With seven weeks left until Avengers: Endgame hits screens, Captain Marvel may seem like the middle child of two blockbuster movies. But this is one film you don’t want to miss, whether you’re a hardcore superhero fan or a casual moviegoer.
This is somewhat of a groundbreaking movie as well: Captain Marvel is Marvel Studios’ first film to center on a female superhero, and the second one from any major studio. But gender doesn’t play a major part in her story; she is a hero in her own right.
One quick note: this review is spoiler-free, so feel free to read on.
The movie focuses around Captain Marvel, a member of an elite Kree strike force with a mysterious past on Earth. It’s set against the backdrop of the ongoing war between two alien races: the Kree, who appear either human-like or with blue skin; and the Skrull, who have a much more stereotypical alien appearance with green skin and elf-like ears. Skrulls can also take the form of any other creature, creating doubt in the audience that keeps them focused and intrigued.
The first part of the movie has some stereotypical moments, dropping a lot of information on the audience in a short amount of time. But once Captain Marvel meets up with Nick Fury, the movie hits its stride well. Like many of Marvel’s best movies, the secret to its success lies in the fantastic relationships between the characters that make the audience invest in their wellbeing and success. The two characters’ sarcastic attitudes and mutual goals make them a duo you’ll fall in love with even before the climax of the story.
The movie is set in the 1990s, meaning that it serves as a prequel to almost all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (barring the WWII-set Captain America). Not only does that create the opportunity for the film to be chock-full of quality references – you should keep an ear out for the song choices throughout – but the massive societal evolution in the past 15 or so years adds to the experience of the movie, especially for younger audiences. Now, 1990s L.A. can seem as alien to the audience as it does to Captain Marvel.
In terms of easter eggs, there’s something for everyone. Marvel doesn’t pass up the opportunity to drop easter eggs for future events, since the film is set in the past. For those who have read the Captain Marvel comics, there’s several nods to her origins. The easter eggs go up until the final shot of the movie, and be sure to stick around for both end credits scenes for more.
Recovering from an inflated opening, Captain Marvel is a great superhero movie showcasing a truly strong and independent hero. The action scenes are well-made, the writing is stellar, and the characters make the movie as amazing as it is. B+