The Corner

Film & TV

Notes on Captain Marvel (Spoilers)

I saw it this weekend with my daughter, and we both agreed that it wasn’t nearly as bad as the haters made it sound. It wasn’t great, but it was okay, and I actually liked the non-traditional way it unveiled Marvel’s origin story (which is a bit messy in the film but is also pretty messy in the comics as well). But I do have some other comic- and movie-nerd complaints.

Here with some notes (with spoilers):

  1. I find almost all of the feminist commentary pro-and-con pretty much irrelevant and worthless. I didn’t think Brie Larson was as vapid as Sonny makes her out to be, but she certainly wasn’t as charismatic as her boosters had claimed.
  2. I’m getting kind of sick of the “follow the bouncing tesseract” game.
  3. I hated the backstory on how Nick Fury lost his eye. It was supposed to be in combat.
  4. They did some heroic work on making Samuel L. Jackson look young. The most obvious giveaway of his actual age was when you saw him run. He runs like a 70-year-old.
  5. Captain Marvel’s actual origin — I mean when and how she gets her actual powers — is pretty dumb. Worse, it’s still unclear what her actual powers are. My daughter “Why can she fly now?”
  6. It seems like they never got around to explain why she took the name Captain Marvel when “Mar-Vel” is not actually her last name.
  7. But all of this is mere throat clearing to my biggest complaint. I have no problem with making the Kree villains, that’s fair enough. But turning the Skrulls into intergalactic Syrian refugees was infuriating on several fronts. First of all, the Skrulls are canonically bad guys. Second, the movie did a great job of depicting them as such in the first half, and I was looking forward to future plots where the Skrulls joined up with Hydra and whatnot. By turning them into victims, Marvel unilaterally surrendered fantastic future material.

Most Popular

White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
Politics & Policy

O’Rourke’s America

With apologies to Margaret Atwood and a thousand other dystopian novelists, we do not have to theorize about what an American police state would look like, because we know what it looks like: the airport, that familiar totalitarian environment where Americans are disarmed, stripped of their privacy, divested of ... Read More
World

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More