Another blockbuster hit from Marvel Studios, Captain Marvel skyrocketed to a $600 Million opening worldwide at the box office, offering marvel fans and movie goers the first female-led superhero film in the Marvel lineup. Starring Brie Larson as the titular hero, Captain Marvel finds herself caught in the center of an intergalactic war between the Kree and the shape-shifting Skrulls, while also dealing with trying to piece together fragments of her mysterious past that leads her back to the planet Earth.
The film initially starts off more like a sci-fi space movie compared to the other MCU films, and I’ll admit it did feel a little different in the early parts of the movie. However, whether this is intentional or not, I thought it made sense for the overall themes of the film. Captain Marvel doesn’t remember her past at the start of the movie, and though she’s been active as a Starforce member for the Free for six years, she still has trouble fitting in with their team. By making the film start off in such a different way for the style and genre, it strips away the familiarity we’ve become accustomed to with these Marvel films. You get a sense that something is off and that things don’t quite fit, and that puts the audience in the same space as Captain Marvel at the beginning of the film.
A big theme of Captain Marvel is finding the sense of belonging in the world. Brie Larson delivers a strong performance making the Captain Marvel character charming, quirky, and powerful. Yet it seems that the other characters in the film try to suppress her emotions in order for her to conform. Our hero struggles with this throughout the film, and it is an interesting journey to watch her discover herself as a person. Is she a Kree warrior? An Earthling? A super-powered hero?
It’s also noteworthy that much of the suppression towards Captain Marvel can also be traced to the fact that she is a woman. Using her emotions to fuel her superpowers is frowned upon by her peers, and in Captain Marvel’s memory sequences it shows a brief history of men chastising her for attempting to participate in more male-dominated activities. Yet, despite all the failed attempts and continued ridicule, Captain Marvel continues to rise — and learns that staying true to herself unlocks her power and makes her stronger than anyone else in the film.
Sure, this movie contains all the high-octane action we’ve come to know with the MCU and it has all the neat little easter eggs that call back to the other 20 films in this saga. But the message of staying true to yourself and being who you want to be despite all the criticism is a message from which we all can draw inspiration.