As Marvel fans, we’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment over the last decade with introducing our kids to these stories; first watching at home, then as they got older, seeing them in theatres and witnessing them flip out with giddy excitement at character reveals and plot twists. But recently we realized: we’ve never watched all of them as a family, and certainly not in release order. And that’s left some gaps in their understanding of the relationships between all these heroes.
Thus, as a family, we pledged to embark upon an epic MCU rewatch before we see Avengers: Endgame in the theatre, and answer the all-important question: should you watch these with your kids?
Captain Marvel (2019)
This is it, the home stretch! The last Marvel movie released prior to Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel is the 21st in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the very first to feature a female superhero as the titular lead. (I saw this in the theatre on opening weekend and wrote about it here).
It’s the 1990s. Vers (Brie Larson) is a tactical warrior in the Kree Starforce, training with her commanding officer Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and dealing with recurring nightmares in which she’s an ace pilot on Earth, mentored by an older woman (Annette Bening). During a mission to rescue an operative who’s been captured by the Skrull, a race of shapeshifters who are the sworn enemies of the Kree, Vers is captured and taken aboard a Skrull ship.
The Skrull probe into her memories, revealing more of her past and leading them to Earth. Vers escapes, and crashes into a Blockbuster store in L.A. This attracts SHIELD agents Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) — both actors young-ified in post-production — but their investigation is interrupted by a Skrull attack. Post-chase, Vers and Fury work together to unravel her past, and as Vers learns more about herself, she comes into her full powers.
Larson and Jackson have a wonderfully easy chemistry, making their scenes together a delight — which is a blessing, because most of the movie rests on them. The movie hits it out of the park on all the usual superhero story beats — the chase scene, the hand-to-hand fight, the daring escape — but the twist of giving a superhero amnesia separates this otherwise fairly familiar origin story from the pack. And, it’s got an adorable cat!
Beyond the origin story, a lot of this movie is setup for Captain Marvel to join the Avengers in Endgame as they try to undo Thanos’s annihilation of half the universe, but it’s done so skillfully I can’t fault it. I only wish they’d given Brie Larson more to do emotionally. For an Oscar-winning actor with incredible range, she’s holding a lot back because of this script. But, I’m nitpicking here. Overall this is a great movie, and a fitting penultimate story in this phase of Marvel movies.
So, should you see it with your kids? If you haven’t already, and you have time before you go see Avengers: Endgame, absolutely yes!
Bottom line: An instant classic. Unmissable.