The movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are no stranger to controversy. Questions about who is going to live and who is going to die, websites crashing, and the challenges associated with avoiding spoilers are all common pleas. Early in 2019, Captain Marvel faced different controversies. The movie was met with fierce opposition and was decried as the worst MCU movie even before it was released.
At the heart of these accusations were a supposed agenda and the movie’s star Brie Larson. After making over $1 billion at the box office, it would seem these critics were wrong. Then why are the audience scores so low? Here are some possible theories as to why Captain Marvel is an unquestioned worldwide blockbuster that people do not care much for.
The information has been pulled from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I will not be touching on review bombing or the purchase of fake tickets. One topic has been beaten to death while the other is ridiculous.
Liars and hypocrites
It was the same refrain for months. “Brie Larson hates white men. Disney has an SJW agenda. I will never watch Captain Marvel.” Everyone who hated Captain Marvel said the same thing. They would not spend their money watching a movie they could not get behind.
Here’s the thing: they were right. Why should anyone spend money on a movie that pushes a message they do not agree with? I am a Korean married to a Mexican. I would not be eager to see a movie extolling the virtues of putting up walls and closing borders. If you are offended by a movie so much you have to make numerous YouTube videos, then I agree you should not waste your time watching it.
Now that Captain Marvel has made over $1 billion, it is clear that some of those people were not as steadfast in their convictions as they would have others believe. If they truly hated Larson, Disney, or the idea of the movie as much as they countlessly stated, then “I need to see it to understand Endgame” or “I have seen all the other MCU movies” would not suffice. To paraphrase the internet, stick to your convictions or STFU.
Infinity War was a tough act to follow. Ant-Man and The Wasp got a pass since fans had a good idea it would be a fun movie that could be used as a cooldown. Captain Marvel did not have the same luxury. It is the immediate prequel to Endgame and is supposed to be more on par with Ragnarok than with Ant-Man. If it were released in the middle of the MCU, expectations may have been more reasonable. Heading into the most anticipated movie in years may have set Captain Marvel up for failure.
It’s not that good
This sort of ties in with the previous point. Forgetting whatever expectation there may have been, Captain Marvel does not live up to some of its successors. The first Guardians of the Galaxy essentially reinvented what a good Marvel movie is. The second two Captain America movies are action packed and have excellent storytelling. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a delight to watch.
Even if you do not compare it to other MCU movies, it has glaring flaws. The pacing is odd at times, there is very little tension, and a person can argue it has way too many nods to the 90s. It is a good movie, but there is nothing that really stands out about it.
Captain Marvel has performed incredibly well at the box office and yet has low audience scores. The true reason is probably due to a combination of factors. One thing is certain: for better or worse, it will go down as one of the most talked about movies in the MCU.