Archive for April, 2019

Captain Marvel is Better than Wonder Woman

April 22, 2019 Leave a comment

The movie Captain Marvel (2019) is better than the movie Wonder Woman (2017). For some reason everyone can’t help but compare the two and when I compare the two, Captain Marvel comes out as the better movie. It’s because the protagonist overcame something in one but not in the other.
This isn’t to say that Wonder Woman isn’t an enjoyable watch, it is; but when watching it you never get the sense that Diana is going to do anything but succeed at everything she tries to do. At the end of the movie they even spell it out: she’s the god killer, the gift given to the Amazons to defeat Ares; she was preordained to succeed. Captain Marvel doesn’t have that sense at all. Vers (the name of Captain Marvel for most of the movie) does fail. She can’t defeat her commanding officer is a joust, she gets captured in an ambush, she can’t hunt down the Skrull’s on her own, the Skrulls can hurt her, etc.
In Wonder Woman you never get the sense that Wonder Woman is ever in danger. Diana throws herself into danger and succeeds stunningly without ever getting scratched over and over. Does she even ever get knocked down? Captain Marvel certainly gets knocked down. The movie has montages of her getting knocked down. The movie is a story of overcoming adversity. Which then makes the montage of her getting back up again, all the more powerful.
I don’t think that Wonder Woman has any character development. Yes, she learns about the larger world, but she doesn’t seem to be any different at the end of the movie than when she was the little girl doing impossible things. Captain Marvel finds her humanity in her movie. She goes from being a space soldier to someone with friends, who ends up betraying all that she knew for doing the right thing. She also overcomes the restrictions that she had been living under. I find it something which can be related to and inspiring, than Wonder Womans’ invincible person who can’t be beat, story.
Wonder Woman’s fish-out-of-water scenes are way better than Captain Marvel’s. They’re funnier, they make more sense, and are overall better. The way it’s played in Captain Marvel feels like the humor is forced and her actions don’t make a lot of sense. While I get that the Kree don’t have a strict Federation like Prime Directive, Vers walking around a planet, that she should know doesn’t know about the outside galaxy, asking for “Star Command” (or whatever it is in the movie) is odd. She barely even tries to go covert, which is odd. She’s a lone soldier, in a foreign land, she shouldn’t be sticking out. Yes, some bumbling about might make for humor, but it didn’t here.
The plot twists (or reveals) in Captain Marvel are better than those in Wonder Woman. In Wonder Woman they’re more on the nose, spelled out, more “shocking”, but what makes them shocking is that they’re oddly inconsistent with the rest of the movie. Particularly the who-Ares-actually-is reveal. While surprising, you then can’t help but think “If he was Ares all along, why did he help get Diana to the place which would stop his final plan? And why then did he show up to confront the one person that could kill him? And why does he tell that person that she’s the one that can kill him?” You went from a sneaky villain to a bumbling one. The Skrulls-are-oppressed twist takes longer to play out, isn’t so black and white, you kind of don’t buy it and are waiting for a double twist to happen, which then never comes.
Captain Marvel wins out as the better movie. I found the characters arc’s better, the story was better, the music was more thematically consistent, it was just better. Both movies are enjoyable to watch but one has a sense of danger where the other one did not; and one has a protagonist who learns how to stand back up, while the other doesn’t know what it’s like to be knocked down.

Categories: Entertainment