Think back to 2008 and the beginning of Marvel Studios’ fledgling Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man had just released, and superhero films would never be the same. Shortly thereafter came Thor, Incredible Hulk (albeit there are always arguments as to whether or not to include it), and Captain America. Why are we talking about MCU history? Because it’s important to keep these things in mind before seeing Captain Marvel.
Oscar winner Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers/Vers/Captain Marvel, and she can completely hold her own with the phase 1 boys. This is her introduction story, so if you remember that going in, you won’t be disappointed. This isn’t Civil War, this isn’t Ragnarok, and comparing Captain Marvel to those films is a disservice to what it actually is.
You’ve probably seen the controversy across the interwebs- angry men who claim Larson is sexist against them (for her comments about making sure the press pool covering the film was more inclusive), for claiming she is mean and horrible (for her comments about the “Smile More” reception to early posters and trailers which carries over into the film), and for the review bombs that forced aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes to change things up by preventing comments on a film before it releases in theaters.
All of these things tie into the film’s purpose, which is to FINALLY, after 21 films, have a female Marvel hero stand on her own. We got close with Ant-Man and The Wasp, the first of the MCU films to feature a female hero in the title, but this is something different. If you hated the 90s- this film is not for you. If you don’t like sassy and quippy strong women literally getting back up after being knocked down by society and her own personal tossels with patriarchy, this film is also not for you. It’s for the scores of women, young and old, who have been WAITING for Carol Danvers to turn the universe upside down.
Score: 4 out of 5, viewed in Dolby Cinema non 3D, will DEFINITELY be seeing again.
Attention to 90s detail is fabulous- the music, the set dressing of concert posters everywhere. Someone obviously paid attention that decade. The use of No Doubt’s “I’m Just A Girl” during a fight sequence was strangely perfect. Carol’s use of dry humor and attitude comes across naturally, and she works incredibly well with Samuel L. Jackson. This is the first superhero score done by a woman, and Pinar Toprak BROUGHT IT.
There are at least two moments that didn’t FIT within the storyline, like they were added for a laugh factor that didn’t need to be there. Ben Mendelsohn chews enough scenery to make their inclusion dumb. The script should have been tighter, but that’s super small potatoes. We’ll of course be doing more in-depth reviews once the film opens, we don’t want to spoil anyone on any plot points of surprise moments (of which there are MANY).
Yes, there is one mid-credits scene and one post-credits scene, so don’t be that guy who leaves the theater early. You REALLY want to see them.
Anna Boden (first female director for Marvel Studios, only took 21 films) and Ryan Fleck are directing from a script they wrote with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet.
Captain Marvel stars Oscar winner Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as the commander of Starforce (who may or may not have two names), Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Lee Pace returning as Ronan the Accuser, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Skull Commander Talos, Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, Algenis Perez Soto, McKenna Grace, and Annette Bening in as-yet-undisclosed roles.
Captain Marvel is set to hit theaters on March 8th 2019 (International Women’s Day), and tickets are on sale now.