The new entry for “The Aisle Seat” in Anthropology News is live, huzzah. I decided to tackle Captain Marvel in less than 1000 words. I could’ve done 3000. Anyway, here’s how it starts:
Thirty-four minutes into Captain Marvel, our superhero, played by Oscar-winner Brie Larson, is standing in a Los Angeles parking lot wearing an intergalactic police uniform and reading an unfolded map. A man rolls in on a motorcycle, eyes her up and down, and says, “Nice scuba suit!” She barely gives him a side-eye in response, and miffed, he says, “Lighten up, honey, huh? You gonna smile for me?” She continues to ignore him as he heads in a store. Then she lowers the map and sees his bike, which she promptly steals.
While co-director and co-writer Anna Boden says that this scene had always been in the script, many viewers and critics saw it as a thumb-to-the-nose response to the men who complained that from trailer to film, Captain Marvel doesn’t smile. After the near-constant calls by male pundits for Hillary Clinton to smile more during the 2016 campaign and the #MeToo movement’s highlighting of that harassing demand on women, the criticism of the Captain Marvel trailer seemed like trolling.