Brie Larson makes an impressive MCU newcomer in Captain Marvel, and hopefully we'll see more
Mother has officially landed.
Marvel's latest superhero flick, and the first dedicated wholly to a superheroine, has finally arrived in cinemas, to high anticipation from the public. It's also a lead-up, a big bite of teaser, before we get to the showdown in Avengers: Endgame next month.
Captain Marvel begins with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson from Room), now known as Vers, the noble Kree warrior already possessing her superhuman ability and trying to control it. Under the mentorship of her commander, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), Vers and the team battle the shapeshifting Skrull aliens that pose a threat to the world. Along the way, she also pieces together puzzles of her past as she drops on planet Earth and does some butt-kicking with the future director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson in his digitally de-aged performance).
The new captain on the block is sure savvy. Danvers is a cool chick with attitude and swag who doesn't exactly give two cents for a man's approval and validation. After the film, I found myself reminded of another female-led film, The Favourite, wherein men get to be a little ridiculous and playful with, say, duck racing (or in this case, cooing over a cute kitty and others) while women mean business and have no time for nonsense.
Aside from the Captain herself, we have another strong female character in the form of single mother and fighter pilot Maria, who is Danvers' BFF on Earth. Women rule here. They are kicking asses wherever they go and we are loving that.
Another film I can't help comparing Captain Marvel to is, of course, the other female superhero flick, DC's Wonder Woman. That is really bound to happen, and the two can't be more different. Wonder Woman is more classic, more clichéd, in a sense. A gorgeous warrior concealing a sword in her dress. The sexy femme fatale with a man by her side. Danvers, on the other hand, is more human, more girl-next-door, more grounded. Even more flawed. Her journey is (spoiler here, I guess) not defined by any love interest. I don't remember her wearing a skirt, either. What does this say about her? You be the judge.
It can be a struggle to be a woman in a patriarchal society. There are people -- men, especially -- trying to suppress the power and natural calling of women, to keep her to the ground while she's destined to soar above. The theme rings true in fantasy as it is in the reality of our world.
Oh, and we also need to talk about the cat.
The orange fur ball that is Goose is one mighty fine kitty and a giant scene stealer the second it pops up onscreen. This superstar kitty definitely needs a film of its own. I'd pay to watch that.
The comedic elements that have been quite formulaic with Marvel films are played out here. At times, the film takes itself seriously, and sometimes it doesn't. The nostalgic 1990s – the time in which the story is set – is apparent in music choice, technology and props that are sure to get a laugh from audiences. We definitely got a kick out of seeing a superhero battle an internet connection.
One memorable moment from the screening came right before the film started, in the form of a small yet powerful tribute to Stan Lee, which earned a respectful clap and even tears from the audience. It was also lovely to see his cameo in the film. While his appearances have always been brief in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will definitely leave a void in future films when we no longer see him.
After the overstuffed hot pot that is known as Avengers: Infinity War, the film this is linked with, Captain Marvel sure possessed a different kind of energy, a toned-down level of excitement. It takes time getting to the height of the action. The stakes don't seem as high, the threat as imminent, and certain elements as predictable. Nothing too melodramatic or sentimental. I also wish we could see more of Danvers' life on Earth rather than just the fragments we have to settle for. Some points could also have been better-clarified.
Still, overall the inaugural take of Danvers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a fun, entertaining ride that we are definitely rooting for more as we go further into a new phase following Endgame, where she's promised to become a big part of it. Do stay for the end-credit scenes (there are two) for a glimpse of our other favourite Avengers and more from Goose the cat.