5 Marvel movies for women

Actress Brie Larson is currently promoting Captain Marvel by launching a series of scathing attacks on white males.

Her comments about toxic masculinity and ‘old white dudes’ have alienated audiences, many of whom are men and boys.

It would be a shame if Larson’s comments offend traditional fans. Already many of them have threatened to boycott the movie. This could have serious repercussions for the future of Marvel movies.

In any case, criticisms of these diehard fans are all quite unnecessary because in recent years Marvel’s well-acted, expertly directed and engaging scripts have broadened the fan-base to include women of all ages.

So like its superheroes, Marvel now needs to triumph over adversity and return to its roots.

Here are my five top five picks to guide them.

Thor Ragnarok
Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, a blond Viking god. Chris is an Australian actor and one of a trio of equally handsome and successful bothers. Indeed the Hemsworths are now cultural icons much like Steve Irwin and Paul Hogan’s Crocodile Dundee before them. Chris Hemsworth’s impressive physique and comedic timing brings to life the well-intentioned but often misguided Nordic God.

Thor is joined by The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), mischievous brother Loki (Tom Middleton) and evil aunt (Cate Blanchett) who plans to take over the Universe.

New Zealand director Taika Waititi brings a quirky storytelling technique to elevate Thor Ragnorok to box office glory.  

The Avengers
The first Avenger movie threw Iron Man, Black Widow, Archer, Thor, Hulk and Captain America together. Their mission was to save the world from Thor’s troublesome brother Loki.

The combination of superhero talent, witty script and great special effects bought new life to a previously formulaic genre. It also firmly showcased director Joss Whedon’s talent. If Whedon can find a way to sneak Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the crew of Firefly into the next Avengers, the Marvel Universe would be complete.

Spiderman
I’m referring to the second remake, not the awful Toby Maguire trilogy or the more recent Tom Holland incarnation.

This is Spiderman’s origin story and doesn’t deviate all that much from the Maguire film. However, Andrew Garfield captures the spirit of the lithe, teenage superhero so much better. 

Fortunately it is also faster paced than its predecessor. The romance between Spiderman and Mary Jane Watson (Emma Stone) is believable, unlike Toby Macquire and Kirsten Dunst who lacked on-screen chemistry..

Unfortunately, the Spiderman 2 sequel was poorly scripted and performed poorly at the box office.  Soon after this Garfield and Stone departed.

The Black Panther
Some argue this movie heralded the beginning of PC culture within the Marvel universe. If so, it has not detracted from the movie.

The African civilization Wakanda, kept secret from the rest of the world,  is a technological and social paradise. The serenity of this hidden African society is shattered by the arrival of a strong, charismatic and canny rival.

Will the rest of the world discover Wakanda and will Black Panther reclaim his throne?

Well acted and full of impressive action sequences, this movie was one of the highest grossing and popular additions to the Marvel canon.

Iron Man 3
Robert Downey Jnr’s promising acting career stalled in the 90s due to drug abuse problems. Who would have thought that he would make a successful comeback playing the wealthy Tony Stark.

Whilst Iron Man 3 was not as popular as the previous installments, I believe it is the trilogy’s best.

For starters, Stark’s the annoying love interest Gwyneth Paltrow is absent for long periods of the film.

And Downey, while not a superhero hunk like Thor or Captain America, is a likable character who uses his wit, wisdom and fortune to overcome obstacles.

The DC Exception

Wonder Woman 
I know it’s not a Marvel film but it’s much better than the average DC film and therefore worthy of attention.

I’m old enough to remember the original Wonder Woman TV series starring Linda Carter. While this 70s show was a kitsch take on the Amazonian superhero, with Carter sporting ultra tight shorts and fitted top, the movie takes a more serious tone.

The athletic and attractive Gal Gadot is perfectly cast in the lead role. Showing both strength and femininity, Wonder Woman is not the one- dimensional character of its TV predecessor.

Instead Wonder Woman battles a War God and the stupidity of the WW1 military.

Gadot is surrounded by an accomplished support cast including Chris Pine and David Thewlis who contribute to make this movie worthy of its title.

Marvel’s Future

I’m unsure how Captain Marvel will fare compared to all the other Marvel films. It would be a shame for Marvel to spoil its successful track record because of one outspoken star.

One can only hope that the publicity surrounding Brie Larson is an anomaly and that the franchise will soon return to what it does best.

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About the author

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.


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