For years the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had almost total control over Hollywood. With more than 20 movies under their belt since 2008, grossing in total over $15 billion according to mentalfloss.com, it’s safe to say that Marvel’s superhero franchise has been a smashing success. Despite this, Marvel has miraculously avoided putting a woman at the forefront of one of their movies until Captain Marvel came soaring in with a film that deserves to be called one of the best Marvel films to date.
“Captain Marvel” tells a gripping story with much more emotional power than a majority of the other movies within the franchise. As our heroine Carol Danvers struggles with remembering the life she had on Earth before she was abducted by the Kree, we also get to see how certain characters, like her best friend Maria, have coped with Carol’s disappearance. These personal struggles portrayed alongside the toils of an intergalactic war allow “Captain Marvel” to draw out more empathy than its sister-films.
On top of that, the film carries a powerful theme of feminism. Rather than beating you over the head with the feux ideas of equality like many so-called progressive films do, “Captain Marvel” doesn’t allow its message to dominate the story. Instead, the message constantly exists in the background and only takes the spotlight in strong thematic moments, such as in the finale when Carol says “I have nothing to prove to you,” to the oppressive male antagonist.
As for the performances, I was nervous for Brie Larson as Captain Marvel—a lot of her roles in the past have been fairly tame or timid characters. However, Larson took me by surprise by completely owning her role as the stand-tall Carol Danvers, exuding confidence in every scene. Her on-screen chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson was supremely entertaining as well and seemed like a genuine friendship by the end of the movie.
Despite “Captain Marvel” having its own unique story, there are still plot elements that resemble the formula that the prior films within the franchise have set, making some events predictable. The humor does a good job counterbalancing this, though, so any reveals that could have been foreseen were still entertaining.
The CGI used within the film occasionally fell short of meeting its mark, and made some scenes much too cartoonish, when it was supposed to actually be a very intense, high-stakes battle. This causes a break in the audience’s immersion in those scenes, and pulls you out of the film during the moments where you really need to be in it the most.
Regardless of its flaws, Marvel has finally made a movie with a kick-butt lady as the lead, and they did a good job. They’ve created an empowering character that can motivate anyone to get back up when they’ve been knocked down. But most importantly, they’ve made a character that reminds the world that a woman is just as capable of anything as anyone else, and if you believe otherwise, you’ll receive a photon-blast to the face.