This is, after all, a Marvel film, where "character" and "personality" are cobbled together from varying levels of snark, earnestness, stoicism, and nobility; where the only civilians who show up will eventually turn out to be instrumental in the final battle; where personal details exist to form the convenient spine for a lesson to be learned in the final act.
When writer/directors Boden and Fleck steer their film towards spectacle, Captain Marvel does go big, especially during the A New Hope style finale, which sometimes suffers from underwhelming CGI splurge, or lack of an indelible character musical motif, but is requisitely thrilling none-the-less. Remembering only flashes of her life on Earth, she has been trained as a warrior by the Kree, and wants to put her no-impulse-control fighting skills to work ASAP. But compared to most of the studio's other releases, "Captain Marvel" seems a little lacking in commitment, ambition, and innovation. It no longer reflected the bra-burning activism of our mothers, rather, '90s feminism was about defining strength in womanhood, whether it be physically (à la Sarah Connor in Terminator 2) or tossing out the idea of an "emotional" female (see: Daria) or simply, defining who you are (like Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites). They'll say I'm getting paid off by the Disney/Marvel oligarchy.
At the Los Angeles premiere of Captain Marvel, Larson revealed to PEOPLE the role had changed her life. Of her upcoming movie, Jackson said, "She's capable of so many things, that to be able to step into this particular universe and create a character that is this kind of important..." Captain Marvel is definitely a top ten MCU outing, and potentially even a top five one. Otherwise, this is one you can safely wait to see on pay TV or a subscription movie service.
The film, which is the first Marvel movie to be fronted by a solo female hero and the first to be - at least partially - directed by a woman (Anna Boden co-directed with Ryan Fleck), experienced a spectacular wave of buzz after its earliest screenings.
'Captain Marvel' flies into Marvel's elevated expectations
What you'll find is considerable amount of humour, a depiction of actual female friendship and mentorship (the emotional heart of the movie), Ben Mendelsohn's entertaining yet layered Skrull commander, serious 90s nostalgia value (with an unbelievable period soundtrack to boot) and a delightful bond between Samuel L. Jackson's de-aged Nick Fury and Goose the cat. As an adult, I've come to enjoy most comic book adaptations.
"I can't believe you'd have to Google that", she tells the camera. Her role on this team is simple-stop the rival alien race The Skrulls from expanding their empire through terrorism. I'm super into an all-female Avengers movie. It's a real treat to see Carol Danvers find her footing and her wings, so to speak, while at the same time Nick Fury is taking the first steps toward becoming NICK FURY.
Despite featuring the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first woman lead character, Captain Marvel sticks to the overarching franchise formula. There's a little Thor in amnesiac Carol's return to her home planet as she navigates the would-be alien world, and there is, of course, a bit of Captain America as she too is a woman out of time.
But for Marvel's latest nod to Lee, the studio has decided to make his appearance a little more blatant - having reworked him into its opening trail, which usually involves the series' ensemble of characters. Annette Bening does double duty as research scientist Dr. Wendy Lawson and the avatar that embodies Carol's most admired person whenever she's jacked into the Kree's Supreme Intelligence matrix.