Small Screen Reviews
Captain Marvel Review
Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
What’s It About?
Outsider Vers is fighting for the Kree against the evil Skrulls – a race of shapeshifters. But when she is captured, interrogated and manages to escape to a planet, namely Earth in the mid 90s, she discovers everything is not as it seems.
Who’s In It?
Brie Larson (Room, Free Fire, Kong: Skull Island)
Samuel L Jackson (Pulp Fiction, most Marvel films, & more recently Glass)
Other notables include:
Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, & more recently Ready Player One)
Jude Law (The Talented Mr Ripley, Cold Mountain, Sherlock Holmes 1-3)
Annette Bening (The American President, American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right)
Directors: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, Mississippi Grind, Half Nelson)
Twenty odd movies into the franchise, and these Marvel people have really got it down pat with huge rip-roaring successes on the whole, leaving their DC rivals generally in their wake.
But the initial wave of superheroes is coming to an end, and with the advent of the final Avengers, Earth may (or may not) be calling out for some new superheroes. So as a result some of the lesser known types are rising to the fore, namely Captain Marvel, Marvel’s first female driven superhero movie (for once beaten to the punch by DC thanks to Wonder Woman).
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel herself is as confused and disoriented as the audience. Who is she, what are these random flashbacks, who are the bad guys and so on. Admittedly we never find out too much about Captain Marvel, originally Earthling Carol Danvers, beside a few flashbacks here and there, while there is also some opacity regarding to the main villain in this, but once the initial sequence is out the way and Vers (as she is known) has been captured by the seemingly evil shapeshifting Skrulls before escaping to Earth, Captain Marvel really picks up.
Piecing together info and flashbacks on Earth alongside a somewhat green SHIELD agent Nick Fury complete with both eyes, Vers begins to discover more about herself and her powers and the role she might play in the future.
Brie Larson, so so good in her Oscar winning Room role, embodies the strength and dynamism of a superhero, but her role for the most part is fairly vanilla and unquestioning. Yet teamed up with Samuel L Jackson’s unbelievably de-aged face as a young and fresh Nick Fury, the pair provide a wonderful odd couple pairing that pushes the movie along at quite a lick.
Setting the film in the 90s allows for an awesome if pointed soundtrack fronted, for the most part, by female led bands such as Elastica, Hole and Garbage reminiscent of the Mix Tape for Guardians.
There are strong and typically reliable performances from the likes of Jude Law and Annette Bening, despite limited roles, while Ben Mendelsohn complete with gruff Aussie accent is able to break out from his standard baddie in a suit role seen most recently in Rogue One and Ready Player One, imbuing his character with some great humour and wonderful one liners despite heavy prosthetics. And yes the cat to some degree also steals the show.
A fun watch, admittedly somewhat formulaic as many of these superhero movies are, which starts off reasonably well, but really kicks on when on Earth, before a fairly generic ending.
In A Nutshell:
An interesting tale packed full of flashbacks with a great odd couple pairing, which comes to life mid way through the film.
The odd couple relationship between Nick Fury and Captain Marvel
The understandable yet generic final act
Release date: 15/07/2019
Certificate: 12 / 12A