Captain Marvel (AU - M/UK - 12A/US - PG-13)

In A Word: Intriguing

Captain Marvel

Brie Larson plays Captain Marvel in the latest film in the 'MCU'.

 

"Captain Marvel has some genuinely surprising plot developments that subvert expectations. The portrayal of the heroes, enemies, allies and even cats embrace the theme that not all is what it seems. Empowerment in this tale comes from embracing who you truly are."

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has given us 20 films over the past decade and covered dozens of heroes, villains, aliens and even “Gods". The 21st film in the MCU brings a new element to the series: it is the first to star a female hero - Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel.

Academy Award-winner Brie Larson (Room, Kong: Skull Island) plays the title character in this origin story. Her character begins as an amnesiac alien Kree super soldier on a mission to eliminate the shape-shifting Skrulls. The battle takes her to Earth in 1995 where she begins a journey of discovery to learn who she is and the nature of her true enemy.

The 90’s nostalgia is laid on thick with an opening scene in a Blockbuster video store and continues with a suitably retro soundtrack to match the action. This prequel setting smartly allows the story to not only explore how Captain Marvel came to be, but also reveals the beginnings of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), fan favorite Agent Phil Colson and we even get an early look at Ronin the Accuser, the villain from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Larson shares the screen with Jude Law who plays Marvel’s mentor, Yon-Rogg, as they hunt the Skrull leader, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). What follows is an intriguing tale of hidden identities, lost memories and devious deceptions in the midst of all the obligatory punching, kicking, shooting and flying.

Historically, the comic books for Marvel’s character have been a symbol of female empowerment. The original name for the character was Ms Marvel which was a much more progressive name that indicated independence in the 70’s as opposed to calling her “Marvel Girl” like her contemporaries Supergirl and Batgirl. In her superhero persona she would battle villains and in her human alter-ego she would fight for equal rights for women. The Captain Marvel in this film continues this progression by presenting a strong, confident woman that in her own words “has nothing to prove".

Captain Marvel has some genuinely surprising plot developments that subvert expectations. The portrayal of the heroes, enemies, allies and even cats embrace the theme that not all is what it seems. Empowerment in this tale comes from embracing who you truly are.

In Marvel’s case, she must learn to reconcile the discipline she has as a warrior with the emotions she feels as a human to tap her full potential. Once she accesses the part of her humanity that is full of passion and persistence, Captain Marvel literally becomes unstoppable. The hero that she becomes is one full of courage, compassion and power.

In another first for Marvel, but on a sadder note, this is the first film released since Stan Lee’s departure from this world. The opening titles contain a fitting tribute to the creator of so many beloved characters and his legacy will live on for a long time to come.