When you think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s typical to think about all of the good things that have come from the successful franchise: strong characters with good intentions and the desire to save mankind. Although Marvel Studios have proven to be the rulers of the box office, some MCU movies fare better than others. Same thing can be said for fans’ interest in certain characters. A prime example is Captain Marvel, played by Brie Larson.
Some MCU fans who watched the Captain Marvel movie were less than impressed with the Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck directed film and Larson’s portrayal of the popular Marvel Comics character. According to Variety, Brie has even acknowledged the backlash. When a red carpet interviewer asked her about reprising the role, she responded with: “I don’t know. Does anyone want me to do it again?”
One thing some people are aware of is the lingering misogynistic patterns of the MCU that cater to the male gaze. Is it possible that fans would have liked Captain Marvel better if she fit the mold of those alleged misogynistic patterns?
MCU’s lingering misogynistic patterns didn’t apply to Captain Marvel
There’s no denying that two of the most well-liked MCU heroines happen to be Black Widow from The Avengers and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, both of whom are widely recognized for their beauty as much as their acting. Black Widow and Gamora are two characters who are spoken of highly on Reddit, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
A thread titled “Black Widow is the best Avenger” currently exists on Reddit to describe all the ways she’s proven herself to be a fantastic character. Someone else on Twitter shared a series of pictures featuring Gamora with a caption that said: “I don’t talk about it much but Gamora is one of my favorite MCU characters.” The love for these two heroines is abundant and obvious.
Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, typically wore skin-tight costumes that showed off every curve along her figure. Gamora is played by Zoe Saldana. Just like Johansson with Black Widow, Saldana always wore skin-tight costumes that left a little to the imagination when it came to her toned physique. What do Black Widow and Gamora have in common? It’s the fact that they are both respected and adored by MCU lovers pretty much across the board. Captain Marvel was never granted the same affection, though.
Could visual appeal have changed things for Captain Marvel?
Thousands of social media users have discussed (in lengthy detail) the reasons they didn’t enjoy watching the 2019 released Captain Marvel movie. A Reddit thread titled “This is exactly why I hate Captain Marvel” has been met with almost 300 responses in agreement. The thread starts off with a meme of Captain Marvel saying something a tad cocky to the Hulk. Someone chimed into the conversation saying: “She’s just written bad, she could have been much better.”
An unimpressed fan on Twitter posted: “Captain Marvel was soulless pap, with eye-rolling pandering moments and a superhero with less emotional range than a lego figure. Strong contender against Ed Norton’s Hulk as [the] worst Marvel film.”
Some people have commented that the character never went through any drastic emotional growth, while others believed that her strength was overstated. Some viewers felt the movie was over-politicized, while others didn’t consider Captain Marvel to be a relatable heroine at all. Some people believed she simply wasn’t someone who was super easy to root for, while others believed that her dialogue was never incredibly witty or captivating.
Whatever the reasoning might be, it’s interesting to consider if everyone’s opinions would be different based on a change in Captain Marvel’s visual appeal. What if Brie Larson had to dress up in a skin-tight costume made of leather with her front zipper pulled halfway down? What if a blonde actress with loads of undeniable sex appeal such as Blake Lively or Margot Robbie had landed the role instead? Would Captain Marvel still be so hated?