Captain Marvel ★★

Ah, Marvel Disney - the cinematic equivalent of Wonder Bread and American cheese. They are as consistent in quality as they are bland. When slathered in butter and pan fried, they briefly provide sufficient comfort and sustenance before resting stubbornly in one’s intellectual colon until something more substantive and fibrous evacuates it all from the mind’s anus. Feel free to call me a shit head for making that analogy as, for some strange reason, I’ve come to expect the worst backlash from my Marvel movie reviews, but I don’t begrudge those who disagree with me. Considering my review for Aunt Man and the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant garnered plenty of unsolicited and redundant responses, many folks seemed to think my negativity was unwarranted or, worse yet, unfounded. It’s easy to forget that not everyone is as smart or important as me, so being called “pretentious” over and over really opened my eyes to how I should give the McDonalds of modern film making more critical leniency.

Believe it or not, I’m going to double down on why I pity the cognitive toddlers that scurry up to defile my reviews and inbox every time I offer an unfavorable opinion about their favorite brand of banal brainwash. I would liken their fervor about superhero movies to that of sports fanatics, captivated by the ephemeral spectacle of the event only to leave themselves open to ulterior bombardment by advertisers and, if it’s a particularly divisive game, ensuing mass hysteria. Sitting in your Captain America shield/Bat-signal embroidered hoodie, you indignantly type “These movies aren’t for you - why do you bother watching them?” By that logic, if this review isn’t for you, why bother reading or commenting on it? I watch a lot of things that aren’t “for me” if for the sole purpose of making fun of them later.

I think the question above ultimately translates to one of two implications, the generous reading being “Why are you so condescending and smug about something as innocuous as a popular film that is designed for mass appeal and that meets the standards and purposes prescribed to it, all the while indicting and judging people who appreciate it for what it is?” That’s a very good question I’ve vicariously made through me there, and I’m right - people shouldn’t feel bad for liking things, even if those things suck. I like a lot of things that suck, but most of them aren’t so ubiquitous to the point of invading your sphere of perception. Also, most of them aren’t considered cultural landmarks like, for instance, how Black Panther pulled more Academy Awards than, say, There Will Be Blood for no demonstrable reason. Yes, I know making generalizations about a specific group of people is a bad idea in most contexts, but comic book nerds aren’t exactly a demographic based on race, gender, or any noteworthy quality. They’re closer to ideologues, like Nazis. And the only people who get mad when people make fun of Nazis are Nazis. I’ll bet you did not see that coming if you’re a stupid comic book nerd.

The other reading could be “I enjoy these movies, you should agree with me, and I’ll shitpost anyone who doesn’t.” I’ve never really understood this kind of brand loyalty where one feels the need to defend a work of abstract value, especially when they don’t have an academic or financial stake in it, but I suppose one of the several million fifth-unit CG artists could have chanced upon my review to only find some self-aggrandizing jerk bitch about how the poor schlub made his rent last month by poorly rendering the comet trail on Evangeline Lilly's spandexed butt. The great irony here is that a bad review can simply be a long-winded shitpost, bereft of any real insight, and designed to provoke. It could be a big waste of your time, dredging up controversy to compensate for an overwhelming lack of initial interest which itself has become a common method of marketing. I’m sure the creators of Captain Marvel wouldn’t know anything about that.

Anyway, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes alien Wonder Woman working with the Skeets to fight the Krulls so the Creoles don't get the important glowing item before the Skoals inevitably will. Some fighting occurs. There's a cat present for humor and plot, and Sam Jackson and fan favorite (?) Agent Coulson say things that bolster the 90’s setting while Captain Marginalized pieces together her past and struggles with decisions of moral gravity. Important themes that mirror the political zeitgeist include the refugee crisis, minority representation in media, and mansplaining. The biggest surprise to me was that Ben Mendelsohn breaks his typecast and is an antagonist at first. Also, wait for the mid credits sequence because it is book-ended by several minutes of scrolling white text on a black background. I don't want to end up with my shoe in my mouth, but I'm pretty sure there's going to be a sequel. It all comes out exactly as you expected: a cheesy turd.

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