The highly anticipated Captain Marvel opened in theaters this week, bringing fast-paced action and humor, while providing the history of Shield and the Avengers as well as a glimpse into the future. Appropriately released on International Women’s Day, Captain Marvel is the first in the Marvel series to center on a female superhero and did a great job of highlighting the character’s strength and tenacity while making her down to earth and funny. After reading mixed reviews about the film, and not being a die-hard superhero movie fanatic, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I am also sensitive to the girl-power genre, knowing it can be difficult to pull off right while appealing to a diverse audience. I brought my 12 year old son with me for his perspective as he has seen all the superhero movies and loves them, though he wasn’t sure he would care for this one as much since he didn’t think he would identify with the lead character. We both left the movie pleasantly surprised after thoroughly enjoying both the action and the wit, the storyline that included unforeseen twists and the answers to many questions that came from Marvel movies past.
Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers, an Air Force test pilot turned alien superhero who has forgotten her past and struggles with piecing it together. It takes some time to warm up to her character whose depth is really developed as the storyline unfolds. As pieces of her memory flashback, movie-goers who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s will identify with and enjoy the music and scenery. Others will be inspired by Larson’s never give up attitude and even more will enjoy Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, as he keeps the audience laughing throughout the movie. The unexpected character who stole the show in many scenes was “Goose,” the furry, purring kitty cat.
The underlying theme of the movie is often brought forward through dialogue with quotes like, “I want you to be the best version of yourself.” During other parts of the movie Danvers has memories of those who don’t believe in her, with people challenging her saying she can’t do things because she is “just a girl” or she “struggles with controlling emotions.” Through every failure Danvers gets back up and tries harder to succeed and to prove wrong those who didn’t believe in her.
As I left the movie I asked my son what he thought and he said, “It was really good, it was funny and smartly made… I didn’t expect some of the twists and turns the storyline took.” I also felt like I should ask other movie-goers their opinions as I thought it would be difficult to write an unbiased review of this movie based on my experiences as a Naval Aviator growing up just a little later than Danvers. I loved the movie, thought it was entertaining and funny, but I also felt a connection to the lead character that I wasn’t sure others would feel. I stopped a couple in their early 60s as they left the theater and they both really enjoyed the film; they were pleased with the way it answered many questions about the origin of the Avengers as well as building anticipation for the follow-on film Avengers: Endgame to be released in April. I also texted a friend whose entire family is die-hard Avengers fans and asked her opinion. She said she “loved it, Kitty was hilarious.”
Captain Marvel has a little something for everyone, from sci-fi lovers to those who care more for drama, from young girls with big dreams to old men that love action and wit, and for cat-lovers and cat-haters alike.
Movie times: click here
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Run Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck,
Actors: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Lashana Lynch
Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action and brief suggestive language