From the second this movie was announced, I was excited. We were FINALLY going to get a female led, Marvel, superhero movie- and not only that- we were going to get Carol Danvers.
When the world premiere of the movie happened, I started to worry. There were a lot of people that I rely on reviews from to gauge how I should feel going into a movie saying that the movie was good, but not great; that there were things they liked but there were also a lot of problems. Between that and the obvious review bombing that’s been going on, it was hard not to feel nervous the entire day, especially sitting in the theatre waiting for the movie to start.
And then the movie started, and I never had another moment of worry through until the very end. I’m not going to discuss spoilers here, but here we go.
I really enjoyed the tone that the movie set. It was a lot of fun, with humour that hit way more than it didn’t. The packed theatre we were sitting in was filled with laughter, and that was a great kind of energy to be surrounded by. The jokes that were made, even the ones that didn’t quite hit, felt true to the characters that were saying them and always made sense in the context of the film. There were serious moments in the movie- one that made me cry and a few others that almost had me at that point- but it wasn’t jarring. It was very well balanced with the lighter tone that a lot of the movie has.
Going into the film, I was excited to see what Brie Larson was going to do with the role. To me, she has the perfect look for the character. But I had heard from people that the movie didn’t quite work for that they felt she was miscast, and more than anything, I didn’t want to leave the theatre feeling that way- and I absolutely didn’t. She was everything I could have hoped for in terms of an onscreen portrayal of this character; especially in a debut. Origin stories can be tough to sell, and this one was everything it needed to be. We don’t learn everything there is to learn about Carol, or exactly how her powers work and what the limitations are- but I didn’t mind that. We’re learning who she is and what she can do right along with her. It didn’t feel like we were constantly waiting for her to catch up with our knowledge (in terms of what the movie itself has told us) in a way that makes us feel like it’s being dumbed down for us as an audience. We were given just enough about where she came from, who she was, who she is becoming, and what she can do, to want to see more from her- both in more of her own movies, as well as ensemble movies where we see her interact with other characters in the MCU.
Carol is a messy and complicated character. She’s rough around the edges, she’s strange (in the best ways), she has a sense of humour and personality that feels like it’s plucked from the comics that I’ve read. It’s inspiring to see a powerful, female superhero that is so imperfect; that is allowed to struggle and make mistakes. She is given the room to stumble through figuring out who she is and what she wants, and what she’s going to do with the abilities that she has. There’s a lot of uncertainty for her, but she’s still powerful. For a first movie for a character like this, I’m glad that she wasn’t completely polished. I’m glad that there are still questions to be answered and things to explore.
The supporting cast does exactly what it should do. Samuel L. Jackson is a fantastic co-pilot to Carol in this movie. He adds a lot to it, without taking her limelight. We get to learn a bit more about who he is as a person, rather than just being his usual, ultra-mysterious character we usually see. The chemistry that Fury and Carol have throughout is one of the highlights of the movie. In both the serious situations and the lighter moments, their interactions feel natural and genuine. The other supporting cast member that really stands out in this movie is Ben Mendelsohn. He does an amazing job as Talos, and his part of this story adds depth to Carol’s overall character development that I was not expecting to get from that particular character. He fits in well with the rest of the cast, as well as the tone of the movie.
When the movie ended, I had the biggest smile on my face. I was having a moment, and I was afraid to ask anyone else around me what they thought, because I didn’t want anyone taking that joy from me. It was everything I had wanted, and everything I didn’t even know I wanted. I was completely engaged the entire time, and I was trying to appreciate and take in seeing Carol Danvers on screen for the first time. Because it felt like they had done it so well, and everything I had feared was disappearing with every second that passed. I’m still finding it difficult to put into words just how much this movie has effected me, and to genuinely express the love that I have for it. I don’t think that Brie Larson will get the credit she deserves for bringing this character to life the way she has, and the way she will continue to- at least not right now. Hopefully, in the future, people who weren’t impressed with this movie, or with her in this movie, will get to have the moment that I got to have with this first installment.