Thomas takes a retrospective look back at Brie Larson’s debut as Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel was released two years ago in March 2019. It was a special one because it was the very first solo superheroine movie in Marvel Cinematic Universe. It took Marvel 11 years to make a solo superheroine movie! Sadly, it took this long. Surely I’m not the only one who would have loved to see a Black Widow trilogy the same way we got a Thor trilogy, an Iron Man trilogy, and a Captain America trilogy.
Nevertheless, what is done is done but Marvel is finally going in the right direction when it comes to this. There are so many more solo superheroine movies/TV series coming soon and it’s so great to see it happening. One of these movies includes the long-awaited Black Widow movie in July. It will be available day-and-date in cinemas and on Disney Plus with Premier Access!
Captain Marvel was a special movie because of what it meant for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it was also special for me personally. This movie led me to start my collection of Marvel Legends figures, S.H. Figuarts MCU figures, and later my collection of Hot Toys MCU figures. Before, I loved the MCU but never collected any merchandise from it. It also made me want to read the Captain Marvel comics. I knew her from the Avengers comics but I never really tried to read solo comics stories before. Today, I’ve read them all and I’m up to date with the trade paperback versions! I’ve loved reading her comics and learning more about this character. Whether it’s in comics or movies, Captain Marvel has become one of my favorite Avengers and that’s all thanks to this movie!
So first let’s talk about Captain Marvel herself. Brie Larson was perfect casting. She’s a talented actress (she won an Oscar for Room, if you haven’t watched it, I can recommend it.) She understands the character, she’s committed to her work and she also embodies what Captain Marvel stands for. I couldn’t have thought of a better actress to play this character. She has an impressive presence on screen, that’s exactly what was needed for this character.
“I have nothing to prove to you.” – Captain Marvel
In terms of personality, Captain Marvel is a layered character. There are some similarities to Iron Man and Doctor Strange – she can be arrogant. After all, she is one of the most powerful characters in this universe so she can afford it. But she is an inspiring character too! I loved that moment near the end of the movie when Monica looks up to Carol as she flies to the sky. It’s what these stories are about – inspire people, make people dream! Plus, this costume was amazing! Marvel always creates great costumes that fit with our current world while at the same time being able to draw inspiration from the comics.
The movie really took its time to develop the character and have the audience care about her. Captain Marvel wasn’t a typical superhero origin story. The movie started with her already having her powers but not knowing who she was. It was an unusual but efficient way of introducing the character. I loved the adventure/road trip vibe to it. It explored both her human past and her “Kree powers” origins. And what better team up than having her on the road with a younger Nick Fury?
The VFX teams nailed the de-aging technology with Nick Fury and Phil Coulson. It really felt like seeing a 90s Samuel L. Jackson. To be honest, the VFX teams did a great job with everything in this movie. The visual effects are beautiful, all the space/flight sequences are impressive!
It’s always good when Nick Fury shows up. This appearance brought us a younger version of the character and thus him being more on the field than on a ship giving the orders. It gave us the origin story of how he lost his eye – thanks to Goose, the cat. It was fun in true Marvel fashion. This character was another scene-stealer and brought some great laughs with the Flerken action. You can’t have Captain Marvel without her cat appearing at some point!
Korath and Ronan are two other characters who made their return. Not that I cared about these characters but it’s a thing like this that strengthens the connectivity tissue of the MCU and expands the story.
There are other characters I want to mention. Maria Rambeau, Monica’s mother. Although it’s likely the first and last time we’ll see her as we learned in WandaVision that she died. I love that they explored her friendship with Carol. She was a key character for Carol to unlock secrets about her human past. And that relationship is certain to have resonance for both Carol and Monica in Captain Marvel 2. There was also Mar-Vell. They gender-swapped her character and made her a woman. Mar-Vell was Carol’s mentor and the one who lead her to have powers with the Tesseract. So I think the gender swap was a good idea because it was all about empowering women. And that was essential especially when it’s the first solo superheroine movie in the MCU!
Furthermore, Captain Marvel introduced us to the Kree and Skrulls war in the MCU. What a great introduction it was and with a twist! In the comics, we can’t say that neither are good guys, both just wage war on the other without any intention to end it. Here, we were lead to believe the Skrulls were the villains only to reveal the Kree were the actual villains. We got Jude Law as Yon-Rogg and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos. What an incredible cast!
Both were awesome in their respective roles. I’m so excited to see Talos again in Secret Invasion. He’s a funny and nice character! I do hope we’ll see Yon-Rogg again too. He was very much a representation of toxic masculinity and someone you loathe. I do love to see Carol just beating him up so easily!
Finally, I want to talk about the music and the setting – the nineties. As a kid who was born in the early nineties, having the movie taking place in the nineties was definitely something that made me connect with it even more! Songs like ‘Come As You Are,’ ‘Just A Girl’ and ‘Celebrity Skin’ are all songs I knew and listened to so many times growing up. It just sent me back to that time. Pinar Toprak’s score was wonderful, her theme for Captain Marvel had exactly the superhero vibe you’d expect from a Marvel movie!
Two years later, I still love this movie as much as the three times I saw it in cinemas back then. I can only be excited for the sequel next year!
Captain Marvel is streaming on Disney Plus NOW!
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert