If you’ve been following the trailers, you’re familiar with the basic details. Carol Danvers lives with the Kree and is a member of their Starforce — who call her Vers, taking the name from the tiny bit of military dog tag that’s found near her on Earth — and has dreams that show her brief flashes of an incident from her previous life, but other than that she has no idea who she used to be.
There are some light spoilers ahead, but nothing big. Team Normal will be doing a Hangout about Captain Marvel on Wednesday, March 13th, and that’s where we’ll discuss specific plot points, the callbacks and easter eggs, and theories. But that’s after everyone has seen the movie! Why should you go to the theater this weekend to see it? In addition to all the jokes about now obsolete elements of 90s culture, there are a few big things that makes Captain Marvel a standout.
(Before you buy your overpriced candy and get your butt in a seat, you don’t have to be fluent in MCU to follow this one, but I think a decent familiarity with The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Infinity War are necessary to best understand what’s going on.)
The Carol/Fury Partnership
Every time we’ve seen Nick Fury in the MCU, he’s been in charge and in control. He may not have been the head of SHIELD yet in 1995, but it’s clear by watching him in Captain Marvel why he went on to get the job. He’s a damn good agent, and he and Carol make a damn good team. Each comes to trust and respect the other, and they’re bonded by the fact that they listen to their gut instead of blindly following orders. Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson have an organic chemistry and play very naturally off of each other.
The movie was much funnier than I was anticipating, and their dynamic provides a lot of that humor. The cat everyone fell in love with as soon as he showed up in promo images, Goose, also goes along on their adventure and got plenty of laughs from the audience as well. But he is far from your average kitty, and I suspect he’s going to be the fandom’s new Baby Groot. If someone doesn’t show up to Comic Con this summer in Goose cosplay I’m gonna be pissed.
With the Skrulls’ ability to physically transform into an exact replica of anyone, you’re unable to trust what’s right in front of your face, keeping you excitedly second guessing things that would otherwise seem straightforward. Early reports from press screenings about Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the lead Skrull Talos, being particularly good were all true. In a role that could have been overshadowed by the prosthetics, Talos has humanity, humor, and shines in a way that characters other than the title hero don’t often get to in these movies. It’s too much of a spoiler to share the finer details of the Skrulls’ story, but I think many fans will be hoping to see them in the MCU again after Captain Marvel.
The Female Relationships!
In the beginning of the movie, Carol’s closest relationship is with Jude Law’s character Yon-Rogg (filling the role of THAT guy, who feels the need to tell Carol that she should keep her emotions in check) but Captain Marvel ultimately belongs to female relationships and what it’s like to go through the world as a woman. We see through flashbacks that Carol received the always expected but still infuriating sexist treatment in the Air Force, but also that her mentor — and person she admired most in the world — is her superior officer Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening).
There are depressingly few scenes in the MCU that feature only women, so Carol’s moments with best friend and fellow Air Force pilot Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) were some of my favorites in the movie. My friend and I even got teary during one of their scenes together. I got similarly emotional during Carol’s interactions with Maria’s young daughter Monica, because there are going to be so many little girls her age in the audience this weekend, finally seeing the representation fans have wanted throughout this franchise’s history.
So go forth and soak this movie in, Marvelettes. It’s been a long time coming and was worth the wait. As many fans suspected, there’s a tribute to Stan Lee, in addition to his usual cameo. It opens the film and is truly a beautiful testament to his legacy. There are two end credits scenes and unsurprisingly, one of them relates directly to Endgame, which will be in theaters in less than two months. The Avengers don’t even know how lucky they are yet to have Carol on their side.