Brie Larson in a poster of 'Captain Marvel'. Photograph:( Twitter )
Good news is that Captain Marvel is worth all the hype. It presents a refreshing new story with a woman playing the lead, celebrates sisterhood for a change and goes back in time to explain how it all started for the Avengers.
Ever since DC came out with 'Wonder Woman' in 2017, the pressure has been immense on the Marvel Cinematic Universe to present its own female-led superhero film. Wonder Woman did wonders at the box office and helped DC regain its lost glory to a great extent. So, when Marvel announced its first female superhero film, 'Captain Marvel' , expectations were super high and curiosity was at its peak to see what MCU would be presenting this time around. Good news is that Captain Marvel is worth all the hype. It presents a refreshing new story with a woman playing the lead, celebrates sisterhood for a change and goes back in time to explain how it all started for the Avengers.
Academy award-winning actress Brie Larson takes on a role that defies set rules in the superhero universe and delivers a refreshing new film. Larson plays Carol Denver/Ver from the planet Keer where she has been trained to become a combat soldier for the elite military team called Starforce. Mentored by Yon-Rogg (played by Jude Law), Ver's ultimate goal is to protect the galaxy from an alien force known as the Skrulls who are shapeshifters. When a covert operation for Starforce goes wrong, Ver finds herself under the captivity of Skrulls. While she eventually manages to escape from their custody, she doesn't go back to Keer but lands on Earth or a 'shithole' as her fellow Keer comrade calls it.
Ver, meanwhile gets flashes of her past in her head, that make her believe she was on Earth years back but she isn't quite sure. A chance encounter with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Fury (Samuel L Jackson) makes Ver go back to her roots and understand her true identity.
With a non-linear narrative, director duo- Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck indulge quite a bit in telling the story in flashback. There is a lot of back and forth in the film and one may need some time to warm up to the new superhero. Unlike the gamut of male superheroes, Captain Marvel is quite easy on the eyes. She knows she has superpowers, and in the beginning yearning to prove her forth to her mentor Yon Rogg. While she is confused about the visions she keeps getting, she isn't your regular angsty, brooding superhero with a tumultuous past.
Sure, she has had a difficult childhood, but Carol or Ver has learned to fight it out and survive in a man's world, much like other path breakers. Larson, with the adequate amount of charm and innocence, fits the role easily making her superhero avatar look almost relatable and normal. The film also takes a break from celebrating the usual machismo that is attached to such superhero films and instead gives us sisterhood. Carol does not have a romantic track but instead, she has a best friend, co-pilot Maria Rambeau played by Lashana Lynch. When she returns to Earth, she doesn't look for answers from her estranged family but instead goes to Maria who helps her to reconnect with her past.
Larson's best scenes are though not of fighting the bad guy, but her casual banter with Fury, played by the legend Samuel L Jackson, who thanks to VFX, looks straight out of the sets of 'Pulp Fiction'. Jackson gets the best lines and with his inherent charm makes his character the most fun character in the film. Based in 1995, the film also gives viewers a glimpse of the glorious 1990s when there were still video cassette parlours, dial-up internet, CD's took time to get copied and Nirvana played in the background. A time when Fury was still not the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.- who was on the look out for more 'heroes' like Carol herself.
In that way, 'Captain Marvel' goes back to the basics and starts much before the Avengers came into being. A crucial film before the release of the final Avengers film, 'Captain Marvel' manages to fill in the blanks and connect the story to the rest of MCU.
The film, though, doesn't give you an ardenaline rush. It's nice and breezy and moderately entertaining but lacks the sharpness of several other Marvel films. Since its the first film in the franchise, perhaps there will be more to explore in Captain Marvel's characteristics because the this being the first film, only establishes her identity.
If you are an ardent Marvel fan, you know you will have to wait for the end credits to understand Captain Marvel's role in the upcoming 'Avengers: Endgame'. There are vital clues spread across the entire film, in fact- that help you to connect Captain Marvel to the rest of the members of S.H.I.E.L.D so watch out for those.
In the end, despite the flaws, I'd say 'Captain Marvel' makes for a good watch. It's relevant for our times and lets the lady take center stage in a genre that's dominated by men. That itself should be a good enough reason to watch the film, no?