‘Captain Marvel’ outshines superhero empowerment

Miles Voci, Staff Reporter

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is perennially the box office’s biggest contributor, popularizing superheroes like Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor to a worldwide level. With their 21st film in this heavily extended superhero universe, the debut of “Captain Marvel” is far from disappointing.

The film stars Brie Larson as the titular character, supported by Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as Nick Fury from previous MCU films. Jude Law, Ben Mendelssohn and even a cat named Goose play important roles in the film.

The film introduces Carol Danvers, a powerful Kree warrior with a hazy past. Her people have fought with the Skrulls, a race of alien warriors who shape shift to hide their identity and infiltrate other worlds along with Earth. Danvers learns that the answers to her forgotten past connects with the death of a U.S. Air Force pilot testing an experimental jet engine.

“Captain Marvel” is set in 1995, so it pre-dates all other MCU films excluding “Captain America: The First Avenger.” The film plays into the nostalgia of the ’90s, including things like Blockbuster Video and even music from artists like Nirvana and TLC. This use of nostalgia is perfect as it never feels overwhelming and it rather compliments the film well.

Like the MCU’s successful “Black Panther” that released last year, “Captain Marvel” is also part of a cultural movement. While “Black Panther” was the first ever big budget superhero film helmed by African-Americans, “Captain Marvel” is the first MCU film to feature a woman in the leading role, and introducing Danvers as the newest Avenger is a new move.

Larson injects playfulness and heart into her role while maintaining a sense of grittiness and strength. Her character and plot ties in well with the previous “Avengers: Infinity War,” as it is Nick Fury who contacts Danvers at the end of the film during the events of which all of the MCU’s heroes have lost a war against the villain Thanos.

The film heavily plays on the themes of female empowerment and specifically female power. Larson does a fantastic job of embracing this power and bringing her character to life, ultimately stealing the show and making “Captain Marvel” a highly anticipated film that’s worth the watch.