Warning, if you haven’t seen the movie I will possibly discuss things from it that might be considered spoilers. Let’s put up the spoiler warning graphic, Spoiler (Stephanie Brown) from the Batman books.
That out of the way, lets talk about the Captain Marvel movie.
Overall thoughts: it’s good. Really, really good. Lots of fun. A great addition to the Marvel mythos. It’s also the best Green Lantern movie yet. Alien comes to Earth, hands powers off to a human, human must now learn about interplanetary wars and entire planets full of beings and things never previously known. Oh, and someone from that world our hero trusted ends up being an enemy. Then all ends with a spectacular battle in space.
Captain Marvel is all of that and more though. She isn’t just a male superhero with lipstick. She is a fully created woman that can be “Just a Girl” but most importantly she is a person who never gives up, always gets back up, and will absolutely kick your ass. She is driven to be better and that in turn makes her the best.
The movie has a long act one. There is a lot that needs to be set up in the movie, and viewers have to be patient through that. Who Carol Danvers is and was, the Kree, the Skrulls, this ongoing war. The rules of these worlds need to be established first. Hey. Buddy. Why you trying to move so fast? Get to know her first. Sit down, have a drink, have a conversation.
Then once all of that is set the movie takes off. There are a couple moments to take a breathe and look at the scenery but for the most part the movie flies and movie goers have to strap in and enjoy the ride. It’s a buddy movie, a veteran and rookie movie, a road trip. Training Day with aliens and energy blasts.
It also has a message, like all great science fiction. First of all is the obvious strong woman story. Some online tried to force bad reviews on the film because they were intimidated by a super hero movie starring a woman. As if her front and center meant they were small and left behind. Foolishness. Don’t knock a strong woman, get behind her. See where she is going and go there with her. There’s a good chance she will lead to something better than your current station.
Underneath that is a story of immigration. Sometimes those who wander are actually lost. In desperation they might commit acts that a person in comfort would call crimes. But these people call it survival. When one enemy rips away everything that has defined you – home, culture, country – the next enemy who wants to take what little is left will instead feel nothing but wrath. The film turns what was an enemy into a tragic, broken, yet strong ally. It’s interesting how the same character can be a hero or villain depending on who is telling the narrative. I hope no real world modern day media discovers this trick.
Finally there is the identity of being a woman. When Carol/Captain Marvel is in charge, in control, the soundtrack is nothing but female fronted rock. Heart, No Doubt, Garbage, Hole. But when her true enemies are trying to manipulate her, what plays? A male voice, Nirvana. Much like Fury’s name or personal stories, there is one thing that impostors can’t duplicate. The inner mental strength. If Captain Marvel finds motivation from the words of other strong women then a man “yeah but”-ting in.
I would put it at a solid 85/90. Not quite the force some of the other Marvel movies are, but damn good and I already want to see it again. Part of this positivity, I admit, is due to emotions the movie stirred up. The Marvel logo with Stan Lee made it incredibly difficult to hold back tears in the theater. Secondly, as a life long Kevin Smith fan seeing Stan on the train reading his Mallrats script was wonderful. If Marvel wants another cameo character to take Stan’s place it’s hard to find a more deserving face than Kevin Smith.