After 10 years and 20 movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally released a female-led superhero movie, Captain Marvel. She joins the ranks of Captain America, Black Panther, Iron Man, and other male superheroes to get their solo movies. It hit cinemas last week (on International Women's Day, no less!) and is every bit the fun flick we've come to expect from the MCU. But more than that, it is jam-packed with a layered story and awesome moments that celebrate female strength.
Marvel Studios took care in putting together this film, hiring females to be at the forefront of telling Carol Danvers' story. Aside from all-around badass and Academy Award-winner Brie Larson taking on the role, one of the film's directors, Anna Boden, is also the screenwriter along with Geneva Robertson-Dworet and her co-director Ryan Fleck. Even the score (Pinar Toprak), costume design (Sanja Milkovic Hays), and editing (Debbie Bergman) were led by women.
With all the talented women behind the scenes, it's no surprise that the film is an awesome feminist spectacle on screen. Check out some of the movie's best moments celebrating women being totally badass:
1. Vers chasing down the Skrull shapeshifter.
Captain Marvel punching the sweet ol' lady in the face was a hit (no pun intended) when the trailer dropped last year. It gave us a glimpse of the MCU humor that we've come to expect.
In the film, it's part of a long and cool chase scene between Vers and the Skrull through the Los Angeles Metro. She blasts through doors and even the ceiling to get to the alien but manages not to hurt anyone who's actually human. She even had time to give a familiar old man a smile.
It's one of the first things that happen in the movie and shows her as someone who can track down her mark even if they can shapeshift into anyone (or anything!) down to the DNA.
2. Carol Danvers is an accomplished Air Force pilot.
Even before she became a badass warrior for the Kree Empire, she was already a pretty formidable human lady who worked for the USAF (US Air Force). Carol is so impressive, screenwriter Nicole Perlman consulted with the USAF herself to verify if someone as young as Carol can be that accomplished.
Along with her best friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), they were pretty high up the force for two young women in the '80s. We see both women show their piloting skills a lot in this film, and some of them even while being chased by aliens in space.
One of the coolest parts of the movie was at the end, where Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) was coming up with The Protectors Initiative to protect the Earth from alien foes. He stumbles upon an old photo of Carol with her callsign in the USAF and renamed the initiative after her: The *Avengers* Initiative.
3. Maria and Monica Rambeau being Carol's family.
The best parts of the movie included glimpses of Carol's life and friendship with her best friend Maria, and her young daughter, Monica (Akira Akbar). They were her family before she was taken to Kree and even said that part of them didn't believe she was truly dead.
When Carol returned, they helped her piece together her memories. Monica even convinced her mom to help Carol on her very dangerous mission. Carol and Monica picked up where they left off in their friendship, calling her "Lieutenant Trouble," and even getting her to pick out the color for Captain Marvel's uniform.
Plus, Maria is an airplane mechanic, pilot, and raising an awesome daughter—what could be more badass than that?
4. Carol taking Yon-Rogg down with a single photon blast.
The twists in Captain Marvel are one of the reasons why it's such a fun movie, specifically, a core twist involving Yon-Rogg, played by Jude Law. Initially, he was Vers' friend and mentor. It was revealed later on that it was his blood donated to Vers after the attack that caused her to bleed blue. But, it was also revealed that Vers wasn't saved by the Kree at all, but had been the people who attacked her and Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening).
During the film's final act, Yon-Rogg confronts Carol and dares her to fight him in combat without weapons or powers. In the middle of Yon-Rogg's rant, she simply blasts him with her photon blaster and renders him unconscious.
This particular scene showed audiences that Carol was done listening to Yon-Rogg and that her powers are part of her and add up to her strength as a woman and superhero. She will not allow the Kree to control her anymore.
5. Carol getting knocked down and getting back up again, every single time.
In one of the most empowering moments in the film, Carol is captured by the Kree and the Supreme Intelligence is telling her that she is merely human before throwing her across the room.
Instead of staying down, Carol recalled all the moments in her life where she was knocked and pushed around. The scene then unfolds into the aftermath of those moments where she didn't stay down, but, in fact, got back up every single time. This gave her the power to get back up again, rip off the Kree device that was controlling her, and embrace her full power.
At this moment, she also realized that the "control" the Kree was teaching her was actually a tool to subdue her from embracing her full potential. Once she broke out of that control, she was able to defeat her foes pretty easily.