Fanboys who had made it their misguided mission to steer clear of Captain Marvel should rethink their agenda. For those who don’t know, the film has endured brutal attacks on Rotten Tomatoes by a disturbing number of angry men shouting from behind their laptops saying the film was “rotten” hoping to dissuade everyday cinemagoers from going to see the latest in the Marvel franchise. Why? Because they wanted to sideswipe Brie Larson and her suspected stance as a so-called “social justice warrior.”
We’ve seen those fanboys flail, and now we will watch them fail. For all their screaming and furious typing, the unfounded hatred will not stop excited Marvel fans from seeing the film. The noise of right-wing trolls should not stop anyone from seeing it.
I loved every minute of Captain Marvel, a superhero who breathes fresh air into the Marvel universe in this superb standalone film from start to finish. It is easily one of the best comic book standalone films and most intriguing origin stories.
Assuming you’ve all seen Avengers: Infinity War, you’ll know Thanos has wiped out the Avengers, and just before Agent Fury is eviscerated, he signals to Captain Marvel.
So, here we are in 1995, a young Nick Fury (a magically youthful Samuel L. Jackson) encounters Carol Danvers and we’re introduced to Captain Marvel with details 90s nostalgia on full display.
From the opening sequence, there is no shortage of breathtaking action, but what makes this such a stand out is the way Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers is given such a solid backstory. She’s not just tossed into the Marvel Universe, appearing out of nowhere to save the Avengers. As we learn her story, we grow to know and admire her — a technique of emotional involvement that Marvel has always excelled so well at igniting. Granted it’s taken us ten years and a wealth of Avengers films and origin stories to get here, but the result is worth the wait. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck take great casting and build on the foundation of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s screenplay to introduce Carol Danvers/Vers as an inspiring new role model
Vers, when we are first introduced to her is an elite member of the Starforce team, headed by Annette Bening (Thank you Marvel Gods for bringing Bening into the MCU). Vers struggles to harness her powers, and Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg is the Starforce commander who teaches her very early on that she needs to learn to control her impulses, to think with her head, not her heart in order to be the best version of herself. She already has her powers, she just doesn’t know how she got them.
The ongoing Kree-Skrulls war means Vers and the Kree have to destroy the “terrorist” Skrulls and their leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). It’s that pursuit that lands Vers firmly on Earth or C-53 as it’s called here — where questions about her past and confusion in finding her identity are about to answered.
And that’s where the strength of Captain Marvel lies. Amidst all the humor, the buddying up with Fury to help piece the puzzle together, the traveling to Lousiana to learn about her past, Vers journey of discovery is so layered and cleverly revealed. Pieces of the riddle are so gracefully interwoven and developed throughout the film that when she finally finds out who she is, it’s a moment of sheer electricity. A true moment of empowerment. She’s never had to prove anything, she is who she is. Meanwhile, as Brie Larson brings impressive grit to the action scenes, she brings a humanity to the role as well. As a bonus, along with all the humor of Carol Danvers that we find in the comic book script, we have a hero who captures the complete package of what it means to be human, a powerful woman and a woman.
Featuring top-notch supporting performances from Annette Benning, Gemma Chan and Jude Law, the true standout here is Brie Larson. Larson transforms this beloved superhero into a fascinating and fully-formed character, breathing life into her iconic image, with humor, complexity, and genuine emotion.
Lasahna Lynch’s plays Maria Rambeau a former test pilot who worked with Carol and was her best friend. Having been her partner as co-test pilots, it’s Maria who plays a big part in explaining Carol’s past. The scenes with Maria and Vers are indeed beautiful moments as we get to see their special bond of sisterhood and friendship. Equally beautiful is the storyline involving Maria’s daughter Monica and Carol. Each of those meaningful scenes is enormously empowering, encouraging, and uplifting.
CAT! CAT! I can’t write about Captain Marvel and not mention Goose. For all the playful humor and perfectly-timed punchlines, Goose steals every scene.
Andy Nicholson’s production design in creating the look of the ships and the Kree-Skrulls worlds is eye-candy impressive, as is Sanja Hay’s costume design. Along with the visual nostalgia, the 90s soundtrack defines the era with entertaining resonance.
Captain Marvel is a great superhero movie with something for everyone. It’s one of the best of the franchise, and yes, I’ve seen every Marvel film out there. This chapter is thoroughly refreshing and I must emphatically express how flipping superb it was to see all the action delivered by a female in a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt and jeans. Female Empowerment to the Nth degree.
We finally get to see the story of the most powerful Avenger and it’s everything we hoped for. The pieces of the puzzle and the pre-SHIELD/Avengers world is perfectly and flawlessly put together. Meet the newest of the oldest heroes! Captain Marvel is here. We’ve been waiting for you for so long. All Hail a new heroine who can kicks as much ass, if not more, than any of her male counterparts. (She’s already kicked the asses of wingnut basement dwellers who tried to hold her down.)
But perhaps most important of all, this movie will serve to inspire women. Women of all ages. It will especially inspire little girls, by giving them a superhero to admire, to look up to. If little girls want to fly, then so be it. Vers has arrived to show them how.
(Brie Larson makes Captain Marvel marvelous. Stay for the end credits and bring a tissue for a touching tribute to Stan Lee.)