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Friday, March 15, 2019 

The New Yorker spots the tasteless political metaphors in Captain Marvel

I may have noticed this being mentioned in a few forum comments on the subject, and now, the liberal-leaning New Yorker, of all sources, not only gave the film a disappointed review, they even confirmed there's some concealed apologia in it for illegal immigrants and terrorists:
Carol discovers that the Kree’s longtime battles were based on a false premise. The Skrulls, far from being evildoers (or, as one character calls them, terrorists), have been displaced from their homelands by the Kree; they describe themselves as “refugees” and are merely seeking a home. Carol comes to doubt the presumptive virtue of her own nation and to recognize the legitimate claims of its enemies; she decides to return to battle, not to win but to “end it”—to end “the wars, the lies.” In this thread of themes, the Marvel overlords make the political positioning of the movie clear. The marker is made all the plainer when Lawson tells her that the Kree are fighting to defend their “borders.” “Captain Marvel” wants to make clear that it is a Democratic movie.

Carol’s home-away-from-home on Earth is with her former military colleague, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), and Maria’s young daughter, Monica (played, as an eleven-year-old, by Akira Akbar), who are black. Maria hosts Carol, along with Fury and a Skrull family, and the gathering is both symbolic and troubling. The humans living in the company of Skrulls—who are covered in green stripes—is a heavy-handed metaphor for the cliché of color blindness. (As in, “I don’t care if she has green stripes, as long as she gets the job done.”) But “Captain Marvel” offers a shallow vision of ethnic comity that even a Republican would have trouble arguing with. Nothing is known of Maria’s character beside her military service alongside Carol. Their mutual regard is based in the solidarity of warriors; it’s a professional recognition, not a personal one. In “Captain Marvel,” the forward-looking liberalism has a conservative core; it’s devised to extend the brand’s reach without alienating its base. With its bombastic and boosterish view of the Air Force, “Captain Marvel” resembles a superheroic sequel to “Top Gun.”
It sounds like there's a liberal anti-war theme hidden in the screenplay to boot. At the same time, there may be a moral equivalence, or an attempt to stave off right-wing criticism by seemingly putting a conservative element into the script. Unfortunately, the way they turn the Skrulls here into a metaphor for border interlopers and terrorists spoils everything. I remember seeing this spoken about in at least one forum, how it features a "not all Skrulls" position, which sounds almost like the "not all Muslims" defense used by leftists, which could even be used to excuse National Socialists and Communists. The part about the wars could hint at the early 2000s war in Iraq, which did turn up evidence of nuclear warfare Saddam had kept hidden, in Syria.

And liberal politics may not be new to the Marvel film franchise either. I think the first major Iron Man movie featured something like that over a decade ago, depicting the terrorists holding Tony Stark hostage as not working for themselves per se, but rather, for Obadiah Stane. Guess now the metaphors are becoming much more blatant.

And that's why I decidedly won't be sorry if this film tanks. There's even reports some screenings have been almost empty, or have less attending:
We spoke with a movie theater manager who asked for anonymity. He told us they had “exactly 25 no shows for every showing of Captain Marvel on Thursday through Saturday.”

The manager told us this was definitely abnormal, “It’s definitely not normal. People usually show up when they pay for tickets…I’m not sure what it is, we’ve seen big groups not show up before, but they get refunds.” [...]

He would also indicate he saw significant drop offs in ticket sales from Sunday at his theater, “Sunday for Captain Marvel wasn’t good and Monday and Tuesday were terrible. They were like a 75% drop off from Sunday.”

Box Office Mojo reports Captain Marvel’s Sunday take was only $38.8 million at the domestic box office. A drop of over 26% from Saturday. On Monday, the decline was even worse. The film dropped nearly 72% bringing in less than $11 million putting its total gross at over $164 million so far.
So it does look like it's shaping up to be another Batman V. Superman after all, and even Justice League, which opened strong, but dropped off with increased sharpness soon after. Moviegoers also clearly must've found it ridiculous that the film's version of Nick Fury would wind up with an eyepatch because of an alien cat. Probably because the screenwriters didn't want to make him veteran of a harsh war like that in Iraq, because today's Hollywood is too far left to consider it an acceptable premise for a film.

But, it's certainly remarkable a left-leaning publication like the New Yorker would not only acknowledge the politics hidden beneath the film's surface, and at the same time, admit the film's a disappointment, and whether or not the politics reflect their positions, that alone doesn't a good film make. It remains to be seen, however, what effect CM's setup will have on Avengers: Endgame. It could suggest the Marvel movieverse is about to lose its footing, and fortunes reversed.

And the way CM was developed certainly confirms the politics of its producers, which they obviously went by long before, and apparently decided to become more blatant about now.

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So, have you actually seen the film itself? I mean, complaining about things you havern't read or viewed personally seems kind of stupid.

"The part about the wars could hint at the early 2000s war in Iraq, which did turn up evidence of nuclear warfare Saddam had kept hidden, in Syria."

The link this sentence of your post connects to says nothing about nuclear warfare. It is an opinion piece that speculates that maybe is someone looked for them it is possible to find that some of Saddam's store of chemical weapons may have wound up in Syria instead of being destroyed. No evidence of anything was found anywhere.

"I remember seeing this spoken about in at least one forum, how it features a "not all Skrulls" position, which sounds almost like the "not all Muslims" defense used by leftists, which could even be used to excuse National Socialists and Communists."

Because it is only evil left-wingers who believe in notions of individual responsibility and personal choice. Right wingers believe in collective responsibility and that ones choices are determined by socio-economic/cultural background and what group you are born into.

And Americans can definitely not take advantage of that 'not all mammals' defence, any more than Israelis can say not all Middle Easterners are terrorists.

"Probably because the screenwriters didn't want to make him veteran of a harsh war like that in Iraq, because today's Hollywood is too far left to consider it an acceptable premise for a film."

The film is set in the 1990s. The American war in Iraw started in 2003.

The Iron Man film was set against the background of America's war in Afghanistan; Iron Man wiped out vague enemy forces there.

It was fairly amusing that they had Carol Danvers gaining her powers due to blowing up an alien engine in an American aircraft. Anyone else would have died….
Didn’t she gained powers from the actual Mar-Vell in the comics?
It was an ok movie. Not exactly the most impressive one. Fury being scratched by an alien was a bit of a let-down, as were the other plot holes in the movie. This was always going to be the MCU “prequel to Endgame” movie in the first place.

Most people would have died in a gamma bomb explosion, or would have died of radiation poisoning if bitten by a radioactive insect or exposed to unshielded space radiation in an experimental starship, and how many people would develop hypersenses if hit on the head by a radioactive capsule?

As far as I know, in real life there has never been a single example of a person caught in the explosion of an alien engine in an American aircraft who has not gained super powers. Judged simply on that basis, Captain Marvel's origin is extremely plausible.

Where would Israel be now if not for the "border interlopers and terrorists" who snuck into Palestine when it was under the British Mandate before 1948? You know, the concentration camp survivors who the British tried to intern in Cyprus and the ones they hung as terrorists when they could? Without those people fighting on its side, the country might well have lost the War of Independence, and there might not be an Israel today.

Don't tell me you never read Leon Uris' Exodus or saw the movie!

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