Trying to fall in love with film again.

'Captain Marvel' may be the strongest Avenger but she doesn't have the strongest origin story.

Captain Marvel (2019) - IMDbStory 

Carol Danvers is a member of an elite squad of Kree warriors called Starforce, who are tasked with defeating the shape-shifting aliens called 'The Skrulls'. However, she has no memory of her time on Earth and she finds herself back there, she has to come to terms with her past.

The story in this movie is one that is familiar however we haven't seen anything like this in the MCU. Carol's story is told in a very interesting way as it weaves visions from the past with the present and you as the viewer is piecing together the story at the same time as Carol rather than having the whole thing be explained to you.

The story is in a pretty difficult position, it has to establish Captain Marvel in her own right while fitting into the larger MCU story-line and for the most part, it works. That is because its pretty self contained. It does have ties and references to the rest of the MCU but you could watch it without having seen the others, my friend who I saw it with hasn't seen most of the MCU movies (shocking I know) but enjoyed the movie nonetheless  (Personally I would say you should watch the other to enjoy the references even more). However, it does raise some questions about the timeline as a whole and statements that have been said in previous movies. There aren't any glaring plot holes per se, but some insight would have been better.

Acting

The movie stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Gemma Chan, Dijmon Hounsou and Lee Pace.

Before I saw this movie I saw a lot of comparisons between Carol Danvers and Tony Stark and while I can see where the comparisons are coming from, the two characters feel like two distinct characters. Carol Danvers is a great character and Brie Larson really brings her to life. She is known for her Oscar-winning role in Room (great movie, you should see it) which is very dramatic and that came in handy with the dramatic moments in the film, and there are a few but she also gets to show off her comedic side. She's incredibly witty and while she doesn't have a lot of outright jokes, her comments are clever and funny. She also has incredible chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson, their relationship feels organic and real.

Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role as Nick Fury and his characterisation in this movie is completely different from previous ones and it was really fun to see a more relateable Nick Fury who also happens to have 2 eyes. He's less jaded and because of that, he feels like a different person. the change isn't unwelcome however as we get to see a different side of him and raises questions about his characterisation in the present. We do find out more about this line

Image result for nick fury last time i trusted someone i lost an eye

 and it was something, to say the least.


The supporting characters in this movie were all really really good, especially Lashana Lynch. She plays  Maria Rambeau and is the emotional core of the film, but her character never feels like she is Carol's sidekick, they equal even regardless of Carol's superpowers.

Ben Mendelsohn is one of those actors that is known for dramatic roles and seeing him in a Marvel movie is something I never knew I needed. Without revealing much about his character, he has one of my favourite moments in the film.

Jude Law was also good in this movie. He had great chemistry with Brie Larson, you buy into their mentor-mentee relationship and while this isn't his best role, his character is integral to the story and made for some really good moments.

I can't talk about the characters without mentioning Goose, he's a scene stealer (even though he's a cat) and now I get why everyone and their grandmother has been talking about him.

Writing/Direction 

The writing in this movie is solid which is why the movie works. The story does have a few surprises especially if you are familiar with the Captain Marvel mythos. While subtle changes were made to her origin, the core of the character is still the same. The main characters are well written and the antagonists have genuine intentions for their actions which make them more interesting than a lot of Marvel villains.

Interestingly enough there isn't a lot of exposition in this movie, it is there but a lot of what we are told is shown visually which will always be better than having someone explain every detail to you.

The movie was directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, who I wasn't familiar with before this movie. They did a great job of bringing the movie to life. One of my main concerns with Captain Marvel as a character is her powerset. She is without a doubt the most powerful hero in the MCU (as said by Kevin Feige himself) and because of that she could have come across as relatable and overpowered but the directors managed to make her human and because of that, I found her more endearing.

The movie has solid pacing, it never really slows down when it picks up. It's not constant action in the way that Infinity War was and because of that, you have time to get to know the characters.  There are some great moments in this movie that really show what Carol Danvers is about and those moments never come across as forced or out of place.

It also has a consistent tone. While it is not as serious as The Winter Soldier it also isn't an outright comedy like Guardians of the Galaxy, I would the tone is more akin to Doctor Strange where there are serious moments mixed in with comedic moments and each one has a time and a place.

There are also tons of references to the MCU as well as 90s pop culture which makes the movie more fun. Screen Crush does a great job of breaking them down and I would recommend their video. (Make sure you watch the movie first)

CGI/Set Design

This movie like most superhero movies is CGI heavy and the CGI here is excellent.
 When your movie involves space travel, aliens and your main character looks like this...

captain marvel GIF by Marvel Studios

 you're going to need really good CGI.

I also have to mention the digital de-ageing of Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg. It is incredibly trippy because they look younger in the movie than they did at the time. This is the first movie where Marvel has digitally de-aged someone but we've come a long way since it was first used in Ant-Man in 2015.

This is what the actors look like in the movie

Image result for captain marvel samuel l jackson



Image result for captain marvel clark gregg



















You can't tell me that seeing this doesn't freak you out at least a little

Movies like this require you to suspend your disbelief and that is easy to do when everything on screen looks real and believable. The VFX artists did an amazing job.

Something that I found really fascinating was the visual tie-in to Guardians of the Galaxy, the location tags of both movies are identical which adds to the continuity of the movies which is a detail that is really easy to miss but adds layers to the film. This makes sense as two characters from the first Guardian movie reprise their roles

The set design in this movie is incredibly accurate to the time and while I was born in the late 90s a lot of the locations and memorabilia-filled me with nostalgia while simultaneously making me feel old because I remember going to Blockbuster with my parents and renting movies and using dial-up internet that took forever to load. (I would say simpler times but..... that's not true)

Score/Soundtrack

This movie has a lot of firsts for Marvel as its also the first MCU movie to have a female composer which I was really excited about going into it. That being said this movie has my least favourite MCU score as its not very distinguishable. With the other movies, a lot of them have distinct, sounds and I can remember at least one piece of music, and even though one song titled "I'm All Fired Up" caught my attention, the score as a whole a was pretty underwhelming.

I also think the soundtrack was a missed opportunity. The movie takes place in the 90s and was chance to have a truly brilliant soundtrack accompany the film the way Guardians of the Galaxy, and while the movie does have a few songs, it had a lot of potential and could have been so much more than it was.

Overall Thoughts

I really enjoyed Captain Marvel, even though it follows the Marvel formula we all know and love, having a female lead (which is long overdue) changes the dynamic. I saw a tweet last night that lists great things in Captain Marvel and I agree 100%. (The tweet does have minor spoilers)

One of the reasons this movie works is because it's relatable. A lot of the interactions that Carol has throughout the movie are reminiscent of interactions that I have had in my life and as cliche, as it sounds, I felt empowered watching the movie. Seeing Carol become this powerful woman (literally) is a great metaphor for everyone watching the movie, not just little girls.

There are some similarities between Captain Marvel and Green Lantern (which I noticed was a concern on Twitter), but not enough for you think you're watching the same movie.

I don't know where this movie ranks amongst other MCU movies just yet but I can say that it is one of my favourite movies with an origin story. 

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