Review: Captain Marvel
It is no small secret that I am a Marvel fan. I love the escapism that Superheroes offer, I love how bright and (Infinity War notwithstanding) happy these films are. They understand that, yeah, superheroes are at their core utterly stupid and ridiculous concepts, but they think “Screw being realistic” and swing with it, making the stupidest, most grin-inducing films they possibly can.
If there’s one superhero I’ve never gotten into however, it’s Captain Marvel. Sure, I’ve read “The Death Of Captain Mar-Vell” and I’ve read a bit of Kelly Thompson’s recent “Captain Marvel” run.
Oh and like all comic fans I know very well about that time Captain Marvel gave birth to her son, who was actually his own father. It’s a long story, best not to get into it right now. Anyway, I’ve not read anywhere near as much Captain Marvel as I have Spider-Man for example. So I’m going into this movie blind, with the only question on my lips being this:
Is this film a good film?
Weirdly, I thought so. I say weirdly because I wasn’t expecting to. The trailers left me uninspired, none of the interviews or reveals really caused me to get excited at all. I basically went into this film with no expectations. And you know what? I really enjoyed this film. That’s not to say it isn’t flawed, as with any film there are issues, some larger than others. But I’m able to overlook the flaws in the film due simply to how much I enjoyed the film.
In terms of very basic plot details, Captain Marvel is about Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) fighting a war on the side of the Kree, a race of noble warriors, against the scourge of the Skrull empire, aliens that can shapeshift into anything and anyone. While on a routine mission, Danvers crash lands on Earth and that’s where our film begins. There’s a very basic outline of the plot later in the review if you’re interested (absolute no spoilers however, just very simply little things). Suffice to say, this is when Danvers meets Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, and everything properly kicks off from here.
Most of the cast of Captain Marvel is great, with one major exception.
Brie Larson, Oscar winner for 2015’s Room, is on top form here. From the trailers, I expected her portrayal of Carol Danvers to be nothing other than generic and bland, but she brings life to a character that, in weaker hands, could have been dull and uninspired.
Ben Mendelsohn is brilliant as the Skrull Leader, bringing the Skrulls to life with vigour. He feels threatening and it’s great to see the Skrulls finally done on the big screen, and done right. Samuel L Jackson is, as per usual, amazing as Nick Fury. He’s especially great here due to the chemistry he has with Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. They constantly trade zingers back and forth and it doesn’t feel at all forced.
My main niggle with the cast, and indeed one of my main issues with the film as a whole is that Jude Law feels underused as Yon-Rogg, a Kree soldier. He can be a great actor, we’ve seen that in far too many films to list here, but here he just feels… I don’t know, like he’s phoning in his performance a bit? It’s such a shame to see.
Oh and Marvel? Give me more Young Coulson, please.
In terms of cinematography, it’s nothing special. But, just because it isn’t particularly special or outstanding, it doesn’t make it bad. There’s some spectacular shots in this film, ones that will come to define the character for a generation. To me, it’s nothing special because I’ve seen so many films at this point, but to a young kid watching this film? It’s everything.
You may have noticed that I’ve not mentioned the plot yet. That’s because I don’t really want to spoil anything for any of you reading. We are, of course, still in the throes of release and to spoil anything would be nigh on criminal. So, suffice to say there are two post credits sequences, and yes, they’re absolutely great.
There are also twists and turns aplenty in the film, with one twist in particular (if you’ve seen the film, you know which one I’m referring to) absolutely flooring me. It’s something that should have been so plain to see, so simple, but due to the fact it was so simple it absolutely stunned me when it happened.
Overall Captain Marvel is a fun, albeit flawed experience, one that will at the very least put a smile on even the most hard-faced moviegoer.