Higher, Further, Faster.
“Captain Marvel” has had a lot to prove when it comes to finding its place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). From the moment it was announced, it has been faced with the cries of people shouting their opinions of why this movie shouldn’t exist. But in the words of Carol Danvers herself, she “has nothing to prove.”
The most interesting thing I’ve seen about this movie is the general negativity around it. I’ve been a Marvel fan since 2012 and compared to any other movie, this seems to be the one that people are trying to question the most. Before the movie has even come out, there seems to be so much conversation around why this movie exists. Now, I will argue that they’re some valid questions to be asked such as: After the success of a movie like “Black Panther,” a movie with an overwhelming majority black cast, that set new standards and made strives towards representation, is it really considered “groundbreaking” to have an MCU movie centered around a white female lead?
However, as we saw with “Wonder Woman,” there are always gonna be trolls who don’t want this movie to exist simply because there is a woman leading it. In fact, there were efforts to leave bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes in order to lower the audience score, despite the fact that these people hadn’t even seen the movie yet.
Getting that out of the way, this is a genuinely great movie. Everything that I assumed might take away from the plot actually ended up helping the movie. The movie tells the story of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), who is caught between two worlds and ends up on a mission to find out answers and maybe even question who she really is at the end of the day. My biggest question about this movie was how would the setting it in the 1990’s would play out. The MCU timeline can get kinda messy at times (*cough* *cough* “Spider-Man HoCo” *cough* *cough*). So, going back in the past immediately raised some questions for me. This actually works in favor of the vibe of the movie, keeping it really simple. It lets the narrative be extremely character-driven and the conflict fairly simple instead of the usual “impending world doom” plot.
Being apart from the main timeline also helps let each character stand out on their own and get a fair amount of development. You get a true sense of who the characters are and you’re able to feel a sense of familiarity through who they are. The moments when you just get to see each character be in their own little world talking to each other are some of the best. Whether it’s hearing Carol and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) banter back and forth between each other but also getting a sense of their mutual respect of each other. Or seeing Carol, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), and her adorable daughter (Akira Akbar), whose name I won’t spoil for fans of the comics, fall back into the rhythm of getting to know each other again and constantly uplift each other and push each other to new limits.
One thing from the movie that I already see being debated from now until “End Game” comes out is, Carol’s power. An undeniable fact after seeing this movie is that Captain Marvel is insanely powerful, and I can already hear the cries of men yelling “she’s overpowered blah, blah, blah.” Truly, her power is coming from a lifetime of being told that she’s too weak. She’s told she’s too emotional, that she’s too headstrong. That she’s a girl and she won’t be able to “hang with the men.” After a lifetime of hearing this and internalizing these thoughts and being controlled for so long, when she breaks free, she takes all these emotions with her and instead of holding them in like she’s been told to, she uses them to fuel her.
Overall, the movie is really amazing and when it ended, I really couldn’t think of any complaints I had with it. It’s a fun origin story that’s easy to follow for newcomers but also doesn’t hold back from throwing a few references to back to the first “Avengers” movie that, if you’re anything like me, will make you scream with joy in the theater.
While the movie might not be as revolutionary as it might’ve been back during the first phase of the MCU, it is important because it does represent something big. I hope this is the big push necessary for Marvel to start creating and casting more roles for people other than white dudes named Chris. At the end of the day, if that end-credit scene (the one in the middle) is anything to go by, Thanos better watch out because a certain hero is coming back for blood.