*This article contains spoilers for “Captain Marvel”*
Over spring break, I went with my family to see the newest Marvel movie: “Captain Marvel.” My dad, brother and I were all excited to see the film and were interested to see Marvel’s take on a female lead and hero, after seeing what DC could do with “Wonder Woman.” Unfortunately, we left the theatre greatly disappointed.
One of the biggest flaws of Wonder Woman, in my opinion, was that she wasn’t able to fully realize her potential or tap into her powers until after she was motivated by her love for a man. Captain Marvel, on the other hand, didn’t have any love interest. A female lead character without a love interest is a situation that is rare for Marvel Studios, and they didn’t know how to fully develop such a character, in my opinion.
Captain Marvel herself was an extremely static character. Of course she encountered her fair share of ‘difficulties,’ but she never failed. A staple moment in any Marvel film is when the main character(s) fail and have to learn to build themselves back up again with the help of teamwork and support from loved ones. Captain Marvel didn’t experience such a scene. She continued to thrive throughout the movie, never once encountering a situation that she couldn’t move past. Even her high points were lackluster and often the scenes relied too heavily on CGI and her super powers, lacking basic character development.
Another disappointing aspect of the movie was the lack of background information. As someone who has never read the comics that these movies are based off of, I would’ve liked to see at least some sort of background story as to Captain Marvel’s current life, why the antagonists are searching for what they’re searching for and who the lead ‘bad guy’ is in relation to Captain Marvel. The closest thing the audience gets is a two-liner explanation about some kind of futuristic technology that the bad guys can’t get ahold of and that it’s Captain Marvel’s job to get to the technology first.
Because there was no background information, it was hard to form connections with the characters because we knew nothing about them. Talos, for example, is initially thought to be the opposing force against Captain Marvel until the characters later learn otherwise and the two team up against a greater evil. In an attempt to stop the Supreme Intelligence, the team travels to a space laboratory where Talos is unexpectantly reunited with his wife and child.
The scene is intended to be a tear-jerker, showing the audience that the bad guys do in fact have emotions and are capable of loving others, but we get the exact opposite. The scene is almost laughable because of how random and lackluster it is. Without any background information about Talos, the audience has no emotional connection to his character, and seeing his reunion with his wife and child that we also know nothing about just seems ridiculous and out of place.
At the end of the day, Marvel had an opportunity to create a strong and independent female lead superhero and decided to play it safe. Whether this is due to Marvel’s inability to create such a character, as it hasn’t been done often, or the fear of over doing it, I’m not sure. But, I do hope that Captain Marvel’s role in the upcoming Avengers finale is worthwhile and shows that women are capable of more than a dull recreation of arguably one of the most powerful Marvel characters ever created.