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Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel won’t reach theaters until March 8 and hasn’t been screened for preview audiences yet, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t already have a lot of negative reviews online — but, as it turns out, what the haters are unhappy with is less the movie itself, and more the very fact that it exists.
The audience reviews for the movie on Rotten Tomatoes are currently being overrun by multiple accounts claiming to be “not interested” in it, even though they apparently have a lot to say about it. “Oh boy first off this will be worst than the last jedi im calling it now critcs [sic] will love it audience hate it,” writes “flash g.” An anonymous user adds, “Why Marvel decided to cast a very vocal racist and sexist aimed at white males, I’ll never know. If Robert Downey Jr. started saying that he didn’t care about the opinions of 40 year old white chicks and he doesn’t want to be interviewed by a white woman as its not inclusive enough, people would lose their minds.”
This would appear to be a reference to star Brie Larson’s recent comments regarding the need for increased diversity amongst film critics and journalists, for those wondering. Or, as Jonathan B puts it, “Tired of all this SJW [Social Justice Warrior] nonsense.” Maybe “steve s” can help explain the argument against the movie, with his helpful comment, “Strong Wamen [sic] more Hollywood BS – no thanks.”
Such messages are, of course, not actually reviews of Captain Marvel the movie — that there’s no way any of these people have actually seen a film that hasn’t been released yet is a clue, perhaps — but instead the very fact that Marvel is finally releasing a movie with a woman at the forefront, and that the actor playing the role has been outspoken about real-world issues surrounding sexism, racism and ableism. In other words, it’s more of the same kind of attempts to derail progressive Marvel movies that saw faked accounts of assault by African-Americans at Black Panther screenings last year.
That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the kind of sexist and racist trolling that surrounded 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and particularly Kelly Marie Tran’s character Rose Tico; genre properties, especially tentpole projects and those released by massive studios like Disney or Warner Bros., have had to contend with increasingly vocal swathes of bigotry online in recent years as power structures inside the movies shift away from white male heroes.
It’s unlikely that Marvel or the Captain Marvel filmmakers are likely to be upset by these new attempts to derail the growing buzz around the movie; if nothing else, it just shows how desperate trolls are getting in their attempts to dampen enthusiasm for Brie Larson’s MCU debut. Those attempts aren’t working, however; the movie is currently on track for a $100 million-plus opening.
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Sterling K. Brown