Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5
Captain Marvel Story: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when two alien races go to war, with Earth caught in the middle.
Captain Marvel Review: The first female-led superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been a long time coming. Despite other strong female superheroes who have arguably earned their standalone film (Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Valkyrie), the MCU’s focus on the build-up to ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has reached a fever pitch. So, it only makes sense to introduce Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), or Captain Marvel as a vital piece in the puzzle. When we first meet Danvers, she is a powerful soldier of an alien race known as the Kree. Even though she feels a strong connection to Earth, she is unaware of her identity. During an intergalactic battle, she crashes on Earth, known as C-53, where she encounters Agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). She then begins to retrace her memories to her origins.
Brie Larson is convincing enough as Carol Danvers. She isn’t as brooding as the trailers make her out to be; in fact, Danvers shares some of the lighter moments with a pre-eye-patch Nick Fury. Samuel L. Jackson seems to enjoy playing a relatively naïve version of the otherwise surly Fury who quickly learns that everything is not as it seems. Jude Law’s addition to the MCU isn’t exactly memorable, but Ben Mendelsohn particularly stands out. The 90’s tonality, complete with a grunge-era soundtrack is a good look for the MCU, and it lends ample opportunities for humour. Although the script aims at big laughs, it doesn’t always succeed. In fact, real guffaws come from unexpected places. Hint: cat-lovers will be thoroughly delighted with Goose, who arguably turns out to be a real scene-stealer.
There are a few narrative surprises in the script, despite the superhero moments being well intact. But, they come along with a meandering pace that severely drags the film down to a lull during the first act, and somewhere around the middle too. Yes, the plot sets out to establish Carol Danvers as a bonafide bad-ass and thoroughly succeeds in the end. It’s about time Captain Marvel showed up, and the Avengers are a much stronger team with Danvers on their side. This also succeeds in getting you even more excited for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (as if that was needed). By now, MCU fans know the drill: stick around for the end credits, and you will not be disappointed. Unfortunately, the route it takes encounters some speed bumps, courtesy of the usual superhero origin issues that have troubled the genre.