How ‘Captain Marvel’ Created Just Enough Movie Nostalgia to Satisfy MCU Fans

One has to wonder what the Marvel Cinematic Universe would have looked like had they first appeared on the big screen in the 1980s. Would they have changed the movie industry already then, or were they in the right place and time? Perhaps the latter is more true, if Captain Marvel maybe giving a hint.

As everyone who saw the solo movie about Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, it takes place in an earlier era as an example of the MCU utilizing time-travel. So far, this is the earliest the films have gone back as far as an entire feature is concerned (other than during the Time Heist). It provided some needed nostalgia based on its particular aesthetic.

Just how ’80s was ‘Captain Marvel’?

Brie Larson
Brie Larson | Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

In reality, the film takes place in 1995, even if fans on Reddit recently connected the movie to the ’80s in several ways. The time period it takes place in is close enough to the late ’80s to have many of the same type of fashions and overall feel.

For people who miss that era, it really did give a major throwback, including a ’90s-era soundtrack making fans think back to when numerous classic movies were released.

A fan on Reddit noted Captain Marvel had a lot more going for it, including offering a special, cinematic look at the time it takes place.

Said one fan: “A thing I realized today was just how 80s the movie was. It takes place then but the structure, look, action, SFX and music all remind me so much of great 80s sci fis like Flight of the Navigator and Short Circuit.”

This was an astute observation, and there really are numerous moments that have the feel of movies then. Anyone who grew up with the above-mentioned films really do know what that ’80s/’90s look was. Any movie fan can also scope it out in films like Back to the Future.

Thanks to big budgets, the MCU can effectively recreate past eras

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Of course, this look of the ’80s and ’90s is probably temporary in the MCU based on reports Captain Marvel 2 will probably be set in the present day. However, many fans still wish the sequel would be another flashback, yet with more focus on Carol Danvers herself.

Based on the comments from the above Reddit thread, the MCU might want to look at doing more retro movies. Considering the unlimited budget they have nowadays, they can easily recreate any time period and make it look authentic.

According to The Guardian, co-director of the film (Ryan Fleck) grew up with the movies mentioned above, meaning he may be responsible for the ’80s/’90s look. On the opposite side was his wife/co-director Anna Boden who brought the much-needed woman’s angle the MCU continues to nurture.

If some people still complain about the feminist touch, the film at least gained favor with those who liked its retro look. Will the MCU go there again with upcoming films like The Eternals?

The possibility of retro MCU films

At least everyone had a chance to see how more of this can work based on the brief visits to the past during the Time Heist in Endgame. Viewers had a chance to see 1970 recreated briefly, plus the throwback to the 1940s when Steve Rogers returned to Peggy Carter.

With The Eternals on the release horizon, will they also give a detailed look at the world from past eras? According to Screen Rant, it will reportedly cover a vast era of time, perhaps even exploring other Marvel characters from those time periods.

Should this happen, Captain Marvel can gain extra credit for tapping the past even more, if Captain America: The First Avenger starting first depicting WWII ever so briefly.