A Marvel-ous Debut
Starring Brie Larson, Jude Law, Samuel L Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Dijmon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Greg
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Between being the first Marvel Studios film directed by a woman and cracking one billion dollars at the box office, Captain Marvel is riding a wave of hype at the moment, soaring as high as the Kree warrior that the film centres on.
The good news is that Captain
Marvel deserves its hype. The film manages to bring a good deal of fun back
to the superhero genre.
Set in the year 1995 film centres on Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, a superhero who lives among the warrior Kree on a distant planet with no recollection of her past. During a battle with the shapeshifting Skrulls, she ends up stranded on earth.
Setting Captain Marvel
in 1995 gives it a distinct aesthetic (and amazing 90s soundtrack) and sets up
a little of the MCU’s future by filling in some of its unexplored past. There’s
also a great Stan Lee cameo with a
nod to Lee’s role in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats.
Carol Danvers herself stands out as having a unique character and voice, managing to deal with much of the ridiculous events around her with wisecracks, her sense of humour noticeably grating friend and foe alike.
Captain Marvel has much for Christians to keep their eyes out for. The biblical call to welcome the stranger and care for the oppressed looms large in the film’s plot. The Kree live in what basically amounts to a theocracy, with an unquestioned presence at its heart. This stands as a warning about an unthinking and unquestioning theology.
Inevitably, comparisons will be made between this film and Wonder Woman (you can read one such comparison here). Without getting too bogged down in the comparison between these films, Captain Marvel is similar to DC’s effort in being a fun origin story.
Complaints are few, but it should be noted that the film noticeably lags at the latter part of the second act. This is brief, however, and the film as a whole manages to recover.
The MCU’s Captain Marvel arrives at that title in a short amount of time, relative to her counterpart in the comics. By skipping ahead like this, Marvel have condensed much but arguably missed out on giving the character her complete arc.
Despite this, Captain Marvel emerges as a hero that Marvel
can build much of their future films on. With Marvel seemingly
embracing the diversity of its comics’ characters as it builds its on screen
universe, and with a showdown looming between Danvers and Thanos in Infinity War, expect to see more of her.
As per usual, stick around after the credits have finished rolling for a post-credits scene (and don’t leave after the mid-credits scene).
Captain Marvel is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor