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Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Photo: Chuck Zlotnick ©Marvel Studios 2019

Movie Review: Captain Marvel

Marvel’s newest superhero movie focuses on the rise of Earth’s most powerful hero.

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Crashing through the roof of a Blockbuster Video store circa 1995, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, makes her grand entrance to planet C-53, better known as Earth. After a quick jaunt into RadioShack for a “communications device,” and trading her green lycra suit for a Nine Inch Nails T-shirt, she teams up with Agent Fury to find the source of her foggy memories of Earth. In Captain Marvel, Marvel’s original superhero struggles not only to discover her own identity and superpowers, but also to find her place in an intergalactic war.

Danvers, played by Brie Larson, remembers just flashes of her life before she was saved by Starforce, an alien military group. Now, her Starforce mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), sends her on a mission to earth to find an energy core before the Skrulls, a group of shapeshifters, get their hands on it. Danvers is aided by Agent Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson with a digital face-lift, using CGI de-aging technology to bring the character back to what he would have looked like in the mid ‘90s. Together, the two outsmart the foe and trace Danvers’ pre-superhero life back to New Orleans, where she was formerly a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot.

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Larson knows the importance of being the star in one of Marvel’s female-led films. She makes deliberate choices in the role, portraying the character as a strong tomboy with a frank sense of humor. In press for the movie, she has said that she trained for nine months in preparation, and devoted intense focus to make sure her character looked strong in every frame of the film. Danvers isn’t given a romantic interest, instead the heart of the film centers on her close friendship with her fellow Air Force pilot, Maria Rambeau.

The movie’s Los Angeles-in-the-’90s setting lends itself well to a nostalgic soundtrack, with songs like Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” and Peter Gabriel’s “Heroes.” But it’s an orange tabby cat named Goose—a nod to the 90s blockbuster film Top Gun—who steals the show as Agent Fury’s most valuable sidekick.

Ultimately, Captain Marvel questions what it is that makes her a superhero. The audience sees Danvers knocked down as a young girl playing baseball, in her Air Force training, even by her fellow Air Force pilots. Yet, despite the forces trying to keep her down, her perseverance to get right back up and keep fighting is what makes her a strong hero.

Release Date: March 8
Rating: PG-13

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