Brie Larson stars in MCU’s first female-led solo superhero film in a throwback to the 90s. This Captain Marvel review is brought to you by AboutFlick’s Mr T.
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Review: Another year. Another film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain Marvel marks the 21st instalment in it, and for those keeping track of chronology, it serves as a backdoor prequel to the franchise. It’s set in 1995 and follows the story of former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Carol Danvers, as she returns to earth as Captain Marvel when it’s caught in the midst of intergalactic war.
MCU movies have always been a platform for acting heavyweights like Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Jeremy Renner, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Natalie Portman to reach out to a wider audience. With Captain Marvel, Brie Larson who has been absolutely magical in The Glass Castle (2017), Room (2015) and Short Term 12 (2013), finally joins the bandwagon as the titular character. She is incredible as the sardonic warrior who has lost her memory in a premise that’ll definitely remind you of Top Gun (1986) and the Jason Bourne series. Ben Mendelsohn is delightful to watch as the Skrull leader with a huge ego. Jude Law is good as well as the mentor who detests emotions, but it is Larson’s chemistry with Samuel Jackson that steals the show. He has been digitally de-aged for this movie and he appears exactly like he did in Pulp Fiction (1994) or The Negotiator (1998).
The dialogues alternate between witty and corny, and the visuals including the Star Wars-esque battle sequence is simply mind-blowing. There is also no romantic angle in the movie and that’s quite refreshing. With turtlenecks, video rental stores, phone booths and excruciatingly slow dial-up speeds, Captain Marvel screams 90s. If you were a kid who grew up on Nirvana, the track Come As You Are will surely transport you back.
I will divide my conclusions between the good and the bad. This is the MCU’s first female-led solo superhero film, and it was long overdue. It’s slightly better than what Wonder Woman was. For comics fans, it was a lot of fun to watch Captain Marvel finally making her much awaited debut in the MCU. I was certainly geeking out watching her take on her opponents in binary form. She’s being set up as a force to be reckoned with for Avengers: Endgame. With a powerset like super speed, super strength, super agility, super stamina, flight, energy manipulation, danger sense which is kind of like Spiderman’s spider sense, molecular control and cosmic awareness, the producers clearly see her as Marvel’s Superman.
Now a weak script and stellar visuals would probably have blown my mind away 10 years back, but superhero films have evolved over the years. It isn’t the same black and white genre it used to be. The makers of Captain Marvel seem to be content with recycling the same story about alien invasions. Now I know they’ve set out to create a film for everyone, so I don’t expect them to embrace Legion or Doom Patrol’s quirkiness or Gotham’s punk aesthetic. But movies can be fun and break new ground too. We have seen that in The Dark Knight which is modern film noir, in Logan which is a character-driven moody drama and in the deliriously fun R-rated Deadpool films. And in the context of all these, I do have to rate the film for what it is – yet another visually engaging but forgettable instalment in the MCU which audiences will watch, drool over and forget once the next one comes out.
Rating: My rating for Captain Marvel is 3/5.
Who should watch this: Every comic book lover should go out and watch Captain Marvel. Now you guys are smart, and are probably caught up with most of the superhero movies, the Netflix Marvel shows, and the CW DC shows out there. So, I’m going to utilize this spot and recommend some shows that deserve more love than they get. Do check out Legion (2017), Doom Patrol (2019), Gotham (2014) and The Umbrella Academy (2019).