The first solo female-led film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (since Black Widow is part of an ensemble in Avengers and the Wasp co-headlined Ant-Man and the Wasp), Captain Marvel carries with it a lot of expectations.
The movie is centered on Carol Danvers (played by Oscar winner Brie Larson), a US Air Force pilot who was given superhuman powers when she absorbed the energy from an explosion.
Being an MCU geek, I couldn’t pass up the chance to see it on its first day of theatrical release. While I’ve been seeing mixed reactions about the movie on the web, let me share four reasons why I think it’s awesome.
I will try to minimize spoilers in this blog post but there will be some references to scenes in the movie or other MCU releases so be warned…
Here be spoilers.
One: It passes the Bechdel test.
Why would I start my review with the movie’s most academic aspect?
Well, much has been hyped about Captain Marvel being the first female-led MCU outing, and I’m glad to see, with its depiction of the abiding friendship between Carol Danvers and Maria Rambeau (played by Lashana Lynch), that it passes the one of the most basic of standards for female representation in fiction.
The Bechdel Test asks whether there are at least two women in the movie who talk to each other about anything other than a man.
Danvers’ reunion with Maria after a long separation empowers and reaffirms her without needing to include a male in their conversations.
Two: The absence of a love interest.
Nope, Captain Marvel doesn’t need a love interest to inspire her or stir her to action. Her notable interactions were with her Kree mentor Yon-Rogg (played by Jude Law), her friend Maria Rambeau, and a young, quippy Nick Fury (played by CGI-de-aged Samuel L. Jackson), not with a potential boyfriend.
Oh, and the fact that the movie didn’t have the need to explain why there’s no father-figure in the Rambeau household is remarkable.
Three: Younger and work-in-progress Fury.
Since Iron Man 2 to Avengers: Infinity War, Nick Fury has always shown up as nothing less than the BAMF director of SHIELD.
Here, he is still a desk jockey, starting to navigate his way through the realization that a bigger universe exists other than the one he’s known. His banters and quips with Carol Danvers are light and breezy, an indication of the friendship and respect between them that will carry over to when Captain Marvel makes her appearance in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.
Oh, and we see a young Phil Coulson (played by a similarly CGI-de-aged Clark Gregg) in the movie as well, just when I was despairing of ever seeing him again in an MCU movie after his demise in Avengers (and subsequent resurrection in the TV series Agents of SHIELD).
Four: The nods to the 90s
Being a child of the 90s myself, I found myself excited to see the various references to the decade, from Captain Marvel’s crash landing into a Blockbuster Video store, the boxy computers with the slow loading icon and the on-point musical accompaniment to key scenes (No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” for instance).
For me, Captain Marvel does an admirable job in introducing a new addition to MCU’s superhero roster, and tying her story to the rest of the films (guess where Fury got the idea to name his brainchild project the Avengers Initiative).
To some, it may be another cog in the machine that is the MCU, but really, what do cogs do? They keep the machine going.
What do you think of the movie? Share your thoughts in the comments.