The Captain Marvel Controversy
Captain Marvel is the newest movie to be added into the already extensive Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film follows Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and Captain Marvel’s cat, Goose (Reggie/Archie/Gonzo/Rizzo) as they fight alien shapeshifters and uncover Larson’s character’s mysterious origin. However, Captain Marvel was widely controversial before the film was even released. The controversy continued through the release and signs of it are still present to this day.
After being teased in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel was built up over the course of three separate cinematic trailers. Each trailer was met with mixed reviews and while each has more likes than dislikes, they all seem to have their fair share of negative comments. Many commenters likened the trailer to the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot trailers, and claimed that Captain Marvel would likely be of similar poor quality. They go on to state that the movie is a pitiful attempt at shoehorning in diversity for profit. These negative reviews lead to major retaliation from popular news sources, which stated that the reviews were part of a sexist smear campaign. Many believe that the hatred was directed towards Brie Larson herself because the actress is extremely vocal on behalf of women in the entertainment industry. The negativity only worsened when the film premiered on March 8th.
Captain Marvel managed to make a whopping $153 million domestically on the weekend it was released. However, that same weekend, the film’s ratings on the popular movie-rating website, Rotten Tomatoes, plummeted. The average audience rating plunged into the 30s on a 100% scale within a few days. In response, Rotten Tomatoes quickly removed the audience review feature from their website. The website stated that this rating drop was due to a glitch in their system and reinstated the functionality with a much higher rating. Their removal caused even more controversy. Some claimed that the poor reviews were created by internet trolls attempting to tarnish the film’s reputation, while others claim that Rotten Tomatoes was pressured into raising the ratings on a truly bad movie.
At the time of the writing of this article, Rotten Tomatoes’ audience review of Captain Marvel now sits at a 60%. Many critics still believe the rating is due to a sexist smear campaign, while others believe that the film’s plot is generic and Larson’s performance is robotic and emotionless. The only thing that’s certain is that Captain Marvel is one of those movies where the only way to tell if you’ll like it is to watch it for yourself.
Nancy Wang, Publication Director of The Factory Times, has asked me to include the following information in this article: Goose, the cat featured in the film, was actually played by four different cats. The main cat is named Reggie and was so popular that a promotional poster featuring the cat became a meme in South Korea. Also, Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t like cats and Brie Larson is allergic to them.