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Captain Marvel: A Spoiler-Free Review

For many, Captain Marvel represents a major breakthrough in the massive franchise, with it being the first Marvel movie to centre around a female protagonist.

With the exception of Wonder Woman, female-led superhero properties have struggled when being adapted to cinema. So the question on everyone’s mind was as to whether this film could deliver.

The short answer is that whilst this film does have its flaws, it will undoubtedly resonate with a lot of people. Captain Marvel doesn’t make any significant mistakes, however the problem is that in an over-saturated market, superhero films are a dime a dozen.

For many, this will be seen as a mid-level Marvel movie rather than a top tier Marvel film. It may feature plenty of moments that will please both Marvel fans and casual viewers but whether or not Captain Marvel has power to succeed in the box office remains to be seen.

What’s it about?

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel centres around Carol Danvers (played by Bree Larson), a woman raised in the Kree home world. Her memories beyond the last five years have been lost, and not knowing her true name, she now goes by the name Vers.

She lives as a Kree soldier, fighting an alien race of shape-shifters known as the Skrulls. When a mission leads her and the Skrulls to Earth, Vers soon realises that this planet may hold the key to unlocking her past and the origins of her mysterious powers.

What about the visuals and aesthetics of the film?

Visually, Captain Marvel is another solid entry boasting some spectacular sequences. Those of us itching for more of cosmic Marvel will not go home disappointed. In all honesty, I could have easily sat through the movie set entirely in space.

Thankfully though, the film succeeds where Green Lantern failed many years earlier.

A cosmic adventure with plenty of character-driven moments. Source: Marvel Studios

By setting the film in the 90s as opposed to modern day, the film lends itself to numerous nostalgic references. We see various nods to outdated technology, 90’s films, as well as a soundtrack that is unapologetically 90s to its core.

If you remember living through that decade, this film is most definitely aimed at you.

How are the performances?

Brie Larson embodies the character of Captain Marvel perfectly. It might not be an oscar-worthy performance but no one walked into the cinema expecting an Oscar-award winning film. As with all Marvel casting, she nails her lead character.

Samuel L. Jackson reprising the role of Nick Fury allows for great chemistry between him and the titular character. The two bounce off each other incredibly well and give some of the sequences a buddy cop movie vibe, which is far from a bad thing.

Will you find out how Nick Fury loses his eye? You’ll have to watch the film in order to find out. Source: Marvel Studios

Clark Gregg returns as fan-favourite Agent Coulson. Jude Law puts in a decent performance as Yon-Rogg (Danver’s mentor on the Kree home world) though his role is too limited to allow him to shine.

Is the film agenda-driven?

Beyond some of the marketing, it’s a big no. When it comes to Captain Marvel, there is already a vocal minority attacking the film with claims of it being anti-men.

Yet having watched the film, I can say with some confidence that there is no agenda that the film attempts to beat you over the head with.

Gender issues whether they are real or not could harm the film at the box office angering Brie Larson, Marvel and fans of the MCU. Source: Marvel Studios.

In fact I’d argue that its more balanced and less agenda-driven than Wonder Woman.

Captain Marvel’s gender plays very little significance on the plot. Beyond a couple of brief lines about women not being able to fly combat missions in the 90s, gender issues never really impact the film. Fans of the Bechdel test will be happy to know it passes with flying colours.

What’s with the cat?

You might have noticed a cat in much of the promotional content for Captain Marvel. Goose, played by Reggie and three stunt cats, is Marvel’s first cat superhero. I’m not too sure if that’s the most fitting label but it’s the one I’m using so deal with it.

Goose steals the show at every opportunity.

Personally Goose should have done the bulk of the marketing for Captain Marvel Seen here at the Premiere. Source: Marvel Studios.

Marvel does actually have a comic series featuring super-powered pets and Goose would certainly be an excellent addition. If you’re listening Marvel, we want a Pet Avengers movie now #GooseForPetAvengersMovie.

So final thoughts…

Captain Marvel might not be the strongest entry in the MCU and to be honest I don’t think an entry level film could hit that mark. That said, Captain Marvel gets a hell of a lot more right then many other super hero films in and out of Marvel.

It’s a fun nostalgia-fuelled space adventure with the coolest cat that the MCU has seen (so far, at least). If the cat doesn’t sell you on this film, then I’m not sure what else will.

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