I was going to include this take on Aaron Cooper’s recently published I Hate The 90s feature, but I got going on too long of a rant.
So here it goes…
The soundtrack to the Captain Marvel movie is bad.
Now before you get all up in arms and start thinking I’m being a misogynist for hating on an aspect of female led super-hero moive hold up. I loved the movie itself, Brie Larsen was awesome. I enjoyed the plot and the entire cast, especially Goose.
The movie was great.
However, the soundtrack was cringe worthy.
Basically Captain Marvel is set in (spoiler alert**) 1995 so the soundtrack consists of mostly radio hits from that decade, but as Aaron described it to me via text “It is like a kid born in 2002 put the soundtrack together” or someone who just looked back at the Billboard archives and picked top songs from the 90s.
(Note: Just to be clear I am not referring to the score composed by Pinar Toprak, that was great as well. I am referring to the movie’s use of 90s music.)
Okay back on subject.
Why play Garbage’s “Only Happy When It Rains” when Carol Danvers is cruising around on a motorcycle and its nice and sunny outside? You could literally still use the same Garbage album and play the chorus or intro to the other minor hit off the album, “Supervixen”.
Also, playing No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” during the big fight scene was so eye rolling.
Come on, that’s just way too obvious. Why not use L7’s “Shitlist” and give a nod to a classic 90s movie Natural Born Killers that also used “Shitlist” on the soundtrack? Oh, you say it’s a family movie and “Shitlist” is not family friendly. Okay, that’s fine use another L7 jam “Pretend We’re Dead”. You say L7 is too extreme of a band, okay no worries. How about you use Veruca Salt’s “Seether”? Don’t like that one? Okay, how about the chorus to The Breeder’s “Cannonball”? I honestly could do this all day. Or if you want another girl-power 90s anthem, how about Bikini Kill‘s “Rebel Girl”?
These are all female led bands and all were radio hits or at least underground hits for the most part so it’s not like I’m getting crazy esoteric here. People would still recognize the song and they would still bring back some 90s nostalgia. But using “Just A Girl” for that scene is just so lazy and awkward. Captain Marvel is more than that, she is a kick-ass intergalactic being powered by The Tesseract!
And it’s not like Marvel hasn’t incorporated deep cuts into their soundtracks in the past. Look at both of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks or the prom scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming where “Space Age Love Song” by A Flock of Seagulls is playing in the background.
This next example might be the worst.
Asking Annette Beninig to do some sort of grind-dance-shimmy while Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” was playing hurt my soul. That song isn’t even a song you would dance to, let alone grind too. I probably revere Nirvana songs too much and probably keep them too sacred at this point, but I’m sure Kurt Cobain would be super bummed if he knew his song was being used like that.
If you want a scene where Annette Bening shakes her hips, hell yea – go for it. Maybe use a different song though and maybe even a song that is on the soundtrack and featured earlier in the movie like Elastica’s “Connection”. “Connection” is literally a 10 times dancier song that would make so much more sense and wouldn’t make Nirvana fan-boys like myself cry on the inside.
Also, I couldn’t help but wonder if the inclusion of “Celebrity Skin” by Hole during the credits wasn’t some sort of ransom used by Courtney Love for the rights to the Nirvana song. I could see her leveraging her song on the soundtrack if Marvel wanted a Nirvana song. I mean they even had to edit the “they aren’t sluts like you” lyric out of it. Why would they go to this trouble if there wasn’t some sort of leverage going on?
You could literally pick any of the songs I mentioned earlier to take the place of “Celebrity Skin”. Let’s go with The Breeders’ “Cannonball” just for arguments sake.
Including Nirvana and Hole on the soundtrack kills another argument that I have read floating around and that’s the argument that maybe Marvel avoided problematic bands or artists that had drug problems or a sketchy past. The publicized past of both Nirvana and Hole are much gnarlier than say the drug problems of The Breeders’ Kim Deal or L7’s shenanigans in general so don’t give me that bullshit.
Another thing that makes the horrible use of 90s music in Captain Marvel even wilder is it is the same music supervisor as all of the other mentioned MCU films, Dave Jordan. Just take a look at his IMDB page. He did great work with all the other Marvel movies he worked on previously. So what the fuck happend here?!
Okay, I’m done shitting on the Captain Marvel soundtrack.
Again, I loved the movie and the cast. I am super stoked to see Brie Larson’s character integrated into the MCU. That little snippet scene in the latest Avengers: Endgame trailer where Captain Marvel and Thor interact is so good.
So yea, Captain Marvel THE MOVIE was awesome, but Captain Marvel THE SOUNDTRACK was not and I think it was a missed opportunity to make a very entertaining movie even better.