Besides making everyone over thirty feel old, Captain Marvel‘s retro 1990s setting is set to influence the look and style of the movie. That’s according to Marvel Studios head honcho and brainchild of the MCU Kevin Feige, who explained in an interview with Total Film that they’re looking to the stone-cold classics of 90s action cinema for inspiration, saying: “These are definitely homages to our favorite 90s action films.”
He then went on to narrow it down even further, explaining that the style of James Cameron’s 1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day is what they’re hoping to achieve, particularly the “cool street-level fights and car chases.” Somewhat confusingly, he also stated that the majority of the movie will be set in space, which is pretty much the exact opposite of “street level.” Oh well, maybe they’ll be gritty space streets.
It’s worth thinking about what exactly 90s action consisted of. While the decade saw the mainstream adoption of CGI in films, it was by no means common, as it was difficult to get it looking credible and often very expensive. What’s left is the pinnacle of old-school model work, practical effects and scenes that pushed stuntmen to their limits.
Terminator 2 is a great example of 90s action, as is Cameron’s other 90s Arnie opus, the brilliant True Lies. Cameron’s probably the king, but when I think 90s action I also can’t help but bring up Michael Bay as well. Bad Boys and The Rock are both gleefully explosive, visually brilliant and witty movies, and given that this is early career Bay, you can actually tell what’s going on most of the time. And, of course, there’s Speed.
This focus on action that’s able to be achieved through practical means seems a bit at odds with a film about a hero who Feige claims is powerful enough to move planets, but I suppose we’ll have to wait for the trailer to get an idea of exactly what inspirations they’ve taken from 90s action cinema for Captain Marvel.