If you haven’t seen Captain Marvel do not read this article yet, but definitely save it and come back after you’ve seen the movie! I’ll wait for you to bookmark this page…
Back? Cool! I saw Captain Marvel on Friday, by myself because my better half was ill, and found myself entertained. I give the movie a Solid B- and maybe a 7 out of 10. I have never been a big fan of the cosmic side of Marvel comics and hated Secret Invasion and Civil War II, and that meant my excitement for Captain Marvel was limited to my faith in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That being said, I really enjoyed everything with Fury, Skrulls, Goose, and was pleasantly surprised with how well Brie Larson does as Carol Danvers. All but one of the trailers really had me worried that this movie would be boring and that Larson would be dry in her performance. There are problems with the movie including a choppy first act and terrible soundtrack and score, but overall I am okay with this film’s existence.
Maybe it’s because of my lack of dedication to the source material that I didn’t mind all of the liberties they took with Carol’s origin. One of the biggest changes deals with the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. In the Comics Mar-Vell is a male Kree who comes to earth and becomes the hero Captain Marvel, but in this movie, we learn that Mar-Vell is a female Kree scientist who came to earth to help save the Skrulls from extinction at the hands of the Kree. Annette Bening’s Mar-Vell is pretending to be a human scientist named Dr. Lawson and her past connection with Carol Danvers results in Carol seeing Dr. Lawson as the Kree Supreme Intelligence. Confusing? Go see the movie.
So why did Marvel and company pull the ‘ol switcheroo? Kevin Feige was asked by EW and had this to say:
“It was late in the development of the movie. Frankly, as we were approaching shooting, we were casting male — We were looking for a male Mar-Vell and developing the script at the same time, as we often do. We spoke to a few people, but as you’ve now seen in the movie, it’s a limited role, because of the nature of the structure of the story. It was, I believe, Anna who came up with the suggestion in a script meeting that, ‘Why don’t make the S.I., the vision that she sees, Mar-Vell?’ The idea was just before we brought Annette on. So, it was relatively late in the development process and one of a handful of things that happened as the script was taking on its final form, that was an epiphany that Anna had, and it was like, ‘Oh, of course! That’s perfect!’ And we stopped looking for another actor.”
How does this make you all feel? Personally, I am glad they didn’t go with the traditional Mar-Vell story because it would take too long to get to Carol as the new Captain Marvel that way. As for the gender swap… I am of the belief that it can be disingenuous and patronizing to do race and gender swapping. It enables Hollywood to pat themselves on the back in the name of diversity but doesn’t fix the problem of too few minority or female characters. It punts the ball and keeps minorities from seeing original and well-developed characters. However, this particular swap doesn’t bother me too much. They completely changed the character of Mar-Vell for this movie including his past and purpose, and that makes me care less about the accuracy of the gender. Annette Bening does a fine job with her role, and the movie’s focus is Carol, not Mar-Vell.
How did you feel about the Mar-Vell reveal? Are you upset that we’ll never get a Mar-vell movie? Let us know in the comments below!