Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple months, I’m going to assume we all have heard about one of the biggest movies of the year: “Avengers: Endgame.” Don’t worry, this won’t have any spoilers for those who haven’t seen it.
Some people may think the film was overhyped, but I think the movie has garnered every piece of press it deserves. If you haven’t seen it, then I encourage you to do so, because this movie is one for the books.
It has been barely over a week since its release, and the movie has already broken numerous records. According to Wired.com, the movie now holds the record for the largest worldwide opening and biggest North American opening. It also made $1 billion faster than any other movie, hitting that total in just five days. “Avengers: Endgame” had made $2 billion by its second weekend, earning more than James Cameron’s “Titanic.”
One of the reasons why I think this film, and other recent Marvel films, deserve recognition is because of Marvel’s dedication to diversity. Yes, I’m aware that many actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are white, but they’ve been implementing changes and have actively made an effort to be more inclusive.
For example, “Black Panther” had an almost entirely black cast, and it told an Afrocentric story. In “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse,” there were various leads playing Spiderman. There was a female, noir, a pig, black and white Spiderman in this movie. Along with this, “Captain Marvel,” which did extremely well in the box office, had a strong female lead.
In an interview with Variety, Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel, spoke on what it meant to play such a pivotal character in the franchise.
“I’m happy to be on the forefront of the normalization of this type of content and to prove once again that representation matters. Diverse storytelling matters, the female experience matters, and these are markers,” Larson said in the interview.
These attempts at diversity are appreciated by people of color and others who are finally getting on-screen representation. I personally felt empowered to see a black superhero movie with an almost all black cast. I also loved seeing a female-led superhero movie and the storyline of said narrative further validated me. Despite what some may believe, representation does matter.
“I think a company as big and expensive as Marvel Studios becoming more diverse definitely raises the bar for other huge movie companies, as Marvel has the power to set the expectation of what people will see on the screen,” said Jordan Erickson, senior theatre arts major at California Lutheran University. “If that expectation is not met, audiences, especially minority audiences will only be disappointed that their once given representation was taken away.”
Erickson shares the same sentiment as me. We both believe that this movie is not overhyped. This is something that Marvel has been building up to for 11 years and it’s extremely satisfying to see everything tied together. This movie is this generation’s Star Wars; it’s what Star Wars was to those born in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It’s a series of films that many have followed for over a decade, and we’ve grown with it.
It’s amazing to see how Marvel is also growing with the times and becoming more diverse in casting and storytelling. As someone who has already seen the movie three times, I highly recommend watching this movie if you’re a Marvel fan. It’s very pleasing to watch all of the loose ends get tied up and to have all questions answered.
I think that this “hype” around Marvel is necessary. Drawing attention to Marvel, a trailblazer in its field, serves as a catalyst for other film studios. The message Marvel is indirectly telling other companies is that if they don’t get with the times, they’ll get left behind.