Last night I did something I rarely do anymore, saw a movie in theater right when it was released: Captain Marvel. As Marvel movies go, it was typical: lots of action, special effects, heart warming moments, and laughs. Marvel / Disney really seems to have the formula for general entertainment down. You don’t come out of these movies with any deep insight into the human condition, but you usually do come out emotionally satisfied (as least as long as you don’t scrutinize the details too carefully).
One of the things I found interesting is how much the Captain Marvel story has changed from when I was a kid reading comics. In my day, Mar-Vell was an alien guy, a Kree military officer who ended up exiled on Earth. This original character died in a much publicized story in the early 80s. I had heard about the character “Ms. Marvel” but I think she came along after my comic reading days.
The movie retains elements of this original story, although the title character is, of course, now a woman, and we learn almost immediately that she is in fact originally from Earth. But her overall history is somewhat confused for a good part of the movie, although eventually the pieces come into place in a satisfying manner. A version of the original Mar-Vell character even ends up being worked in.
As with all Marvel movies, this one has tie ins with the others. Nick Fury, played by a Samuel L. Jackson made young with CG, is a major supporting character. It even has a young Agent Coulson. We also have a villain show up from another series, but discussing that connection crosses into spoilers. And, of course, in the now thoroughly expected end-credit scenes, it ties in heavily with the upcoming Avengers: End Game, as anyone who’s seen the end of Avengers: Infinity War would expect.
So if you enjoy Marvel movies in general, I think you’ll enjoy this one. I could quibble endlessly with the scientific inaccuracies, but that’s really not the frame of mind to be in to enjoy these movies. They’re fantasy pure and simple and should be taken in as such.
As a side note: it’s interesting that DC is about to come out with a Shazam movie, which will feature the first superhero character from the 1940s named “Captain Marvel.” You have to wonder about the timing of this release.