The movie has already surpassed expectations at the box office, but does Marvel’s first female-led film live up to the hype? Without spoiling too much, I am happy to report that this movie was a ton of fun! From the directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Who Is Carol Danvers?
If you’ve never heard of her, have no fear: Carol doesn’t know who she is either. The film opens with Carol on a planet called Hala, home to the alien race known as the Kree. She has no memory of her life before coming to this planet and is given the name Vers. She also happens to have extraordinary powers. Vers joins an elite team called Star Force to fight against the Kree’s enemy, the shapeshifting Skrulls.
While on a mission, the Skrulls captured her and messed with her mind, bringing out some repressed memories. Vers escapes only to crash land on Earth where she meets Nicholas Joseph Fury, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. With the help of Agent Coulson and Maria Rambeau and a few other friends, they piece together her past to find out the truth about her identity.
A New Captain
Brie Larson leads Marvel’s Captain Marvel as the charismatic, strong-willed Carol Danvers. She perfectly captures Carol’s confidence, sarcastic sense of humor, and sheer raw power. I also liked that she isn’t a complete fish out of water on Earth. Instead, Carol demonstrates her resourcefulness and determination. The one thing she seems to lack is an emotional journey. Her main goal is to find out who she is, yet her final revelation doesn’t appear to phase her. Part of this could be because her mentor teaches her to bury her emotions to be a better warrior. The story has to keep moving so we don’t really get to see her internal struggle. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed Larson’s portrayal of Captain Marvel. I’m sure that future films will continue to flesh out her character.
There’s a lot to like about Marvel’s Captain Marvel, especially when it comes to supporting characters. Larson has great chemistry with all of her co-stars. First, we see her playful interactions with her Kree mentor, Yon-Rogg, played by Jude Law. They don’t always agree on everything but she clearly looks up to him. While there are a couple of hints at a potential romance between the two, it never goes further than that. Personally, I think this was the right choice. A full-on romance would have felt rushed and underdeveloped. Without it, they still have an interesting relationship as two people who fight both with and against each other up.
Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
One of the highlights of the film is Captain Marvel’s friendship with Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Even though Fury initially had his guard up, it doesn’t take long for Carol to win him over. They established their dynamic almost immediately, Carol being the confident, space-savvy one and Fury being the skeptic turned believer. Having starred in two movies together previously, Larson and Jackson’s real-life friendship really shines through. Every moment they were on screen together was a joy to watch.
Maria & Monica Rambeau
Captain Marvel finds her family in Maria Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch, and her daughter Monica, played by Akira Akbar. Although they aren’t introduced until later in the film, both characters made quite the impact. Lynch delivers an emotional performance as Maria Rambeau, Carol’s best friend, and fellow Air Force pilot.
As someone who loses her best friend only for her to return with no memory of their friendship, you really feel for her. I only wish we had one more scene between her and Carol to cement their relationship. Meanwhile, Akbar makes a welcome addition as Monica Rambeau, who is equal parts adorable and mischievous. I certainly hope we get to see her become a superhero like her comic book counterpart.
Another character that stands out is Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, leader of the Skrulls. In recent years, Mendelsohn has become Hollywood’s go-to villain. Going into this film, I expected to see just another jerky and corporate bad guy for Captain Marvel to beat. I was pleasantly surprised by Mendelsohn’s multifaceted performance. The film took Talos and the Skrulls in a different direction than what fans have seen before in the comics. It really added to the story and I found it very refreshing.
But of all the characters in Marvel’s Captain Marvel, the breakout star among them has to be Goose the cat. From her bond with Carol and her tenuous relationship with Fury, this feline steals every scene she’s in. Since Goose is no ordinary cat, I’m hoping that we’ll see her again in future films.
The Worlds Of Marvel’s Captain Marvel
The visuals of Marvel’s Captain Marvel are literally out of this world! From the Kree planet Hala to 90s Earth, the world and everything in it look great. Kree and the Skrulls are quite true to the comics and the Skrull transformations were both fascinating and terrifying. Carol’s costume looks like it came straight off the page and it translates very well. I also like the incorporation of the Mohawk helmet, which also translates surprisingly well. Of course, the de-aging technology works beautifully with both Sam Jackson and Clark Gregg.
Taking place in 1995, Marvel’s Captain Marvel finds fun ways to incorporate the culture of the era. From Carol’s crash landing in a Blockbuster to the slower technology, the references are funny without being overpowered. The era also finds it way into the soundtrack. While the music isn’t as integral to the story as in Guardians of the Galaxy, it was still a fun way to set the tone. I’ll definitely be listening to it on Spotify for a while.
Carol Danvers In The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Despite its obvious connections to a larger universe, Marvel’s Captain Marvel easily stands on its own. Since it takes place before most of the MCU films, it doesn’t spoil much. As Captain Marvel’s debut, this film does a decent job introducing her to the MCU. As with other Marvel film adaptations, her backstory has been tweaked, but the changes work well. In the comics, her powers came from an explosion that fused her DNA with Mar-Vell’s.
This led her to become Ms. Marvel, the female counterpart of Captain Marvel. In this iteration, her powers are decidedly her own. She also skips Ms. and goes straight to Captain. These changes empower Carol so she can be her own character instead of being derived from another superhero. On the other hand, this film helps flesh out parts of the Marvel Universe. As a sort of prequel, it both matches and adds to the continuity of the existing universe. As we know from the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel will be returning next month in Avengers: Endgame. I can’t wait to see how she gets along with the rest of the Avengers. I’m also excited to see her kick some butt!
A Solid Start
Overall, Marvel’s Captain Marvel just about met my expectations. While a few things could’ve been improved, there were also many things I loved about it. It features a lot of good performances, great special effects, and hilarious 90s references. It was so much fun to watch and definitely worth seeing in theaters. And if you’re still not convinced, maybe another picture of Goose can persuade you.