Friday, 8 March 2019

Captain Marvel Parent's Guide


Rows of Marvel Comic Books faded out, with the title in the foreground. It's not that I don't like Marvel films, I do. A lot. The problem I have is that they are heavily marketed at children, with many different toys, plushies, Lego models, etc, all featuring superheroes from the Marvel franchise. Which is absolutely fine, children need heroes, positive role models to look up to, but, here's the annoying part, the films are a 12A and often feature language and scenes that not everyone would consider appropriate, even if they are the right size for the corresponding costume! So, here is another Parent's Guide, so that you can make your own mind up about Marvel's latest superhero; Captain Marvel. 

At the start of Captain Marvel, the film is described as having 'moderate fantasy violence and implied strong language' but, I have to say, of all the Marvel films I have seen, this is one of the tamest. Compared to the fraught and emotionally tense undertones of Infinity War, it's much more toned down and in a more relaxed style. There are one or two sexual references, which will most likely sail over the heads of a younger audience, such as someone asking 'you do know why it's called a cockpit?' implying that it should be a man flying the craft, but there is nothing visual or more obvious than that. Swearwords were also few and far between, with just two shits and an F word altogether. 

The violence is also a lot less realistic for the most part, portrayed in a more 'comic book' style. There is very little blood or wounds and there aren't the graphic bone cracking noises or emotional deaths that are sometimes used. There is one slightly more realistic and violent fight scene, where the victim is overcome by his attacker and you can feel his pain a bit more than the others. There is also a point where one of the antiheroes is disguised as an elderly woman and if a child didn't understand this, and thought there was an old lady getting a battering, this could be distressing, but it is quite obvious that it's a bad guy in disguise from the lead up to it. There's also a very authentic car crash which might be distressing for little ones, but the children in the audience weren't phased and it doesn't last long. 

Rows of assorted vintage comic books from the Marvel franchise


Over all this film rates pretty low on the sex and violence scale. There will always be violence in these types of films, because that's what they're about and as a parent you kind of have to get on board with that, or not, but the less emotional 'fantasy violence' is less likely to give them nightmares. On a positive note, this is a really good, funny film and myself, my son and my 7 year old nephew loved it. Most refreshingly of all, the film featured an incredible female lead. She was powerful, determined, loyal and protective. She also was not dressed in her underwear, rather a practical flight suit, similar to Capt America's, or 'dressed for Laser Tag' as it's described in the film. She looks like a hero, not a model. She doesn't have perfect make up and a manicure, she has a mean right hook and a steel resolve. She's a warrior and, particularly as it's International Woman's Day, I welcome her arrival into the Marvel universe. Boys and girls need female heroes and she is definitely that. 
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