Captain Marvel is the superhero name of Carol Danvers, a space pilot in the mid-1990s with a mysterious past who, after a mission goes haywire, crashes through a Blockbuster Video in California.
But you don’t really care about the plot, do you?
Plots don’t matter! What you need to know is that Captain Marvel is a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and MCU movies are generally good-to-excellent, and Captain Marvel is no different. It’s smart, funny, and deliriously self-aware, and there’s a bunch of cool explosions. There’s also a young Agent Coulson, an explanation of how Nick Fury lost his eye, and a goddamn kitty named Goose. It is an all-around successful comic book movie, like the 5,000 MCU movies that came before it. It’s great! There you go! Review over!
“But wait,” you say. “It is different. Aren’t you going to mention… [points at boobs, from one to the other, back and forth, maintaining eye contact, making things weird]?” Ugh, FINE. I'll say it.
Yes, Carol is a woman, and this is the first Marvel movie centered on a woman. In that sense, this is different from the stuff that came before it! It’s even better!
I’ve really enjoyed my Bruce Bannerses and Steve Rogerses, but I liked my Carol Danvers even more. It was great to see someone who looked like me straight-up destroy alien bad guys. Brie Larson plays Carol as unapologetically capable and strong, and as someone who isn't here to be “likable.” There’s a whole sequence of Carol and her best friend Maria (Lashana Lynch) that feels like a gender-swapped Top Gun, and I know that is a line that could outrage plenty of you, but I don’t care, because I didn’t even know I had a lady-aviator-sized hole in my heart before, but now it is filled.
Is the movie perfect? Almost! My biggest issue—this is true—is an improper application of No Doubt. Captain Marvel features a pivotal fight scene soundtracked by the 1995 punk-lite banger “Just a Girl,” and although that song meant everything to me when I was 13, here it really distracted me from the delicious ass-crushing on screen. Aside from Jude Law telling Carol a thousand times that she’s too emotional (SHUT UP, JUDE LAW), this movie never suggests that Carol’s any less capable because of her gender. So like, why this song? Carol has had it up to here for many reasons, but having a pink ribbon over her eyes isn’t one of them. This probably only stood out to me because the rest of the movie’s soundtrack is so spot-on. So whatever.
Anyway, I loved this movie because it’s excellent and because it’s carried by a woman. I’m sure it will make a billion dollars because all Marvel movies do, but also because it’s going to mean a lot to a lot of people out there. Including me.