Billed as Marvel’s first female led movie, this movie has faced a challenge in the media towards its release. Between Brie Larson’s feminism and diversity first attitude throughout the press tour and the trailers focusing on the HERo ideal, the movie had already alienated a large section of a particularly vocal audience. The question is, did it deserve this?
Personally, I don’t believe so. The movie is a lot more than what it was billed to the audience as. I would compare it more towards Wonder Woman as we have a strong female lead but also a strong male co-lead – this time from a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson as Nick J. Fury. They are a great double-act as they look into the Skrulls and Vers (Carol Danvers) past. That isn’t to say this movie is perfect – it’s rather small scale compared to what we are used to from Marvel – I would personally put this down to the fact we are between Avengers movies and that whatever comes out of this film is already pre-determined to a point due to being set in the 1990s. Anything that happens in this film evidently didn’t leave a lasting legacy on Earth’s population. This doesn’t particularly sit well considering Ant-Man and the Wasp was also extremely small-scale in terms of scope and wider impact.
Brie Larson had been called out through out all the promotional material as portraying an emotionless character yet in the film, Carol Danvers is told to the audience that she is an emotional character. In the quieter moments of the film this really comes across to the audience – a particular moment was during the Stan Lee cameo where her knowing nod just spoke to me as a fan of the films. Her interactions with Nick, Yon-Rogg and Talos are of The hair and make-up team throughout the film ensured that she looked the best that she could, her hair was stylishly messy when appropriate and found a style which suited the look and feel of Carol.
Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t phone in this performance much like he did in CA: Winter Soldier, we feel the connection that forges between Nick and Carol as they venture around, and the wonder and shock that Nick experiences while discovering that yes, aliens are really a threat to the wider safety of Earth and in the future may be once more. Ben Mendelsohn plays a wonderful villain, his performance being one that is remembered due to the diversity of his portrayals. Jude Law is an excellent meddlesome, manipulating mentor to Vers. He leaves the audience feeling that he is a confident and very capable mentor and squad leader to Starforce, although as a viewer you cannot help but feel there something more to his story and his actions. Lashana Lynch plays Maria Rambeau, Carol Danvers oldest friend who was also an Air Force training pilot. Her, alongside her daughter Monica, provide a welcome and much needed humanity to Carol’s past and who she really is beneath the soldier. Lashana comes as a breath of fresh air in the film, her acting is superb.
Naturally, as characters go Goose the Cat is the best. no arguments. Cat lovers unite.
Marvel has tried very hard to build a film that has that true, gritty 1990s feel. From the settings – such as Blockbuster – and the score which utilises tunes from the 1990s. While not as well woven into the film as James Gunn’s Guardians films, Captain Marvel ‘s score has impact and makes the Space scenes feel more large while making Earth much more small, yet somehow more joyful. CGI in the film is mostly, excellent. My one critique would be the sequence towards the end of the film where she isn’t entirely human looking all the time.
Overall, Captain Marvel is an enjoyable film that really finds its feet after the first act. While following the usual formula for Marvel films which is action with a side of humour it was refreshing to only truly discover the true source of her powers right at the end. It is a suitable stop-gap until the next showpiece, Avengers: Endgame