Episode 40: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel, the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe film, opened today and has everyone asking the question is it marvellous (pun intended) or does it just bide the time before Endgame hits the cinema’s in April?  

The film is directed by a duo, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who cut their teeth in television, documentaries and lower budgeted films.

Set in the mid 1990’s we are introduced to the character of Carol Denvers, Brie Larson, who is currently going by the name of Vers, having forgotten her former life.  Vers lives on, the Kree planet, Hala where she is being trained by Yon-Rogg, Jude Law, to fight against the villainous Skrulls, who are an alien shape-shifting race.

Vers has special abilities, that she is not sure how to control, and Yon-Rogg is helping her master them. Unfortunately before she can learn to control her powers a mission goes haywire and their group is ambushed by Skrulls.

After being separated from her group and captured, by the Skrulls, Vers manages to escape by using her limited powers.  She destroys the Skrulls ship and crashes on earth where she meets a young Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson, and sets out to stop the Skrulls and discover her past. 

Captain Marvel is a movie everyone wants to like and for the most part it is enjoyable enough. Unfortunately this being the twenty first film, in the MCU, the formula is getting slightly tiresome. 

The film tries to change up the superhero origin story but at it’s heart it meets all the plot beats that we’ve come to expect from this kind of fan fair. Whilst the story telling, through fragmented memory, is interesting enough when the pieces finally fall into place the origin is, unfortunately, not that original. There are some surprises throughout, however, that help to make this enjoyable but not enough to transcend the cliches.

The de-ageing effect of Jackson is executed quite well, through the use of some effective CGI, but shots never linger long enough for a proper analysis. It seems the creators were never quite confident in the process for shots to stay for long periods of time and this is probably for the best as the Young Agent Coulson, Clark Gregg, effects are often distractingly off but for the most part work. 

The de-ageing process is not a new thing for the Marvel films, as we have seen it for various films in the franchise before, but never has it been used so extensively throughout the entire film which is a feet in itself.

The film is rife with nostalgia with the soundtrack littered with 90’s pop songs and, whilst it does struggle to put a new spin on the super hero origin story, likeable performances by Larson and Jackson and some nice nods to the MCU canon helps to make the film enjoyable for fans of the series. A mid credits sequence will be sure to get everyone hyped for Avengers: Endgame as well.

Overall Captain Marvel is an enjoyable introduction of a new character and is a welcomed addition to the MCU but might not soar as highly as some would like. 

3 out of 5 Birds from me- Jason

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