You had me at the bestest of kitties and young Nick Fury finally finding a friend on his level.
Captain Marvel is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, whose 2010 movie It’s kind of a funny story (big fan) already showed us they know how to adapt characters from a written medium. So what’s up with this lady who apparently will kick Thanos’ ass?
Besides being a neatly constructed tie-in to Avengers: Endgame, this origin story explains exactly why this superhero is often considered the most powerful individual. We meet Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as member of the Kree civilization on the planet Hala where she serves among others as a soldier, bound to the commands of an A.I. leader called the Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening). They are at war with what they consider to be merely terrorists, the Skrulls, who can shapeshift into any person they lay eyes on. Haunted by flashes of a life she can’t remember, “Vers” struggles to fully commit to this way of living. Conveniently, on one of her missions, she gets stranded on planet Earth (or C53 as the Kree call it) where she slowly discovers her true identity.
Completely contrary to films like Blade Runner, this one is full of answers and explanations that will satisfy your geek etymologist heart. Learning how certain words and names came to be is pretty neat and makes you feel part of the gang. For some expert tips on fighting techniques, you can count on Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) who trains and lectures our protagonist like a true mentor should. Ben Mendelsohn plays the leader of the Skrulls (Talos) and adds a seamless lightness and humor to his role. But don’t trust this presumably standard formula – as any movie containing shapeshifting, this will not disappoint on the twist and turns plain.
What I honestly appreciate is that Marvel manages to form their characters with highly personalized details (thank you for all the fish but also for the comics). So you’ll get your big-scale set pieces, blasting doors open, and epic space fights but, nonetheless, you could tell exactly where Captain Marvel is on the battlefield – the same way Mace Windu’s lightsaber is cutting through from hundreds of meters away. All the members of the MCU are unique but simultaneously fit in perfectly. Another round of applause for the exceptional worldbuilding and construction of one of the most epic cinematic universes (this is the MCU’s 21st movie!).
Captain Marvel is also still an important milestone for cinema.
Despite many progressive projects and the motivation to show and embrace the diversity of the human race on screen, the world shows us daily that matters are in fact quite different. And although the entertainment industry in general is not an adequate environment to hold standards to, the influence and effect of art cannot be dismissed. Be it movies that call you to action with political realness or a Captain Marvel that glows brightly on the horizon for all the girls who couldn’t imagine being a superhero – and one of the most powerful at that.
To anyone saying this argument is getting tiresome, your fatigue could stem from the overload and staggering success of comic book movies that rains down on us rather than a feminist voice shining through. It’s getting easier to spontaneously name your top 10 favorite female heroines with every movie like this and I’ll be damned if I didn’t support that.
If only movies that don’t have a comic book to lean on could have the same financial success. And if you dare to make the jump to light speed, leaving the overarching complex of societal themes in your rear mirror, Captain Marvel is an admirable person with strength in other places than just her muscles (though impressive they are).
Follow Carol as she unleashes her true powers and turns into the brightest beam in the galaxy. Captain Marvel offers good action, touching Stan Lee cameos and nodds, really funny situational humor and quippy smartassing. Part buddy cop comedy, part origin story, part feminist piece – it has just the right components for a good time.