When Wonder Woman flew straight into the record books, audiences expected to be swamped with countless “girl power” flicks as Marvel and DC dug deep to find more female supers. While it’s unfortunate that we know Hollywood literally works exactly like that, check your cynicism at the door when you check out Captain Marvel. This isn’t a cheap cash-in, or a hasty deus ex machina to explain how Infinity War can possibly have a hopeful follow-up. This is the introduction of the most powerful, badass heroes in Marvel’s repertoire. And she’s not “just a girl.”
“Higher, further, faster, baby.”
Captain Marvel brings us back to 1995, showing that we may finally be exiting Hollywood’s 80s nostalgia trip. Vers (Brie Larson) is a member of Starforce, a strike teamwith the shape-shifting Skrulls. When she crash lands on Planet C-53 (aka Earth), Vers begins to uncover evidence of a life before her Kree rebirth. Along the way, she meets a still young and chipper Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), and the best movie cat since Cat’s Eye‘s General; Goose.
I was already excited when Brie Larson was announced in the lead role, after her stellar turn in Room. Much more than, say, Jennifer Lawrence taking on Mystique for three underwhelming X-Men instalments. The casual audience, and indeed many 90s kids, may not be too familiar with Carol Danvers, beyond her guest roles in a couple episodes of the old X-Men: The Animated Series. What we were promised was an outing with “the most powerful character in the MCU so far.” Captain Marvel delivers, with action and style. It didn’t wow me. But it did leave me thoroughly behind the idea of seeing this fiery space-queen smack Thanos around.
“I’ve been fighting with one hand tied behind my back.”
Captain Marvel manages to introduce us to a brand new character, rewrite a bit of MCU history, and let us pal around with Nick Fury for an entire movie, all without ever getting boring, or overly sappy. There is a strong theme to the film in regards to Carol’s disadvantages as a strong young military woman from the late 80s, whether its harassment from strangers, or superiors questioning her emotional state. But it feels natural, and even deserved by the end.
In its place among MCU origin stories, Captain Marvel settles in somewhere between Captain America: The First Avenger, and Doctor Strange. It’s not breaking a ton of new ground, but it’s laying terrific groundwork for a new heavy hitter on the Avengers’ roster. So, when the Endgame finally arrives, Earth finally has another ace up her sleeve.