As I indicated last week, after the misery that was Greta, I was quite eager to see Captain Marvel. I grew up a Marvel fan, yet most of my comic book reading was confined to the X-men series. Those movies have never been all that great, though I have, admittedly, seen all of them! I have also viewed all the other Marvel films, and greeted each one with a great deal of anticipation, this newest one being no exception.
Captain Marvel is Marvel’s answer to Wonder Woman, and in this humble reviewer’s opinion, a far superior movie. In general, Marvel has succeeded many times over where DC Comic’s movie iterations have failed for one simple reason: relatability. How many among us are super-rich, a space alien, a goddess, or a god, as is the case (in order) with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. Marvel’s characters are usually people that look like us, but rise to the occasion as events happen to them. In this sense, Captain Marvel/Vers/Carol Danvers (that is all one character played by Brie Larson, by the way) shines and her struggles throughout the movie are within the realm of human understanding despite all the science fiction and special effects theatrics.
Danvers’ underlying goal throughout Captain Marvel is to figure out who she really is, a goal that spoke to my own faith journey in terms of my relationship with God. Only by knowing God can you really know yourself. Of course, Danvers goes about it differently, but the point was driven home when Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) admonishes her that she needs to be, “The best version of yourself.” No one can tell you what that version is, and I laughed aloud when I heard that line because it was such a subtle clue that Yon-Rogg would turn out to be a villain.
I also saw Captain Marvel on the first Friday of Lent, a time when us Catholics attempt to return our focus to our relationship with God, and thereby gain some new realization about ourselves. What makes that process so difficult is sin. It knocks us down and separates us from God, so much so that we often feel that we will never be able to return. But as Danvers proves multiple times throughout the film, all you need to get back up, brush yourself off, and get back at it.
Given the obvious comparisons to Wonder Woman, I decided to check out a few of the early reviews of Captain Marvel before heading to the theater. I was surprised to find that there were a number of negative comments, although I was relieved that they were not misogynistic in nature (for the most part). I will steer clear of any comments on the feminism qualities of the film. What I will say, though, is that it is better than Wonder Woman and well worth a trip to the cinema.