Now on Blu-ray: The Marvelous ‘Captain Marvel’

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Captain Marvel Review

It may not be the box office juggernaut of Avengers: Endgame nor is it the beloved critical favorite of Black Panther, but Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) took a new turn this spring when they unleashed their first female led movie with Captain Marvel. Now the comic book blockbuster blasts onto Blu-ray with an array of special features that have become common place on Marvel Studios home video releases.

Brie Larson stars as the eponymous hero, an Air Force pilot named Carol Danvers who is pulled into the cosmic realm of the MCU following a test flight that ends in a catastrophic crash. Carol Danvers has been trained as a Kree warrior by her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and renamed Vers. The Kree are a race of warriors engaged in an unending war with the shapeshifting aliens the Skrulls. However, before she can realize her true potential, Vers has to rediscover herself after the crash as she suffers from memory loss and has been pulled into the ongoing war between the Kree and Skrulls. When a covert mission goes awry, Vers travels to Earth to stop the Skrulls. It’s on her forgotten terrestrial home of Earth that Carol Danvers encounters Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), bringing the super-spy into a world where aliens exist and that revelation has ramifications that will echo through the entire MCU of which Fury has been integral.

Carol Danvers’ journey of self-rediscovery takes her through the forgotten aspects of her past as an Air Force pilot, including reuniting with her best friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and her young daughter Monica (Akira Akbar). Through this process Carol faces the realization that she may be a warrior engaging in an unjust war as she comes face to face with the Skrull leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). It culminates in an intergalactic showdown between warring factions with Carol Danvers forced to make a stand for what is right.

Revisiting Captain Marvel for the first time since theaters it becomes obvious that in a number of ways the film is a minor entry in the sprawling MCU. However, what directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck get right they get right in a way that few superhero movies are able to accomplish. There’s a feminist streak that runs through the film that never devolves into pandering for its audience. The film refuses to give Carol Danvers a love interest outside of her friendship with Maria, completely evading the trap of having a powerful female hero defined by her relationship to a man. Instead we’re given a much more fascinating and resonant storyline about a strong woman who has been lied to and manipulated by a scheming man who preaches a false narrative of empowerment.

The Blu-ray edition of Captain Marvel, like the previous Marvel Studios releases, has an array of special features for fans to dive into. Of course, there are an array of featurettes that get into the making of the movie, Captain Marvel’s place within the MCU, as well as those diving into the ‘90s setting and the scene-stealing felines who played Goose. Other special features include a handful of deleted scenes, including a telling scene with Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg, as well as a gag reel, both of which have become commonplace on Marvel Blu-rays. There’s also an audio commentary track from directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Ahead of  Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel introduced a powerful new hero into the MCU, perhaps too powerful as it seems that the Russo Brothers weren’t sure how to utilize the character’s immense powers. Now as the future of the MCU is in flux in the wake of Endgame, there are still any number of directions that the MCU can go and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel will be at the heart of Marvel’s next generation of cinematic heroes.

Captain Marvel
  • Overall Score
3.5

Summary

Another winner from Marvel Studios, Captain Marvel works because of a strong performance by Brie Larson as the eponymous hero and a story that explores various feminist themes beyond simple lip service.

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