CAPTAIN MARVEL – An Empty (Super) Suit

CM PosterMuch hay has been made about the new Marvel Studios film, Captain Marvel. “Finally,” they say, “A Marvel Studios film has a female lead.” It’s an “important” film, you must understand. As it will finally give women and girls someone to look up to and root for in the pop culture sphere. Never mind that there have been many other heroines over the decades.

The culture at large is giving this film and its star so much press and love simply because of what Captain Marvel supposedly represents. Whether the film is actually good or not appears to be a secondary concern.

Captain Marvel is not good. In fact, it is probably the worst film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. The film boasted impressive production value and honestly surprised me by containing very little openly feminist propaganda (though there are some eye-rolling zingers). However, the movie failed on a fundamental storytelling level and undermined the rock-solid footing of the MCU – a franchise that allegedly now rests on the shoulders of this thoroughly drab and unlikeable hero.

And so many women and girls will now see Captain Marvel as a halcyon of female empowerment, which, given how the character behaved in the film, is really sad. The film version of Wonder Woman is a much better candidate for that honor.

Still, as unlikeable as the title character was, Captain Marvel does delve into an interesting concept in Christian thought that shouldn’t be taken for granted.


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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP – Heroic Partners

ant-man-and-the-wasp-poster 2If there’s one thing that Marvel Studios does best, it is taking some of the lesser-known heroes from Marvel Comics and making them household names via the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, the MCU began with what was thought of at the time as a B or C-list hero: Iron Man. And one of the best conversions to stardom was Ant-Man, which made his cinematic debut in 2015.

The adventures of the tiniest Avenger continue with Ant-Man and the Wasp. This film captured more of the fun tone of the first film and brought even more “wow” moments to the table. Director Peyton Reed returns with more exciting action and funny character scenes, making this film head-over-heels better than the first Ant-Man film (which I also enjoyed). The sequel was clever and light in its execution, which also contributed to some frustrating leaps in logic.

Still, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a welcomed addition to the MCU. And it was an ingenious move of Marvel to place this film on the release docket right after Avengers: Infinity War. The former brings some desperately-needed levity back to the MCU after the very heavy and dark events of the latter.


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