With internet trolls hating on Captain Marvel already before its release, and an article questioning whether women should be heroes over men, the 21st flick in the Marvel Universe is really ruffling some feathers.
Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room, Kong: Skull Island) plays Carol Danvers, aka Vers/Captain Marvel. Carol’s been living among the alien Kree community for three years, training with their elite commando unit, and trying to remember her true identity. Caught up in a war between two alien races, Carol is flung to Earth, meeting a young Nick Fury, and searching for clues about her human past.
“Carol is a woman being confronted with the age-old question of whether or not her emotions weaken her ability to win a fight.”
As the first Marvel movie to have a stand-alone female lead and female co-writer and director in Anna Boden (Half Nelson, Billions), Captain Marvel enjoys some good bouts of girl power. It’s not overly done or disrespectful to the dudes, but with No Doubts ‘Just a Girl’ ringing in your ears as Carol takes down a room of baddies, you can’t help but feel a sense of female pride (if you’re a woman, that is).
Also, noticeably different from DC’s Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel’s clout is never linked to her sex appeal (no tank tops here). Carol is fully clad and fierce. Yes she’s beautiful, and yes she’s fit, but it’s not the focus. Your three-year old can dress up as her at the next party, no problem.
Appealing to the movie’s female core, Carol is also a woman being confronted with the age-old question of whether or not her emotions weaken her ability to win a fight. In training with her Kree mentor and commander Yon-Rogg, Carol finds he’s constantly trying to separate her powers from her feelings. Yon-Rogg believes emotional detachment will make her stronger. Which, without spoiling anything, it’s fair to say Carol disagrees with.
As with all superhero movies, Captain Marvel also has a ‘God factor’. It’s called the ‘Supreme Intelligence’, and appears to each person in a form unique to his or her own consciousness. ‘God’ in this case is a universalistic being, ** POTENTIAL SPOILER ** who Carol needs to break away from, in order to realize the full potential of her powers.
It’s slightly disappointing that Marvel’s top dog is a beacon of self-sufficiency, but the example she sets of resilience and value of family, is admirable.
Captain Marvel is the 90’s kid’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy, so expect to fall into a nostalgic Spotify spiral afterwards, and to be cheering on the ladies as you wait (impatiently) to see what happens next in Avengers: Endgame.