‘Captain Marvel’ review [1 of 2]: Marvelous embodiment of 90’s heroine

‘Captain Marvel’ brightens up the future of MCU with its refreshing take on the superhero origin story.

The first ever female-led MCU film follows the unconventional and retrospective journey of a Kree-human hybrid Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she becomes one of the mightiest heroes in the galaxy. In her past human life, Carol is a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races – Kree and Skrulls, the said incident forces her to joins an elite Kree military team called the Starforce. As fate brings her back to home planet Earth, she begins to unravel the true mystery of her past. The film, set in the 1990’s, operates in an untouched timeline in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – it boasts a lot of visual spectacle, cosmic hopping and even a delightful buddy comedy.

I’m probably going to shoot myself in the foot here: As one of this year’s most anticipated movies, Captain Marvel is a total fun blast, especially for the Marvel fans. It features a compelling origin story, coupled with engaging action sequences, and the fun chemistry of Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. Befitting for the superhero genre, this film is heroic and badass in all places. The fight sequences are spectacular as it gives us a climatic space battle and an expansive mood that rivals the Star Wars franchise. As expected with the ‘Marvel formula,’ the humor complements well with its action thus, making the whole package look utterly charming, marvellous and well crafted. It even gets bonus points for being progressive in the way that it subtly tackles the dark and violent subject matter of abusive relationships – an offbeat element not often found in traditional superhero films.

Read more: ‘Captain Marvel’: A spoiler-free character guide

To temper your expectations though, Captain Marvel won’t feature our said heroine immediately leaping in to help fight Infinity War’s mad titan Thanos – such epic showdown is reserved for Avengers: Endgame. Set in the 1990s, this film serves as a prequel to the rest of the films in the MCU. Hence, its tone and vibe feels nothing unlike any other Marvel film. The 90’s nostalgia is used to a potent effect without overdoing it. It’s retro and mysterious, but it remains to be entertaining because the set pieces are frequently changing. The soundtrack and technology used pays homage to the 90’s making the film feel like a love child of Star Trek and Star Wars.

The film features strong supporting performances too. Ben Mendelsohn steals every scene he’s by giving a great portrayal of the Skrull leader Talos. Lashana Lynch gives an emotional weight as her heartfelt portrayal Carol’s good old friend, Maria Rambeau who’s a vital piece to Carol’s origin. And even Goose, played by real-life cats Reggie, Archie, Gonzo and Rizzo, make the most of their screen time along with the surprises that comes with the character.

Captain Marvel is a great and powerful superhero film that showcases Larson’s outstanding performance and her incredible chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson. With that, this film brightens up the future of MCU, as it literally shines among previous superhero origin films while simultaneously setting up the heroine in the right track for Endgame.

It’s a fun movie – the kind that Marvel has become known for in its singled-out hero movies that otherwise retrofits well in a larger universe. With Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s thoughtful and delicate direction, Captain Marvel lives up to the hype. ‘Higher, further, faster’ indeed.

5 out of 5 stars

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck ‘Captain Marvel’ stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou , Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Mckenna Grace, and Robert Kazinsky. Runtime: 128 minutes.

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