Going into watch Captain Marvel opening weekend, I was honestly expecting the worst. Between the poor Rotten Tomatoes score and cliche trailers, watching the movie became a necessary task in order to prepare for Avengers Endgame. And while Rotten Tomatoes basically lays down the law in my movie-obsessed household, I have to say I was extremely surprised by not only the quality of this movie, but also how it made me feel, as a woman.
Female empowerment is important in movies, like this, to an extent. In fear of being politically incorrect, major media companies overcompensate to the point where it becomes dangerous to say what many women think, which is we don’t need to be inflated over men. While it’s nice to see a women coming out on top, instead of a man, emphasizing the fact that she’s not a man takes away from that glory. Powerful male perception of the modern feminist movement is largely female dominance when feminism is really about equality. That’s why one of the things I hated the most about Captain Marvel promotion was putting the whole “Her(o)” gimmick in the trailers. After seeing the movie, I can now say I wholeheartedly believe she is a hero, and while I don’t necessarily believe her femininity should be so emphasized, I am definitely more supportive than before.
This movie was just awesome. It wasn’t perfect in terms of script or cinematography or music or really any of the details, which explains the oddly low Rotten Tomatoes score. This movie wasn’t made for the critics, and that shows. Assessing this movie from a more emotional level, I can say I left that theater feeling great about myself and the future of the MCU. Captain Marvel, unlike the few major female superheros that came before her, asserts her dominance in a natural way. In her eyes, she’s just as good as any man, so she has absolutely nothing to prove. There are zero fighting scenes where she is being compared to anyone other than her past self.
The story follows an arc of Carol consistently getting stronger until she reaches that superhero status, but it wasn’t the superhero status that made her powerful. What made her powerful was her stark determination and nobility. I found myself wanting to be more like Carol in my everyday life because her actions are so easily applied to situations women face every day. I honestly can’t adequately express how great it felt when I saw Captain Marvel fighting. It was empowering in a refreshingly practical way.
I’m the kind of person who picks a movie apart, similar to those critics on Rotten Tomatoes, yet this movie made me step back and take a look at the grander picture. Movies are not made to be perfect, all that matters is whether they have some sort of impact, and this movie did. It portrayed feminism the way the new generations of girls are being taught and gave us all a superhero, who is a woman, before anything else, which I never thought could matter so much. We’ve all heard Hollywood is moving in a brighter direction, and this movie is a testament to that.