With Avengers: Endgame out imminently, Marvel turn to one of their most powerful heroes for the latest MCU blockbuster. The end of credits scene in Avengers: Infinity War featured Nick Fury calling someone for help using a pager. Captain Marvel is who he was calling. She will play a pivotal role in the events to come, and her introduction to fans in this movie gives us a good insight into who she is and the incredible capabilities that she possesses (and that she’ll no doubt bring to the fight).
Whilst on a mission, a warrior from another world (Brie Larson) is separated from her battalion and crash lands on Earth in the year 1995. Young S.H.I.E.L.D agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) reluctantly teams up with her to help pursue a powerful enemy before Earth gets caught up in a full-on war between two alien races.
There are a lot of reveals and spoilers (some that are quite easy to predict, and others that deliver genuine layers and foundations to the story at large). I won’t disclose any of these in this review, but it’s worth noting that Captain Marvel does tie-together quite a few Marvel movies into the grander scheme of things and it’s done remarkably well.
The biggest and best aspect of Captain Marvel is the fact that we finally have a female superhero fronting a Marvel movie. It’s a milestone moment (in a similar vein to the significance of Black Panther last year) and one that will hopefully pave the way for more progression in the future. Marvel’s ability to make their more unfamiliar properties into bona-fide blockbusters is commendable, and it’s great to see a whole new legion of young fans wanting to be Carol Danvers. It’s a powerful moment. I just hope this means we’ll see a Black Widow or Scarlet Witch movie soon too.
Brie Larson is fantastic in the role. She has to piece fragments of her past life together as the film goes on and she is given a lot to deal with. Larson brings a relatable charm to the role and her fight sequences are excellent. A pursuit sequence in which she fights a shape-shifter gets the balance of edge-of-your-seat thrills and genuine comedy spot on, and her sparring sessions with Jude Law feature some amazing fight choreography.
Larson and Samuel L. Jackson make a fantastic onscreen duo and their banter and back-and-forth is a big element to why the film succeeds. Jude Law is always watchable and knocks heads with Brie Larson in a good way. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) makes a welcome return to the MCU and Ben Mendelsohn effortlessly steals his scenes as Talos. There’s a cat that surprisingly has a much bigger role than I anticipated, and I’m sure audiences the world over will fall in love with it as much as Nick Fury does in the movie! It was a shame that Lashana Lynch (as Carol’s friend Maria Rambeau), Annette Bening, Gemma Chan and Mckenna Grace didn’t have more to do in the film – a wasted opportunity I felt.
There are a few problems overall, but nothing that disrupts your overall enjoyment too much. Some of the CGI isn’t as crisp as I wanted to see, especially in the final fight. There are plot elements that, to me at least, felt very predictable and I didn’t get any real surprises from the script which was a shame. The film sometimes relies a little too heavily on the comedy element too.
Essentially, Captain Marvel is a buddy cop movie with a bit of Ant-Man & Guardians of the Galaxy thrown in for good measure. It fully embraces the comedy which will work for a lot of viewers, and is lighter in tone to say, a Captain America standalone film. It starts off a little too hectic but once the story arrives on Earth, the film is allowed to breathe and ends far stronger, with a finale that completely grips you. Again Brie Larson does a lot of the heavy lifting in this regard, and she makes sure you’re always invested in Carol Danvers plight.
IMAX plays a big role in immersing the viewer into a film, and Captain Marvel uses the full screen experience really well. A large portion of the film takes place in space and those sequences really benefit from the IMAX ratio, delivering an expansive and beautifully rendered world that’s eye-catching in every frame. The action sequences also look wonderful, so as with most IMAX versions, if you can afford the price uplift then you really won’t be disappointed. The experience certainly adds a clarity and depth that makes the movie’s bigger sequences feel more impressive and involving.
Captain Marvel is a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and an important one for many different reasons. The throwback to the 1990s was nice to see and it gives us a welcome look at how Carol Danvers can completely shake up the MCU in the future. And make sure you stay for the now-obligatory post credit and mid-credit stings. The post scene is funny, but the mid-credits scene is right up there with Ant-Man and the Wasp as one of the best teases Marvel have ever delivered. Avengers: Endgame can’t come soon enough!
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Lashana Lynch, Lee Pace, Gemma Chan, Mckenna Grace, Djimon Hounsou, Rune Temte, Chuku Modu Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck Writer: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve Certificate: 12A Duration: 124mins Released by: Disney/Marvel Release date: 8th March 2019