The studio’s first female superhero to get her own movie, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) hit screens last night, her extraordinary origin story unfolding with as much or more nostalgia as galactic warfare, courtesy of the 1995 setting.
Like a lot of viewers, I was totally guilty of going into the film simply looking for a hero to fix the Thanos snap, as the studio has implied Captain Marvel may do. My questions weren’t Who is Carol and where did she come from? How come she’s going to be the one to fix everything? What happened to make her qualified to square up with Thanos? It was mostly Are the rumors true, is she actually powerful enough to take on Thanos? Is this chick going to bring Peter Parker back to me or not?
But within ten minutes all thoughts of Peter, Bucky, T’Challa, Wanda, Dr. Strange and the Guardians were gone, Carol Danvers’ own story very quickly becoming a compelling concern of its own. The one victim of the half-massacre viewers did not forget is Nick Fury. His lack of an eye patch is exactly as uncanny as expected; more footage and character development of Fury is exactly as cool as expected. He and a nascent Agent Coulson made for a script with more than a few golden one-liners.
Brie Larson portrayed every last degree of Carol’s ferocity whilst also doing the deep emotionality of the character justice, conveying the pain of loss, amnesia, defeat, displacement, and issues of identity. Joining ranks with Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Larson worked well with an excellent storyline, communicating the duality of women––both that woman can and do have all the mettle that men possess, and that said grit does not eliminate their emotionality or capacity for softness.
The underlying themes of disproving stereotypes and undermining etiquette, of disregarding the status quo for a higher, purer way of being and sense of self, were portrayed with beautiful simplicity, via touching friendships and a classic narrative of self-discovery. The fact that it was also done via quality violence sequences was more empowering. And really cool.
Basically, if you’re a sci-fi fan, the movie’s worth the ticket. Carol’s lightning powers are enough to make Thor cry and her suit is definitely one of the sickest of any of the Marvel heros (while amazingly also somehow subtly being fittingly 90’s). Her glowing green armor definitely gave Steve Rogers in bullet-proof solid navy a run for his money.
To fans who have been on this ride since Tony Stark’s convoy was ambushed in Afghanistan in 2008––she’s worthy of her superhero name, weighty though it may be. And for the love of Stan Lee, stay for the post-credit scene.