Captain Marvel's Gender Change
Captain Marvel is a marvel alright -- a marvel of the special effects geniuses. They have knocked years off Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg. They practically look like teen-agers again. It was a necessity because the story takes place in 1995, years before we last saw Gregg as agent Coulson and Jackson as grumpy boss Fury. But we do get to see how Fury ended up wearing an eye patch. Now we understand all that squinting.
However, I can’t help being a little confused. When I grew up, Captain Marvel was, well, a man. In this film he’s now a beautiful woman in the form of actress Brie Larson. When did he go through the sex change? Was I asleep or what?
Allegedly born around 1940 and lasting through 1953, Captain Marvel ended up with DC Comics through a copyright infringement case. Marvel then did its own version that debuted in 1967 as written by the now iconic Stan Lee and illustrated by artist Gene Colan. The Captain was still a man. You could tell he was still a boy by the revealing, skin-tight outfit he wore. He burst out of the spandex-like fabric because he had 10,000 more bulging muscles than Arnold Schwarzenegger at age 20.
Now we are in the MeToo era. I’m all for women’s rights and freedoms because, you know, woman are smarter than men, hands down. However, sometimes political correctness goes a little too far.
I am puzzled by why any woman would want to take on the characteristics of a male super hero, one who bashes other men in the face, bops them over the head with their shields, and generally causes medical mayhem at every turn. Yes, Ms. Captain Marvel does all her mayhem for good, but is this really what we want to teach our little daughters -- that a woman can act as boorishly as men have done in the past super hero movies?
Brie Larson certainly fills the screen with her pulchritude and many fans will be grateful in between their drooling. But really, isn’t it the wrong direction to go if we are to appreciate women for their intelligence? Not that she should be wearing a Mother Hubbard outfit.
The plot, if you can figure it out, seems fairly confusing. Five people worked the script over and got all the pages in the wrong order. Captain Marvel, or MarVel as she is known on her distant planet, is involved in some scheme to ward off the evil doers who want to enslave her people. Haven’t we seen this before?
The best part of the film involves its many aerial scenes. Unfortunately, you might lose track of which “planes” are good and which are bad.
On the bright side, there’s lots of swooping through the Universe and several explosions artfully wrought by the backstage engineers. The film also includes some humorous situations, mostly provided by the Dolby voice box of Mr. Jackson, who never heard a shout he didn’t like.
Despite its flaws, Captain Marvel is an entertaining film that holds your interest throughout.
(Released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/ Marvel Studios and rated “PG-13” for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.)