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Review by Henry Varona
In the summer of 2012, Marvel embarked on a bold new vision for one of their premier heroines. Carol Danvers, a longtime member of the Avengers, took up the mantle of Captain Marvel and changed the face of Marvel forever. Suddenly Carol Danvers transformed into one of Marvel’s most popular heroes and the “Carol Corps” (The loving name for Captain Marvel fans) had become one of the most powerful voices in the world of comics. Now, years later, Marvel Studios has launched Carol in her first film role. As a proud member of the Carol Corps, I can say that not only does this movie honor the legacy of Carol Danvers, it also provides viewers with one of the most unique heroes in Marvel’s pantheon, showing that there is limitless potential from the superhero juggernaut!
In Captain Marvel, the 21st movie from Marvel Studios, Brie Larson plays Vers, a member of the Kree army fighting to protect space from the dangerous Skrull forces. As the growing conflict between the Kree and Skrull unfolds, she finds herself stranded on Earth in a last-ditch effort to stop the Skrulls from recovering a vital weapon that can lead to their victory. But as Vers investigates Earth and the Skrull conspiracy, she uncovers secrets about her own shrouded past that challenge her Noble-Warrior-Hero image, while also forging a vital relationship with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) that could hold the secret to saving the universe!
My favorite thing about Captain Marvel is that it in many ways, it is not the movie the trailers made it out to be. Even in the summary above, I felt like I would be betraying the movies twists and turns if I gave away too much. In this modern age of trailers that spawn constant fan-analysis, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Captain Marvel offered much more than I expected going in. I was particularly taken aback by how Carol’s character arc unfolds. I mean, she doesn’t even start the movie as Carol, she goes by “Vers”, which plays into the deep mystery that so much of the movie revolves around. This makes the trajectory of the story all the more engaging, as we learn new things alongside the cast of characters, leading to a surprising ending that will make many fans reevaluate their expectations.
Brie Larson is incredible in the role of Captain Marvel/Vers/Carol Danvers. While many were skeptical of her emotional range based on some early trailers, she proves to be a captivating and charismatic lead. Her emotions factor heavily into the story and help provide an interesting meta-analysis on the depiction of female action leads in mainstream media.
In particular, many of the film’s flashbacks highlight Larson’s range, and they make me really want to see an entire movie of her life before the war. Beyond that, Larson also busts out some great comedic chops, quipping throughout the movie and besting her rivals regularly. If you’re looking for a new queen of sass, look no further. Larson does a great job embodying the best elements of Carol’s great history, effortlessly transforming into the titular role from the film’s first scene.
Beyond Larson’s turn as Captain Marvel, an all-star cast of characters help make the world of story feel vibrant and lived in. Immediately, fans will recognize returning favorites Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg, as Nick Fury and Agent Coulson, respectively. While Gregg doesn’t have much screen time, he makes every minute worthwhile, reminding audiences why we all fell in love with him back in the original Iron Man movie. Jackson, on the other hand, has much more to do and provides for some of the movies best moments. His friendship with Goose the cat is hilarious and heart-warming, and reveals an entirely new side to the typically grumpy character. Speaking of Goose, this lil’ kitty cat steals the show, providing the biggest laughs and tangible concern, as the action ramps up and threatens him. Don’t worry, no animals were harmed in the making of this movie. Admittedly, I would have liked to have seen more of Jude Law in this movie, as his role in the Kree army provides a unique niche in the cosmic Marvel tapestry. However, this is made up for by Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, the biggest surprise of the movie.
Of course, with all of this said, Captain Marvel is much more than just another Marvel Studios production. It is also the first female solo-film in the fan-favorite universe, which puts a lot of pressure on it succeeding. Much like Black Panther did last year, Captain Marvel acknowledges this importance directly in the movie, though in slightly more subtle ways. Many of the movies most powerful moments come from Carol directly addressing the sexism that she has combated throughout her life. As shown in the trailers, Carol refuses to stay down despite those people who would see her pushed to the side or outright try to diminish her abilities. Carol Danvers is a proud and defiant woman, and she shows that she is more capable of standing alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes when the inevitable team-up with the Avengers arrives.
Captain Marvel is a fast-paced action film that will be sure to please many fans. While it takes certain liberties from the source material, it genuinely captures the spirit of Captain Marvel and will leave audiences feeling empowered. With an all-star cast and a unique journey towards unraveling Carol’s origin, it breaks convention from many past Marvel Studios movies without feeling out of place. By the end of the film, audiences will be pumped for more of Larson’s Captain Marvel. Luckily, it won’t be long, as the release of Avengers: Endgame grows closer every day…
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The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer, and not Midtown Comics. Additionally, Midtown Comics makes no representations as to the accuracy of any of the information expressed herein.