90s Movie References
We’ve long heard that Captain Marvel would be influenced by classic 1990s action movies, and that’s very clear now that we’ve got to see it, as the film features references and loving homages to many flicks from that decade.
For one, when Carol Danvers crashes into a Blockbuster store, she freaks out and blows Arnold Schwarzenegger’s head off – well, at least a cardboard standee of him for the movie True Lies. Meanwhile, the Air Force flashbacks have the feel of Top Gun, starring one-time Iron Man contender Tom Cruise, something that is lampshaded by Goose by the cat being named after Anthony Edwards’ character in the film.
On a slightly more subtle note, the framing of the shot used when Coulson and Fury arrive at Blockbuster to investigate mirrors the classic burger scene from Pulp Fiction – with Clark Gregg filling in for John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson stepping in for… well, himself. Returning to Schwarzenegger for a moment though, there’s also a Terminator 2 homage when Carol pinches a leather jacket and a motorbike to go inconspicuous. A less violent take on what the T-800 did when it arrived in the present.
You can’t have failed to shed a tear when the typical Marvel Studios logo at the beginning of the movie was given a Stan Lee-themed shake-up, with the clips of the various heroes replaced with shots of the much-missed Marvel creator’s past cameos. This is an undeniably moving tribute to Lee but let’s not overlook how smart his role within the film is as well.
When Carol boards a train to hunt down a Skrull, she passes Stan as he reads a script titled Mallrats, repeating the line “trust me, true believer” over and over. Fans who know their stuff will remember that Lee appeared in the Kevin Smith movie of the same name in 1995, the very year Captain Marvel is set. So, for the first time since Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Stan’s actually playing himself.
You could also argue that Lee’s quote from his Mallrats cameo ties into a major theme of CM – trust, just as Carol has to learn to trust her former enemies and have faith that the world is not how she thought it was. Either way, it’s nice that Stan got to say another of his classic catchphrases in an MCU movie.