Movie Review: Captain Marvel

By Ceara Kelly, Staff Writer
[Marvel; 2019]
Rating: 7.5/10

Just when Marvel was getting dull, they found a way to keep casual audiences coming. Sure, Captain Marvel follows a lot of the recycled story structure of past Marvel films, but it’s much more fun to watch a woman shoot sexist nerds with lasers instead of Tony Stark. While it doesn’t delve into more serious cultural topics like Black Panther, it still manages to feel important as it defies all expectations after a visceral backlash against its pre-release.

Read more: Movie Review: Black Panther

The plot itself is nothing remarkable; it’s a simple, on the nose anti-war story with Carol Danvers, or Vers (Brie Larson), fighting to find her identity while she uncovers the truth of the Kree and Skrull War. The Skrull, a newly introduced race, are able to shapeshift and disguise themselves down to the DNA, meaning one thing: the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to become even more complicated. In Captain Marvel, they are not only a danger to deal with, but they also allow for great comedic scenes that play with the concept of the Skrull’s powers. Still, their introduction will allow Marvel’s “phase four” to be painfully convoluted since no one can be trusted.

Speaking of humor, it is refreshing to see a movie with a cocky female hero. Only once was Carol Danvers’ confidence made out to be a negative aspect, and the catcaller who tells her such has his motorcycle promptly stolen because its owner is a sexist pile of garbage. To make it better, the strong and confident male leads that we know from past movies are the butt of the jokes. That’s right, Nick Fury is mocked left and right in this movie. Not only is it a nice change of pace, but it humanizes his one-dimensional character.

The ’90s period not only allows for a fan favorite to return, but it also makes room for some marvelous gags. Constant references, such as the mocking of outdated ’90s technology humans had to use, keep the audience laughing. It also let the movie have a slap of a soundtrack. Most of the music is from all-female or female-lead groups, and it’s a poetic cinema watching Carol Danvers fight against those who kept her powerless to No Doubt’s “I’m Just a Girl”.

The movie is all girl power all the time. Brie Larson wasn’t kidding when she said the greatest love in this movie was the friendship between her character, Vers, and Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). Letting women support women rather than forcing some half-baked romance is just another reason why Captain Marvel stands out from the rest.

Marvel movies often avoid being torn apart for being mediocre. While Captain Marvel is no masterpiece, it’s enjoyable to see a woman be as cocky as the male leads in other Marvel movies. Brie Larson managed to capture the rage women feel when men change the rules to stay on top, and it was about time for Marvel to finally give a female lead superhero movie a shot. It’s the joy and power women feel after leaving the theater that is amazing. The plot isn’t special, but it’s beyond important to finally say that the strongest hero in the Avengers is, without a doubt, a woman. Even if that wasn’t the case, there’s an absolutely adorable cat named Goose in the film, and what’s not to love about that?

Watch the trailer here:

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