Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Never Give Up - My Thoughts on Capt. Marvel

Related image

Captain Marvel is my favorite Marvel movie to date. There, I said it. I mean I saw it a few days ago, had no desire to review it (not because it was bad, I just don't... have to review everything, I've come to realize)- I was perfectly happy to just let it be. But I'm still thinking about it, and I think I know why. This movie was uplifting and inspiring, and after letting it percolate a bit I have some thoughts. Mainly though it comes down to this- Carol Danvers never gives up. That's it. Period. 

Well nothing ground breaking there, right? I mean lots of movies carry that theme- never give up, keep fighting, etc. But there's something about the way this movie went about it- it took the Marvel formula and upended it a bit, showing us that superhero movies can be just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more relevant. And it sure is relevant, given all the debate over this movie and feminism and all the rest. I don't want to get into all that- I just liked the movie, period. But at the same time I can't just leave it there- I have to say a little more. 

This post will have spoilers for Captain Marvel, so if you haven't seen it yet you might want to go watch it. Then come back!

Carol never gives up. There, I said it again, but that's it. I'm not ashamed to admit that I might have had a tear in my eye towards the end, when she got up after being leveled by Annette Bening's character the Supreme Intelligence. And all those early memory sequences suddenly made sense- Carol crashing on a go cart, falling off her bike, struggling to climb the rope in basic training- all those moments. And we see that she never gave up when she was defeated- and she doesn't give up now. Carol is not a Kree warrior stranded on Earth- she's a human, from around here, and she happens to not be a quitter. 

I always think of all the Olympian athletes who go to the Games and fall short. Sounds harsh, right? But they're not losers. They're better than 99% of people in the world at whatever it is they do- but there can  be only three medal winners. The point is- they went. They gave it all their all. And that's what Carol is showing to moviegoers- many of whom are kids, which is my next point. Who says comics can't be inspiring? Or educational? Okay maybe you don't like being hammered over the head with a "message" when you go to a movie- that's fine, I don't either. But again, here, I was moved. When Carol got up with that look on her face- as if to say you may be more powerful than me, but you can't defeat me- because I will get back up. Yeah I might have teared up a little. 

 The other thing is something I saw in an interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick, who was a big influence on this movie. She said in an interview that a certain scene towards the end will be the subject of Women's Studies and academic papers- she doesn't specify which scene, but I have a good idea what she's talking about. And I may be off base here, but the other scene that I loved was when Yon-Rogg challenged Carol physically at the end. He knows he can't beat her, other than physically, so he falls back on the challenge, on the training montages we see early on, where's he's always just a little better as a straight up fighter. No super powers. 

The kicker is, Carol says no. And then she blasts him into next week. And I almost cheered. I mean come on, how many times have we seen the trope where the student has to defeat their master to advance, to win the day? Luke, you must face Vader to be a Jedi, and all that. No. Carol tells Yon- Rogg she has nothing to prove to him. She doesn't have to beat him in a physical fight. Why should she? Those are his terms. Why does she have to follow his rules? The answer is- she doesn't.  

I suspect that's what DeConnick is talking about. Either way, that's the other reason this movie rocks. Never give up. And you don't have to prove yourself to anyone else either to gain acceptance.

captain marvel trailer GIF

19 comments:

  1. I adore my superheroes, but I admit that none of the movies have made me cry...yet(lol) I like when a movie focuses on the the positive successes of perseverance, and I'm a sucker for movies that give a message I can relate to, and it doesn't hurt that the hero is a female either. I'll be checking out the movie this weekend, and it's great to hear all the positive reviews about what appears to be a great movie. You may not want to review all the movies you see Gorgeous Greg, but dang it - you sure are good at it! Hugs and Happy Wednesday! RO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right! I don't usually tear up at a superhero movie, lol, but I thought this one was inspiring and to all the little girls out there (and guys)... don't give up is a pretty dang good message!

      And thanks Ravishing Ro- kind words :)

      Delete
  2. Oh Greg, I agree with this post so much! The other thing I liked about this movie was the Carol enjoyed her power -- even when she didn't have her memory, she knew what she was capable of, and she didn't apologise for it -- and she never gives up. And more than anything -- she's human. She isn't a god, or a goddess, no magic or anything like that. Her powers were an accident, and it's her humanity that makes her wield it the way she does (which makes me curious as to how she and Natasha are going to get on!) And I agree about the scene at the end with Yon Rogg! I cheered her on there!! And before I stop: i will never be over Talos with the Aussie beach bum accent! I liked how they utterly subverted the idea we'd have going in about them: aliens who look like enemies but are really refugees? Politically astute storyline there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THank you! And yes she enjoyed her power- good point!- and that it was an accident. I liked that. It's about who Carol is as a person, and oh by the way she has powers- they don't define her.

      Great point about Natasha. I think I could watch a whole movie where they go through any issues they might have. :)

      Talos is... I don't even know, except to say that Mendelsohn is a good actor who I've never really liked in a role, but here... he IS Talos!

      Delete
  3. I stopped reading when you said this contained spoilers. But I am looking forward to this but I usually wait for movies to come out On Demand so I can watch them at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to see your thoughts afterward!

      Delete
  4. Oh I was curious to see this one, I need to!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've got to go see this movie!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love your review Greg! Hope to see this soon. Personally, no one should give up or have to prove themselves to others. Be the best you! 👍🏻

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yesss! I loved this movie so much, I saw it twice! I loved the montage of Carol getting back up after falling down. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glad you liked it. I found it inspiring too))

    ReplyDelete
  9. I rarely get time to watch films so I'm way behind on all these superhero films. I don't think I'll ever catch up!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I didn't read your whole review as I haven't seen it yet, but I do like the sound of how it's uplifting and inspiring. And it sounds like it brought the whole message in a good way too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great review! I loved this one too (though Guardians of the Galaxy is still my favorite!) I thought it was super awesome at the end where she told Yon- Rogg that she didn't have to prove anything to him. You are right it totally breaks the trope of having to beat your master!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Glad you enjoyed it and yes we don't have to review everything. But, I notice that I do so in my mind anyway. =)

    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love this!! I adored the film as well. Brie Larson was PERFECT.

    ReplyDelete