In theaters March 8th of 2019, Captain Marvel is set to be the next in the never-ending chain of blockbuster super hero movies. The official trailer recently released to much acclaim and expectation. Brie Larson (Room, Community) will star as the eponymous hero as she introduces the first female lead of a Marvel movie since the Disney owned conglomerate began with Iron Man in 2008.
The trailer begins with Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel’s earthly appellation), falling from the sky into a Blockbuster Video store. We are immediately clued in to the 1990’s setting of the movie as the now defunct analog rental store is no more (except for maybe one in Alaska?).
The trailer then pushes slowly on Captain Marvel waking up and trying to gain her bearings, confusedly walking in what appears to be a subway as Samuel L. Jackson’s narration as Nick Fury, of previous Marvel iterations, thinks out loud about space heroes.
We then see Carol thumbprint her way into what looks like some government facility, meeting Nick Fury who is presumably recruiting her for the government defense program S.H.I.E.L.D. As they drive down a desert highway, Carol picks up the narration describing memories she has but isn’t sure how or why she has them. We’re show a possible former life for Carol as a fighter pilot in the Air Force and then are lead to believe she was somehow given supernatural powers from these piloting exploits. Then the movie’s theme appears amid a montage of her powers in outer space: DISCOVER WHAT MAKES HER A HERO.
Then she punches what looks like somebody’s Grandma. Seriously. I’m sure it’ll be explained that the Grandma was an alien in disguise or something but for a trailer espousing the virtues of becoming a super hero whose job it is to protect people, the tagline juxtaposed with that image is the height of absurdity. It’s a bizarre, distracting choice.
Then Nick Fury voice overs, “We can’t do this alone. We need you,” over more images of Captain Marvel with teams of heroes on a mission to somewhere. Carol Danvers is then shown saying, “I’m not what you think I am.” And well, I didn’t think a super hero would be punching a Grandma to drum up interest for a movie about one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel comic book world, so I guess she’s right.
The movie looks very Marvel-ly, which can be good. It looks interesting enough to see in theaters, but as the camera pans out from the CAPTAIN MARVEL logo at the end of the two minute trailer, there’s still this unnecessary image of unresolved abuse of the elderly hanging over the movie’s commercial. It seems being able to fly, shooting lasers from your hands, and saving the world from certain doom by virtue of living the virtuous life isn’t a shocking enough story to entice viewers anymore.
The bottom dollar apparently requires a pinch of marginalizing the weak and a smidgen of maniacal cultural decay to rake in what profit is left on the slaughterhouse floor of an American cinematic empire that has taken out a second mortgage on its Faustian deal with corporate storytelling. It might be a good movie, but don’t take your Grandma.
By Nick Murillo