I’m not a huge Superhero movie fan. I enjoy watching them, for the most part, but generally I can take them or leave them. Steph who came to watch Captain Marvel with me, just doesn’t really watch them at all. However, we were both very excited to see a female taking on the role of one of the most (if not the most) unstoppable Heroes in the Marvel cinematic universe (I thought it would be best to be transparent about our levels of interest going into this film).
Captain Marvel is a powerful superhero in more ways than one. Not only is she ridiculously OP (like seriously…why did she not come destroy Thanos before all this ‘crumbling’ people business even began?), but she is an AWESOMELY good role-model in this age of superheroes. Where Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was stoic and intimidatingly beautiful, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel was down-to-earth and approachable. Wonder Woman’s background meant that she never seemed to fully ‘fit in’ with humankind, Captain Marvel has the warmth of a mother, a best friend and ‘the girl next door’ all wrapped up into one wonderfully relatable and badass lady. She is the embodiment of ‘girl-power’ without throwing shade at or trying to dominate men. I know not everyone is going to agree with me, and it did take a little while for me to warm up to her in the role, but I came away feeling like Brie Larson was the perfect choice for this pivotal Super Hero role. She more than held her own in the action sequences and was able to switch between the various ‘tones’ all Marvel films tend to call upon (stoic, humourous, tragic etc) with ease. It’s not like her acting could be called into question after her performance in Room anyway…and dare I say… Scott Pilgrim!
So what did Super Hero noob, Steph, have to say about Captain Marvel?
–Steph enters from stage left –
Steph – “Basically just that if you’re going in with a fairly ‘blank slate’ regarding the Marvel Universe and history etc. it’s still an enjoyable movie! The story and characters hold their own, so although I probably missed a few nods to other movies I never felt like I was out of my depth or that it was all just one big inside joke kinda thing.
Also, is Captain Marvel a known character in the Marvel Universe? Maybe she is and I just haven’t heard of her, but I enjoyed getting to know a new female superhero character. Like Wonder Woman was cool, but we all have preconceived ideas about who she is, so it was interesting having a new (to me) character to meet. Big ‘yay’ that she was strong and funny and not really that “sexy”, I mean, she can obviously ‘get it’ , but that wasn’t a big part of who she was – like it still seems to be with Black Widow and even Wonder Woman. Not that sexiness is bad…when did I become a prude? Haha!”
–Steph exits to stage right –
Goose, the cat, is actually a pretty great addition to the film (Steph looooved him). I was worried they’d play up his ‘cute factor’ too often – but they got it just right. Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) interactions with Goose help paint a different image of the Fury we’ve come to know in previous Marvel flicks – and it’s some very welcome character development. In fact, learning more about Fury’s past and seeing a much ‘softer’ version of him (before agent life hardened him), was a major highlight of Captain Marvel for me.
Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, nearly ended up being my favourite character. In fact, the jury’s still out on that one, so he may still take that number one spot. His character development was surprising and delightful – but as I’m keeping this spoiler-free, I can’t really say more. Jude Law was actually pretty epic as Yon-Rogg, another character I can’t tell you much about. I was pretty disappointed with Gemma Chan’s involvement. It’s definitely not on her, she was great in the brief moments she received screen-time, but she felt like a wasted resource. Lashana Lynch as Carol Danvers’ best friend, Maria, was responsible for most of the scenes that had me blinking away some eye liquids. I’m really hoping to see more of her in End Game and her spunky daughter, Monica.
If you’re like me – and the 90s was your JAM – then Captain Marvel is going to be the nostalgia train you won’t want to get off. From a frickin’ awesome soundtrack to dial up internet jokes, Captain Marvel nailed the 90s references over and over but also knew when enough was enough. I think it was the combination of nostalgia and pride at seeing a strong female protagonist kicking ass without poking fun at masculinity – that had me on the verge of tears for a decent portion of Captain Marvel. The overall vibe and plot of the film might not really stand out in the long line-up of Marvel movies to date, but there’s some even better magic at play in Captain Marvel.