Note: I made this with the intent to commemorate the third anniversary of Prince’s passing on April 21, 2016. Just so happens, Avengers: Endgame premieres this week on April 25 (if you’re reading this blog you probably have heard about that). The premise was to re-contextualize last year’s rather lengthy Avengers: Infinity War, set to all the songs on 1984’s Purple Rain, in the order they appear on that definitive work of pop music. The thinking was, in terms of emotional/dramatic arcs, Purple Rain the album is more coherent and composed than Infinity War (I wouldn’t make the same claim if we were talking about Purple Rain the film, but in this case we aren’t).
Sorry to burst your bubble, haters, but Captain Marvel is really good.
With all the controversy surrounding Captain Marvel, created by internet trolls, it was refreshing to watch the film and see how wrong they were about it. Captain Marvel has been labeled a feminist film, and it is, but it does so without dragging men down. Instead, the film focuses on women empowerment, sisterhood, and friendships.
Back in May of 2018, a group of reporters visited the set of Captain Marvel on the Sony lot in Los Angeles to experience Marvel’s newest superhero in person. Although we have not been officially introduced to thefeminist hero yet in the MCU, we were given signs of her arrival at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
As we have seen in the trailers and released photos, we are introduced to Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers (Brie Lawson), in the 1990s. This isn’t an origin story. From her first introduction, she already has her powers and is part of the elite military force on the Kree planet Hala. Her Starforce teammates include Korath (Djimon Hounsou) and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan). There are flashbacks to Danvers’ life as she embarks on her adventure on Earth and meets a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Together, they must work to stop the Skrulls, led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), from completing an evil plot.
It’s been a few hours, but I’m still processing what I thought about the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron. I know that my feelings and recommendations will have no bearing on whether you will go out to see this movie. It’s guaranteed to generate a couple billion dollars in box office — and that’s probably just for this weekend alone! And while I had a great time watching the thing, I couldn’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by the whole enterprise.
Shawn tried to warn me on several occasions, but I didn’t listen. After I got out of Captain America: The Winter Soldier over the weekend, one of the first things I thought about was how the events of the movie would affect Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a show that until now, I couldn’t care less about. Sure, I’ve seen every episode since the pilot, but that didn’t mean I cared about it. Most of the time, I just let it pile up on the DVR and binged two or three at a time. Usually letting it play in the background while I was doing something else. On the one hand, watching it this way made the episodes where there wasn’t much plot momentum (and there were a lot of them) more bearable. On the other hand, I still didn’t care about any of these characters.
Then The Winter Soldier happened, and I thought, “huh, maybe I should care” so I tuned in last night and “live” tweeted with the West Coast. Needless to say, spoilers (for S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America) follow.
Saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier and really have nothing bad to say at all. There were a few issues with story logic but outside of minor nitpicks, I’d have to say this is as good as The Avengers and definitely the best “solo” Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to date.
The best way to describe this movie is “balanced.” It achieved an almost perfect balance between comic book-style action, humor, character development, and story sophistication. Taking a page from the Robert Ludlum/Tom Clancy school of 1970s-era Cold War espionage pop culture storytelling, The Winter Soldier (at the very least) establishes a formula for Marvel Studios that, if used repeatedly, should guarantee the cinematic dominance of Marvel IPs for the next generation.