Director: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg and Jude Law
Captain Marvel has finally arrived to the big screen, and it’s about time. It’s only taken Marvel eleven years to make their very first female-led superhero movie. This is one of the reasons why making it as good as it possibly can be was so vital.
Thankfully, at the end of Captain Marvel, a massive sigh of relief could be heard escaping the collective lips of myself and the audience. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck did a masterful job in bringing Captain Marvel’s origins story to the screen.
Captain Marvel starts off in 1995, on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala. Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, who’s known at this point as Vers, is a member of Starforce who’s being plagued by nightmares in which visions of a past she doesn’t remember appear to her in a convoluted manner, yet she just can’t seem to piece them together.
Space invasion, big car chase… truth be told, I was ready to hang it up. ‘Till I met you today.Nick Fury
She ends up going on a mission to rescue an undercover Kree operative infiltrating a group of Skrulls, but it turns out to be an ambush, and she’s held hostage by the green villains. She eventually manages to escape and finds herself back on Earth, where she meets Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and starts to uncover the truths behind her mysterious past.
This film could easily be cast off as just another ordinary origins story, yet it’s so much more than that. What the writers and directors have done is take all the best bits from Marvel’s previous origins movies: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Guardians of the Galaxy, and make something different and engaging.
Captain Marvel is more than just your average superhero origins story. Yes, you do have the moments with Captain Marvel discovering the extent of her powers. Yes, there’s the traditional journey of self-discovery. However, there’s more to this film than just that. The story is here full of pathos, and it’s arguably one of Marvel’s better ones.
I keep having these… memories. I see flashes. I think I have a life here. But I can’t tell if it’s real.Carol Danvers
It’s also packed with superb performances from the likes of Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, yet the real scene stealers are Ben Mendelsohn and Lashana Lynch. They play Talos, the leader of the Skrull invasion, and Maria Rambeau, Carol Danvers’ best friend, respectively. Talos is without a shadow of a doubt one of Marvel’s best villains yet, and Maria is just brilliant. She manages to keep this story about superpowered beings and green aliens from outer space grounded.
Meanwhile, Mendelsohn’s performance brought me to tears at one point, which hadn’t happened to me during a Marvel up until this point. There’s also a brief cameo from Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson, and it’s nice to see him be brought back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even if it’s in a movie set in the 1990s.
I know a renegade soldier when I see one. Never occurred to me that one might come from above.Carol Danvers
However, you can’t do a review of Captain Marvel without mentioning the true hero of the piece, Goose the cat, or is he a cat? First off, he’s adorable, yet this is a cat with a secret, as Fury finds out much to his dismay. I can never look at cats the same way after having seen this movie.
A lot’s been written about Captain Marvel, and there have been some rather sniffy reviews of the film out there, and it’s easy to see why. At face value, Captain Marvel could be seen as just another superhero origins movie with battle scenes which take place in nondescript locations, yet aren’t most Marvel movies like that? What the film’s directors have done is focus in on its characters, their stories and they’ve successfully introduced one of the more fascinating Marvel superheroes into the MCU.
Larson’s Carol Danvers has a lot to mull over here, and she’s easily one of the most heroic superheroes in the MCU. Despite being part Kree, Danvers is one of Marvel’s most human superheroes to date. She’s flawed, arrogant, witty, and despite being brainwashed, she’s able to make the right decision when it counts the most.
You are just one victim of the Skrull invasion that has threatened our civilisation for centuries. Impostors who silently infiltrate, then take over on planets.Supreme Intelligence
Captain Marvel is by no means flawless. It suffers from the same tropes that a lot of superhero origins movies do, yet it went along at a frantic pace and made me think about what I was watching. It got me excited for what’s to come in Avengers: Infinity War and beyond. In Larson’s Captain Marvel the Marvel Cinematic Universe has found another character around which to build yet another ten years worth of movies.