Captain Marvel weakly presents its theme

Captain Marvel released this past weekend, pulling in a box office of $455 million and receiving generally favorable reviews from critics and fans alike.

The movie stars Brie Larson as Vers, a super powered “noble warrior hero” of the Kree Empire. Samuel L. Jackson plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nicholas Fury, the future director of the spy agency. Set in the year 1995, Vers crash lands on Earth after being abducted from her team by Skrull, an invasive alien race capable of shapeshifting. Vers meets Fury who helps her uncover what the Skrull were searching for, and also her past on Earth.

The movie was executively produced by Jonathan Schwartz under Marvel Studios and distributed by Disney. The movie was dually directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who have directed Sugar, a baseball movie from 2008, and Young Rebels, an African American documentary from 2005. The Composer is Pinar Toprak who has done music for Fortnite, and also the DC backstory show Krypton, which follows the adventures of Superman’s grandfather.

The beginning act of the movie introduced Vers (Larson) as part of an elite team that infiltrates Skrull strongholds. Yon-Rogg, played by Jude Law, teaches her to control her powers via her emotions, that they are a weakness. The action soon starts of the movie as she is abducted by Skrull while trying to extract one of the Kree Empire’s spies. This sets up the rest of the movie in 1995 in Los Angeles, California, where she teams up with Fury to figure out what the Skrull were up to.

After the main plot line is set up, the movie is able to decently explain Vers story, her human life, and gives some good twists to the story of what happened.

Before seeing the movie, solely based on the trailers that had been released, I though Larson’s performance was sub-par. It was emotionless from what was shown, and felt almost Mary-Sue. As it came closer to the release of the movie, they started inserting some of Larson’s character, and this is what made me hopeful for the movie. To me, it was an arguable thematic choice, as the Kree race sees emotion as weakness. It would make the point if the trailers carried over that theme, right?

After seeing it, I was able to see more of the characters attributes; quick-tempered and headstrong, yet being able to be humorous in her situations and acting as a lover of justice. And over the story, we see her struggle with her identity, involving several conflicts, and how she is determines who she is ultimately.

Ultimately, I believe this is the flaw of the movie. The theme ultimately given to the aimed audience, girls, is that you need to stand up for yourself in your weakness, and keep going. Which is a good theme. Yet, throughout the movie I did not see the writing nor Larson express this properly. I felt like screaming when I saw missed opportunities to show Larson’s character to struggle to overcome her situation. What’s shown is her overcoming it.

In a sense, she is an unrealistic, superhuman conqueror of her emotions, that doesn’t show the difficulty of her situation.

Outside of Larson, Jackson’s co-starring with her added a much needed dynamic of banter, allowing Vers and Larson to show character and humor. It was also the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe used de-aging tech for the entire movie on Jackson, which visually set him 20 years back.

Overall, I would say that the movie is worth a watch. While it does have it’s failures in the theme, it is still an enjoyable movie for the action, visuals, and the Marvel formula, and will, at the very least, satisfy you for the coming Avengers: Endgame.