There has been a lot to do about Captain Marvel before it came out. Was Marvel just trying to make money by choosing a female hero? Probably.. Marvel is in it to win it, obviously. But I don't have a problem with that. For me it's the result that counts.
Is Captain Marvel a decent superhero movie, that adds something to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? And is the female orientated content done well and not too much? And maybe I'm asking too much, but is there a message that you can relate to? That children can relate to? I'll try to answer these questions, starting with the first.
(Possible spoilers ahead)
Captain Marvel is indeed a decent, and even nice, superhero movie. It is a typical origin story. Carol Danvers tries to figure out who she is and what her place in the universe is. The plot is straightforward, the characters do what you expect them to do. Some people criticize Brie Larsons acting, but I was quite impressed with her talent to portray emotions in a single look. That having said, she is a bit detached. She cares, but there is a certain distance in her emotions. That makes sense though, for reasons I will not spoil here.
Where was Alanis?
I will not mention all the other characters, but I really liked Jude Law. He does a great job. The young Samuel L. Jackson looks amazing, it didn't bother me at all. The alien make up is done very well too, movement, emotion, it's all there. I also loved all the 90's songs in the movie, although a feminist choice during a fight scene felt a bit too much. Could have done with a bit of Alanis Morissette as well..
Oh, and there are very funny 90's references. But those will not work for the younger fans ;-)
But, in itself, the movie doesn't really add anything to the MCU that we were missing. Some backstory maybe, but those nods don't fill plot holes, or connect things that needed connection. It is a nice origin story, that paves the way for more involvement of Captain Marvel. You will not leave the cinema disappointed in that regard..
Now, then about the feminist point of view. Captain Marvel has strong female characters, but it doesn't feel like a chickflick. It does show how women feel being put down a lot. In their development, in their aspirations, especially when they want to do a 'mans' job. Other than that men and women are portrait as equal characters, a man might kick a womans ass, and the other way around..
Empathy is a strength
I felt there was a bigger message, and I wonder if the male viewers will feel/see that too.
*spoilers* In the movie, Captain Marvel is being told to keep emotions out. They will only make her weak. There is no room for empathy, or any other feelings. This is something that really resonates with me as a woman. Girls and women are often seen as too emotional, they nag or cry too much, they exaggerate (think #metoo).. These words are used by men who want to make a woman insecure, or manipulate her. Captain Marvel shows that you can embrace who you are fully, with all your emotions, and how that can make you even stronger. Empathy and intuition are no weakness, they are a strength. For women, and for men!
Tamara, Geek, mother of two Geeklings, editor.