Movie Review – Captain Marvel

TL;DR – This is a film filled with wonderful characters, fantastic action, and some of the best banter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Captain Marvel. Image Credit: Marvel.

Review

It feels like it has been an eternity since Thanos snapped his fingers and destroyed the world in Infinity War. Since then we have been wondering wanting to know what happened, however, in the closing seconds of the film Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) pulled out a pager and sent out a signal calling someone to help. Well, today we get to see just who had that pager, and just who is behind the red and blue.

So to set the scene, we open with Vers (Brie Larson) asleep on the Kree homeworld. She rarely has a restful night’s sleep because her dreams are punctuated with wars she cannot remember. Well, there is one way to get over a lack of sleep and that is to wake up your commanding officer Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and have a good old-fashioned sparing session. Well as old fashioned as one can be when you are on an alien planet, have no memories from before six years ago, and oh you can shoot fire out of your hands. The Kree are fighting a losing war against the Skrull, a race that can mimic anyone down to their DNA, who infiltrate worlds and work their way up until they can take them over from the inside out. After training, she is finally brought to the Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening) the AI that runs the Kree Empire and given her first mission. With the rest of the Starforce including Yon-Rogg, Korath (Djimon Hounsou) and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) they are to infiltrate a planet that has just fallen to the Skrulls to extract an undercover agent as Ronan (Lee Pace) provides cover fire with an orbital bombardment. Well, that’s the plan but plans rarely quite work out as nicely as we would like.

Captain Marvel. Image Credit: Marvel.
Hollywood’s gotta Hollywood. Image Credit: Marvel.

I should open with the fact that this film is very 1990s, like aggressively 1990s, like you will hear Alanis Morissette in the soundtrack 1990s. For a lot of people, me included, this will mean that it will hit those nostalgia receptors in your head and hit them hard. You can hear it in the songs they use, see it in the locations they use, which might be a little comment on the Los Angeles train network, and in the brands on show, because well this is still a Hollywood film, and Hollywoods gotta Hollywood. For some people, this will give the film an extra layer as you relive the past and deeply wonder why no one got the rights to a Spice Girls song. One thing that will be interesting is to see how this setting works with the younger audience that might not get the not so subtle action of shooting a True Lies poster. Setting the film in the 1990s does give us is the return of Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and he is an instant presence in the film. Though if there is one property the film is not shy about referencing its Top Gun for kind of obvious reasons.  

Another area where Captain Marvel shines is in the dialogue, in which there might be some of the best banter in the MCU on display. Carol and Fury have an immediate rapport with each other and then spend the rest of the film of the film bouncing off each other as if they are old friends at this. To add to this is Talos the leader of the Skrull played to perfection by Ben Mendelsohn, oh and also add Goose (Reggie, Archie, Rizzo & Gonzo) the … cat. This gives the film a level of humour that I have not seen since maybe Guardians of the Galaxy. Now it was not just me getting on-board with the humour, the enter cinema I was in was there for each comedic beat in the story. It has been a long while since I have felt the whole room get on board with the film from start to finish. This shows just how important casting is for your films because they have to have that instant connection of people that in places have meant to known each other for years. For the MCU, one of the unsung heroes has to be Casting Director Sarah Finn who has been working behind the scenes since Iron Man 1. You see that talent throughout the MCU and especially here.

Captain Marvel. Image Credit: Marvel.
Casting Ben Mendelsohn was a fantastic choice. Image Credit: Marvel.

When it comes to Marvel film, there is a level of polish to the action and special effects that you do come to expect, and there is no exception. You have the Kree homeworld of Hala brought to life in the moments, the attack on the temple, and the train fight just to name a few at the start of the film. One area you see this is in that Fury and Coulson have been digitally de-aged to fit the time frame. Now it is still not 100% but they are getting better at this, even though the ability to de-age actors does open a number of potentially interesting questions that we might not be ready for. I would also be really interested to see what was digital and what was practical when it can to the design of the Skrulls. Now when you have ILM as you main effects company you know you are in safe hands, and I didn’t see any awkwardness in any of the effects.

When it comes to the story, I think the film is perfectly fine, but to explore more we have to engage [SPOILERS] so if you have not seen the film please be aware that we will be discussing at least one major plot point. A lot of how you are going to like the film is going to depend on how engaged you are with the big plot turn around about halfway through the film. Now, if you have seen any of Marvel’s space films before this is likely a twist you saw coming just because of what we know. Well, even if you haven’t, narratively the film sets itself for this one outcome. One area I did feel was a little underbaked was the inclusion of some of the characters we know in the universe like Ronan the Accuser. With Ronan especially, there is little need for him in the film beyond the name drop, as there is virtually no character development leaving you asking ‘why are they there’?

Captain Marvel. Image Credit: Marvel.
Brie Larson brings power and strength to the role of Captain Marvel. Image Credit: Marvel.

As she is the titular character in the film, we need to explore Captain Marvel. With Carol Danvers, we get a powerful performance held back a little in places by falling into old patterns. If you have ever played a video game since the turn of the millennium you probably internally cringed at the mention of amnesia because at this point it is such a cliché. However, why this was one frustration, it was the only one I have with the creation and performance of Captain Marvel. Brie Larson brings a strength of character to the film which is really important given the messaging in the film. One of the key themes throughout the film is that you have to keep getting back up and fighting for what you believe in, and I think we could all do to be reminded of that at the moment. As well as this, the film does not shy away for how awful some people can be ‘gonna smile for me.’ There is a really good character arc to her character based on her believing in herself and not letting others dictate who she is.                                 

In the end, do we recommend Captain Marvel? Yes, of course, we do. It is well acted, its humour is on point, it builds upon the world of the MCU, and it is filled with memorable moments like Carol fighting an old lady on a public train. Now with Captain Marvel finished it means there is now no more films to go before Endgame, and well I am not ready.         

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Captain Marvel?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Captain Marvel
Directed by
– Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Story by – Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Screenplay by – Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Based on – The Comics by Marvel
Music by – Pinar Toprak
Cinematography by – Ben Davis
Edited by – Elliot Graham & Debbie Berman
Production/Distribution Companies – Marvel Studios & Disney
Starring
– Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Algenis Pérez Soto, Rune Temte, Kenneth Mitchell, Akira Akbar & Mckenna Grace with Reggie, Archie, Rizzo & Gonzo and Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Don Cheadle             
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13

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1 thought on “Movie Review – Captain Marvel

  1. Pingback: The Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked from Best to Last (2019 Update) | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

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