The Rotten Tomatoes’ “Captain Marvel” page saga continues. Leading up to the release of Marvel’s “big feminist movie,” the review site felt compelled to make some significant, site-wide changes after “right-wing trolls” drove the film’s “Want to See” score down to a miserable 27%. Not only did the site drop the score altogether, it disabled the user comment function prior to a film’s release. But on the day of the Brie Larson-starring film’s release, the page was flooded with negative fan reviews, prompting Rotten Tomatoes to reportedly purge about 50,000 comments it deemed to be the work of trolls.
So, how is the feminist-themed “Captain Marvel” faring at Rotten Tomatoes after the purge? Not great. While it’s crushing it at the box office and it still enjoys a solid 80% among critics (down from about 92% in the early reviews), the film has still failed to get to a “fresh” rating among viewers. It currently sits at a “spilled popcorn” 58% in its audience score:
Here’s a random sample of the kinds of audience comments among those 50,000+ user reviews currently posted on the site (score out of 5 stars):
- CGI was decent, plot was disjointed and music was just thrown in at strange times, unlike guardians where it was worked in great. (1 star)
- Should’ve just saved my money. Its a decent movie but not one that lives up to the Marvel hype. It was just bland and unnecessary. Felt like I was watching a strcitly PG movie with too many jokes falling flat. (1/2 a star)
- Main character has no development, nothing relatable like many other superheroes. In the case of female superheroes, the likes of Wonderwoman does the job far better, with a strong female lead. This was just bland and dull. The movie isn’t helped by the comics not knowing what to do with the character either, so it was always going to struggle. It does have one redeeming feature, Nick Fury’s relationship with a cat. (1.5 stars)
- This was a man [sic] great movies, full of great 90s songs, and awesome action. (5 stars)
- A very enjoyable movie. The main character was a bit mary-sue, and the fight scenes could get choppy and hard to follow, but other than that it was a solid piece with good writing, good acting and excellent special effects. A worthy outing for the MCU. (4 stars)
- I went to see it mostly because it was THE movie played on beautiful IMAX screen. I could not help yawning… poor plot that wasn’t interesting to follow, and hollow one dimensional characters. By the last 3rd of the movie I was so annoyed I was rooting for the bad guys. (2 stars)
- Decent movie, not the worst, but not amazing. Gives a good understanding of carol danvers powers. (2.5 stars)
- I was disappointed. This looked like it was going to be a great movie but it failed to deliver. It felt like something more akin to “my super ex-girlfriend” than a Marvel cinematic universe keystone movie. Larson played the role like a robot. Sevral times Law’s character tells her that she has to “control her emotions” to be better…. i kept thinking “what emotions?” The way the plot with the skrulls played put was interesting and I actually liked. Some of the cheesy moments added in to “check a box” take you out of the movie. No doubts “I’m just a girl” playing during a key fight scene seemd more like something out of a teen parody movie rather than a keystone Marvel movie. She is supposed to be a super powerful character and it just didn’t come off that way. I read other reviews before the movie came said hings like “Thanos is fu****” and after watching the movie i can’t figure out where that idea comes from as they don’t frame her as being anymore powerful than what we have seen before. If this character is taking Marvel forward from here on out then they need to fix this. Larson needs add some emotional depth to the character, she certainty has the skills given her other successes. Marvel needs to take the character seriously and not treat her like a a parody movie. This was a step backwards (2 stars)
- Wow..this was a real rollercoaster. I wasn’t sure Brie Larsen was the right actress, but she’s really perfect in the role. Some fun throwback stuff, for those of us old enough to remember what the world was like before cell phones, high speed, wireless internet, and the like. Fun and satisfying. (5 stars)
- Full of humour and action. A solid movie but didnt bring anything extremely new to the table. A great stepping stone to Endgame and Phase 4. (3.5 stars)
- Poor editing and direction, lots of dead air. (2.5 stars)
- Movie was a disappointment, it was bland, brie larson was not dynamic in her role. Hopefully she kicks it up a notch later in the up coming films. (1/2 a star)
As The Daily Wire reported last week, Rotten Tomatoes’ “Captain Marvel” headache began back in February when star Brie Larson (who plays Carol Danvers in the film) began to deliberately push a feminist/identity politics agenda in her promotional interviews.
“About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male,” Larson told Marie Claire UK‘s Keah Brown in an early February interview. “So, I spoke to Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of colour, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses.”
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Larson revealed that she had met with the studio about making “Captain Marvel” a “big feminist movie.” The backlash from the Right eventually hit Rotten Tomatoes, where her film’s “Want To See” score plummeted to 27%:
In apparent response specifically to the targeting of Marvel’s feminist film, Rotten Tomatoes announced last week that it was making some significant changes, including dropping the “Want To See” score altogether and “disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date,” explaining, “Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership.” The site revealed the changes in an announcement Monday:
As of February 25, we will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period. Why you might ask? We’ve found that the ‘Want to See’ percentage score is often times confused with the ‘Audience Score’ percentage number. (The ‘Audience Score’ percentage, for those who haven’t been following, is the percentage of all users who have rated the movie or TV show positively – that is, given it a star rating of 3.5 or higher – and is only shown once the movie or TV show is released.) …
What else are we doing? We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date. Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action. Don’t worry though, fans will still get to have their say: Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have.