unlike Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel didn't even have to earn her powers. And unlike Green Lantern, she did not get them because she was deserving. She just got them.

Which may be enough, of course. We’ll see how she does in the next Avengers movie.

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