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New Marvel movie becomes weakest franchise link

By Shant A. Voskian - Mar 12,2019 - Last updated at Mar 12,2019

Photo courtesy of marvel.com

As far as I can remember I have always been a fan of comic books. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of reading issues of my favourite Marvel comic heroes. So when the powers that be started making films based on those comics, I was one of the first in line to see them. For more than a decade Marvel movies have been the highlight of the year for millions of fans like me around the world. 

To see those heroes that we used to read about on the big screen was almost magical. Now, Marvel and its movies have become a more than a billion dollar franchise with their very own film production studio. The stories told in those films felt like they were made with us fans in mind, keeping close links to its comic book origins, as much as possible.

Which brings me to “Captain Marvel”, the newest Marvel comic movie released in time for International Women’s Day and the weakest of the franchise yet, but fortunately it is still an OK film. The story takes place in the mid-90’s where a Kree warrior known as Vers, played by Brie Larson (“Kong: Skull Island, Room”), finds herself in the middle of a war between two alien civilisations without any memory of her past. 

After being sent on a mission she discovers her past as US Air Force Pilot Carol Danvers and the truth about the war between the Kree and the Skrulls. With the help of Shield Agent Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson (“The Hateful Eight”, “Avengers: Infinity Wars”), she must fight to save earth and end the war.

There are three major reasons why I think “Captain Marvel” failed to deliver itself as a great comic book movie in league with the rest of the films in the franchise. First, our protagonist did not have a character arc — physical or emotional journey often against ones will that allows the character to accomplish certain tasks to bring the storyline to some sort of resolution. 

In “Captain Marvel”, Carol Danvers has no such arc — her character remains the same person throughout the movie, two-dimensional with no depth. 

Second, the hero does not go through trials and tribulations that are necessary for their deeds to be realistic and accepted by the audience. In every great action movie, especially a Marvel movie, a hero has to go through struggle and some failure before they rise up again to finish the mission they set out to achieve. The struggle makes the audience relate to the character and makes the character look more human. 

Brie Larson’s character goes through no such struggle, instead, she easily dispatches any enemy she encounters with no sign of weakness. Not once in the entire movie does she fail or at least seem to have great difficulty in achieving something which only further contributes to making it unrealistic, even if the hero is a fictitious comic book character, for the audience to swallow.

Third and probably the least important is having negative male stereotype characters, and anti-male jokes and symbolism drizzled in certain places in the movie that as far as I am concerned are useless and add nothing to the general storyline. They only make it seem as though the film is sending a message that most if not all men are either bad or weak. Even Nick Fury, one of the toughest characters in the Marvel comic and film universe, is rendered to the role of Captain Marvel’s comic relief sidekick.

Given that the majority of Marvel comic book and movie fans are male, such a message would be ill advised.

Despite its shortcomings, “Captain Marvel” still remains a watchable movie. You get to enjoy experiencing the film expand your knowledge of the Marvel universe and there are lots of exciting action sequences mixed with moments of comedy that will keep you entertained.

The actors give excellent performances worthy of their highly ranked portfolios. As always, the use of effects and animation bring the Marvel universe to the big screen in an amazing way, but the film could have given more depth to the main character. So if you have not seen it yet, I suggest you do and I hope you enjoy yourself.

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