As a rabid fan of Marvel Comics and the MCU, I am eagerly anticipating the release of Captain Marvel on March 8th. This may sound ridiculous, but I don’t think Kevin Feige and the team have made a single bad installment. Thor: The Dark World is widely considered to be the worst one, and even that is just mediocre.
When the first trailer for Captain Marvel came out, however, I wasn’t impressed. The opening shot of Blockbuster Video felt a bit like nostalgia bait. The suit was CGI and green, bring up bad Green Lantern memories. And the vagueness of the trailer left a little too much to be desired. But you know what? It’s just a trailer. It’s not a big deal. As time went by, more trailers released, and they were actually quite good.
So now I’m pretty hyped for the lead up film to Avengers: Endgame. But guess who decided to barge in and destroy this movie’s Rotten Tomatoes audience rating? Trolls.
As this article is being written, the Audience Score sits at 32%. This was a concerted effort by irrationally angry people on the internet who want Captain Marvel to fail. This isn’t just a one time thing either; I remember waves of weird anger towards Black Panther, Wonder Woman, The Last Jedi, and The Force Awakens. These trolls all seem to have the same argument as to why each movie is bad:
These movies are pushing an “SJW” agenda.
What is that, exactly? “SJW” stands for “social justice warrior”. The usual description of this type of person goes like this:
1. Overly emotional
2. Obsessed about ruining everyone’s fun
3. Prioritizes pushing social change at the cost of quality
Trolls accuse films like The Force Awakens of pushing diversity by making none of the three protagonists white males. Sure, let’s ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of American films are centered around white men. Let’s ignore that society and culture caters to white men. That is not an insult… it is just a factual reality.
A film like Black Panther makes the effort to cast mostly black actors, and has a black director… And somehow this sparks outrage because of “reverse racism”. I have listened to a person in real life tell me that he couldn’t relate to a character because that character was a different race and gender than him. And this is someone who thinks Martin Luther King Jr. was a great guy! Talk about cognitive dissonance.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have noticed that the same trolls who throw this word around are unknowingly engaged in psychological projection. When you read their reviews, you can tell how emotionally immature they are, how obsessed they are with destroying a movie’s reputation, and how zealous they are about pushing their own agenda.
My hypothesis is that this is the same group of whiners that show up each year to complain. These are the people who notice a change in the diversity of casting and become anxious, hateful and inconsolable. Perhaps it’s because they feel a loss of power. What I would say to them is CHILL THE HELL OUT. It’s just a movie. Judge it on its merits.
The truth is: yes, there are now a select number of films out there that have made concerted efforts towards diversifying its casting. I do not believe it is part of some secret plan to hurt all white men. I also do not believe it come from a sense of justice or altruism. Here’s whats really going on: MONEY.
The entertainment industry is interested in growing its audience above all else. And being that superhero and sci-fi adventure films have been one of the only genres nowadays that make any money at the box office, why wouldn’t they try to expand their base of devoted fans? Young white men have always been the target audience of these kinds of stories (again, not an insult but a reality). And based on the box office returns of Black Panther, there is still untapped potential in the market. As long as they keep making money, they will continue trying to diversify.
So don’t listen to the trolls. See the movie. If it’s good, it’s not a big deal. If it’s not good, it’s not a big deal.