This review contains light spoilers about Captain Marvel’s past and powers.
Captain Marvel is Marvel’s first female-led movie in its current shared universe. In fact, she’s only the second female hero to have superpowers in the series, rather than just mad skills or a cool suit, and the first whose superpower is badass super strength.
The movie is also a foray into greater sci-fi territory. While Marvel movies have been set in space and features aliens before, Captain Marvel is the first with a totally sci-fi rather than “space fantasy” vibe. It embraces its sci-fi-ness, from the way it introduces Captain Marvel to the font used to write place names and dates on screen.
Captain Marvel actually starts in the middle of the story. ‘Vers’ is a member of the warrior Kree. She has no memory of her past, but she is eager to be involved in the war to stop the villainous shapechanging Skrull from taking over the universe. When she meets Nick Fury on earth in 1995, she realizes that she has a past on this planet that she needs to uncover.
This is both a strength and a problem for the movie. Captain Marvel throws us headfirst into the action and the high-stakes drama, which makes for a dramatic opening act, but it also makes it feel very sci-fi and a little difficult to settle into. However, its ability to unveil plot twists from the past, and tell a story in two directions — who Vers was before she lost her memory, and who she is growing to be — makes for a strong narrative overall, and the story becomes more gripping as she gains more allies and friends and remembers more of her past.
Captain Marvel has its funny moments too. Not as many as a movie like Thor Ragnorak, and sometimes it has that mock-Joss Whedon feel, where it’s trying to be witty but slightly misses the mark, but it is also genuinely hilarious at times, especially when the adorable cat Goose appears on the scene.
But let’s get to the heart of things, shall we? The only thing people are going to be talking about is the fact that she’s a female superhero. So let’s address it. Does Captain Marvel live up to the promise of Marvel’s first female-led movie?
Hell. Yes. Captain Marvel is the hugest “fuck you” to people who didn’t want women in their superhero movies. And her badassery is totally comics canon, which will just make people even more enraged.
For one thing, Captain Marvel is a stone cold badass. She’s fierce as hell, and she is not here for any of your bullshit. Even before she gained any powers, she was inspiring, intelligent, brave, and a clear leader in the room. She was a fearless trail brazer, flying planes in the military and always trying to do the right thing.
But by the end of the movie, Captain Marvel is a freaking god. More than a god, actually, since she puts Thor’s powers to shame. If she’d shown up in any of the previous Avengers movies, there wouldn’t have been any movies. This is a person who can punch space missiles and travel faster than light. Honestly, the only downside of her now being in the Marvel movie universe is that she’s possibly too badass. Who the hell needs Captain America’s shield or Iron Man’s suit, when Captain Marvel is flying around?
If the people who have been review bombing the movie actually saw it, they would hate it even more than they already do. They would LOATHE it. Captain Marvel is everything they fear. And I LOVE it. I can’t wait for her to dominate like the badass she is in Avengers: End Game.
But at the end of that movie, please, please can we have a mid-credits scene with Kamala Khan fangirling over Carol Danvers. Please. Let’s continue to destroy this white boys’ club, one badass at a time.
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