Captain Marvel Is Another Superhero Movie Game-Changer

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Ahead of this April’s Avengers saga finale, Marvel has finally delivered their first female-led superhero film, Captain Marvel. After championing Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America over the course of nine solo movies, Brie Larson picks up the Marvel mantle as the title character to deliver a film that’s a lot more fun than your average origin story.

For those unfamiliar with the comic book backstory, part of the joy comes from figuring out how Captain Marvel’s personal history lines up—the audience, along with the character, have to work to piece together her patchy memories and uncover her true identity. The reveal has consequences that will determine which side of an ongoing intergalactic war Captain Marvel must align herself with. Kevin Feige does not get out of bed for less than the fate of entire civilisations being put on the line.

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Through its ‘90s soundtrack of girl-power anthems (think Garbage’s “Only Happy When It Rains,” Hole’s “Celebrity Skin,” and No Doubt’s “Just a Girl”) the movie sends a message of female empowerment while stopping a bit short of ‘90s Riot Grrrl feminism. We will never buy the idea that a woman on a mission to save the world will have time to stop and curl her hair, but Larson is given some pretty choice lines to deliver cuttingly to her male colleagues. The men in her life who tell her that she can’t do something or that she’s “too emotional” each get put in their proper places by the time the movie wraps up.

There are things that all Marvel fans will likely enjoy about this film: one (possibly final?) Stan Lee cameo, some time spent with Nick Fury before he had that iconic eye patch, and (yes, it’s there) the post-credits scene that will take us into the next stage of what Marvel has in store for us. More importantly though, we get a hero with powers that far outshine some of her male contemporaries—who was a total badass even before she had those powers, and whose superhero outfit isn’t about luring in trolls who think superhero movies should run on testosterone and T&A. Captain Marvel’s charm lies in her goofiness, her well-timed humour, and her ability to blow sh#t up as well as (or better than) the boys do.

Captain Marvel lands in theatres this Friday, March 8. Watch the latest trailer below.