DIRECTOR: anna boden and ryan fleck
STARRING: brie larson, samuel L. jackson, jude law, and ben mendelsohn
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Captain Marvel gets caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.
When I come to review the latest Marvel offering I often find it a difficult task. On the one hand you have the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole with its overarching labyrinth of a narrative plot with a raft of characters, subplot upon subplot, and little easter eggs to discover. Then on the other hand you have the individual films themselves that fit into that over a decade old puzzle.
So there was part of me as I watched Captain Marvel that was in utter nerd ecstasy. Because characters from other parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe pop up, little story lines from other instalments are revisited all of which add to the bigger whole of the Marvel tale.
I know - I'm being super vague but I really don't wanna give away any spoilers. But if and when you see it you'll catch my drift. But because every Marvel film adds to that overarching story its sometimes difficult to judge the latest Marvel offering on its own merits as we probably should.
And on the whole, standing on its own two feet, Captain Marvel is a good superhero movie. Theres cracking action, belly laughs aplenty, and it presses all the right visual buttons. Also the 90's references are totally on point - great to see a Blockbuster video store again!
Brie Larson is fantastic as Carol Captain Marvel Danvers. She kicks butt, she brings the laughs and the chemistry and banter with Nick Fury is brilliant. The other outstanding supporting actors are the deliciously delightful Jude Law (with a heck of a lot more to do than he had to do as Dumbledore in FB: The Crimes of Grindlewald) and the hands down superb Ben Mendelsohn who can do so much with so little. Also Goose the cat - perhaps my new favourite non humany kinda Marvel character. You'll see why.
Captain Marvel is quite possibly the first real 'mystery' Marvel movie where the identity of the main hero is shrouded in mystique which is unravelled throughout the film. There are twists that you see coming and some that you really don't. But ultimately what doesn't completely work is Captain Marvel herself.
You don't get to spend enough time with her exploring her moral motivations, what makes her tick, as so much time is spent on her backstory. Great superhero origin films like Batman Begins, Wonder Woman, and Iron Man do both really well - you find out the backstory of the superhero and you discover what really makes that hero tick. With Wonder Woman you get to know her backstory and you also see what drives her as a character as well. You don't get much of that with Captain Marvel which is a real pity.
There are some badass women can do everything and anything moments which are superb but Captain Marvel doesn't really feel like its as culturally earth shattering as Wonder Woman or Black Panther were.
Finally, make sure you take your tissues with you - the Stan Lee tribute is tearfully perfect and garnered whoops, hollers, and thunderous applause. Excelsior.
Spends a little too much time on Captain Marvel's backstory without really getting to know what drives her, but ultimately ticks all the necessary superhero boxes.