This Captain Is Marvelous

This was first posted on Patreon.

Today the family went to see Captain Marvel. I’m lucky in that my wife and kids are almost as excited about seeing the latest Marvel or Star Wars movie in the theatre as I am. We don’t get to go often, but we try to see those two franchises when they come out.

I’m a fan of the cosmic Marvel comics, and was a huge fan of the resurrected Guardians of the Galaxy before they ever made it to the screen. I didn’t follow Captain Marvel with the same interest, but I’m pretty conversant with the character and the character’s powers. I went in with pretty high expectations.

Without getting into spoilers, I really loved this movie and I love the take on Captain Marvel. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the kind of superhero I love is the one that revels in their power because that power allows them to help people. I love the joyful warrior who seeks to protect the innocent. It’s what I missed about the Netflix version of Iron Fist and it’s what I loved about the Wonder Woman movie.

Thankfully, that’s Captain Marvel. Yes, there is some angst as the character begins with no memories earlier than six years before the movie’s start. Even then, Brie Larson’s version of Veers/Vers who is to become Captain Marvel is a sarcastic smart-aleck, obviously accepting the danger of being an elite soldier with a smirk and a wink. I was invested right from the outset.

The story had some pedestrian elements, but also at least one surprise that I honestly didn’t see coming and kept expecting to be a fake right until the end. Well-played.

The acting is top-notch, as you have to expect from the collection of amazing actors Marvel and Disney brought to this movie. Emotional scenes hit hard, camaraderie came across loud and clear, and I had real empathy and sympathy for the characters. Do you expect the SFX to be anything but . . . stellar? Yeah, they were.

Perhaps I was primed for this movie, as I have no problem with strong non-cis, white male protagonists, but I honestly think they hit this one out of the park. There is some feminist messaging in the movie, but there should be. Carol Danvers was a competent, capable character before becoming a superhero, and the prejudices of the day restrained her from reaching her true potential. There’s nothing wrong with that message. It’s a fact that so many people have to face every day, and it’s wrong.

This is a fun movie about a great hero who revels in her ability to help the innocent and oppressed. That’s the kind of hero I love.

Spoilers following the image.

Those who have seen the movie will know that Carol Danvers retrieves at least most of her memories, enough to reconnect with her old friend and colleague. Enough to remove the angst of not knowing who she is. And the fun, sarcastic character who existed before that, gets even better as she reconnects with her past. There remain serious issues in the movie, but she gets to be the joyful paragon which is a trope I love. I can’t wait to spend more time with this character.

And the surprise? Okay, maybe others saw the turn with the Skrulls, but I did not. Especially since Talos was played by Ben Mendelsohn, who is having a bit of a run on playing villains. I really liked it, taking the “scary” aliens and having them as the oppressed by the very attractive aliens with the society that tries to avoid emotionalism.

And I really hope Goose is in Avengers: Endgame. Fury should have had him ready during Civil War. Would have changed that movie entirely. 😉

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