Kelly Liked, Really Liked, Almost Went Back to Liked, Then Finally Really Liked Captain Marvel (2019)!

Captain Marvel 003.jpgRating: B+

Summary: Carol Danvers falls to Earth.

Well, Marvel, you did it. You made a movie about a woman. Or from what I can tell, you stumbled into making a movie about a woman. I’d give you all the accolades if you hadn’t simultaneously pandered your little heart away while making Carol Danvers fairly gender neutral. It’s weird, it’s like you were almost afraid of getting into the mentality of a woman, but- swerve, you went for an obvious route and decided to blast No Doubt’s I’m Just a Girl in the background. It’s a delicate line to toe, I get it. How can you get more women into your audience while not scaring away the men? It’s pretty much what all Feminism 101 classes ask themselves.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I liked this movie. I really liked it. Mostly, I liked it as an action piece. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get the feminist’s equivalent of Black Panther- you know, something that made me contemplate and swell with pride after leaving the theater- but that doesn’t mean I’m mad that I saw this. I genuinely had a good time, it’s a solid origin story, it’s much more memorable than 75% of the Marvel catalog.  It’s more creatively told than other origin stories like Doctor Strange or Ant-man.

As far as titular characters go, I’d put Brie Larson right up there with Chris Evans and Chadwick Bosman- she’s not just likable in the role, but she brings a level of authenticity to her character. And while the character is just as new to her as it is to us (Carol undergoes significant memory loss), there’s a level of confidence to Larson that I haven’t seen from most of the Marvel roster. When Carol reaches her peak potential in the movie- the moment has genuine excitement to it and it is very much a felt moment.

A small complaint I have is that the build-up to her inevitable peak isn’t well established (the memory loss thing doesn’t help) and thematically, it doesn’t quite reach the points that tie these kinds of movie together – but nevertheless, the imagery and the original score are striking and together, it’s triumphant and euphoric. I’ll be disappointed if Marvel doesn’t move full steam ahead with more female protagonists- but if Captain Marvel is meant to usher in a new roster with kick-ass ladies, then it’s a good start. It’s no Wonder Woman. But it’s a start.

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