In the leadup to the theatrical release of Captain Marvel, Marvel Studios' first solo female-led film has been targeted by online trolls who have been spreading waves of negative rhetoric regarding the film on social media. They even carried out a "review bomb" on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, posting an onslaught of fake reviews to artificially lower the film's "Want to See" score. This has seemingly all been in response to comments made by Captain Marvel star Brie Larson regarding the inclusivity of press events.
Rotten Tomatoes itself has already taken steps to curb the abuse of its system during a sitewide overhaul, removing the "Want to See" statistic and preventing audiences from reviewing films before they are actually released. Now, in a new interview with BadTaste.it, certain cast and crew members from Captain Marvel have also addressed the "review bomb" controversy, as well as the general backlash coming from certain pockets of the internet.
"I really can't understand it at all," Lashana Lynch, who plays Maria Rambeau, said. "And because of that, and everything else, I don't pay attention to it. I don't read it, I don't watch anything, I don't even pay any attention to it, especially when I'm releasing a movie that I'm very, very proud of."
"It's very easy to hide behind a screen and say what you think," she continued, "If people saw a filmmaker or an actress or a writer on the street, they may not be able to share their opinion to them face-to-face. So, I think it's an easy way out. But also, people are always gonna talk. And the more that they talk about it, the more heat that's on the movie, so people are still gonna watch it, you know? And also, people that say they don't like it still end up seeing the movie as well. And then they may even end up enjoying it. So, yeah, I can't pay any attention to any of it."
"We can't either," co-director Ryan Fleck said, referring himself and Anna Boden. "We don't know much about it. We've been in a dark edit room for so long and we've just come out into the world and we're looking around as if we've been trapped in ice for decades. I'm perplexed, but I really don't know enough to comment on it."
In regard to the Rotten Tomatoes situation specifically, Gemma Chan, who plays Minn-Erva, added, "Well, I think it makes sense, right? I mean, you can't really review something until it's released. So, it just seems like common sense to me."
"Well, the mere fact that you give voice, or give a platform to people who don't normally have a platform is part of the problem," Samuel L. Jackson, who reprises his longtime role as Nick Fury, said to bookend the interview. "So, you can have an opinion that you really don't have to be responsible for, because nobody's gonna see you, nobody's gonna challenge you on it. And if you wanna bring or break somebody down or just ruin somebody's day, you can say anything. I mean, everybody doesn't wanna be uplifting and that's pretty much what their problem is."
Despite the initial negative weaponization of Rotten Tomatoes by trolls, Captain Marvel managed to secure a respectable official score now that the film has been made available to critics. At the time of writing, it currently holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 84 percent heading into its opening weekend.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a script they wrote with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as Mar-Vell, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos and Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau. The film arrives on March 8.