With Marvel’s decidedly white male testosterone fuelled stable of superheroes it was all too clear that it they needed to diversify and Black Panther did it well earning Oscar recognition. Well now it’s time to branch out further and we have their first female led film Captain Marvel with Brie Larson in the title role. First seen in a barren landscape in the middle of some sort of battle that involves Annette Bening. It’s all part of some pretty impressive glimpses of Captain Marvel in a variety of scenarios in a montage that is deliberately ambiguous because though this is an origin story the chopping up of the narrative which flips back an fore in time has you piecing together what has happened and just how has she found herself in superhero mode.
Mentored by Jude Law with yellow tinged contact lenses looking like he’s recovering from jaundice he tries to control her impetuous nature and frivolous attitude which he attempts to do by literally battering them out of her as he trains her in hand to hand combat without her using the apparent photon beams of power that eminate from her fists. It’s a power that he’s only too happy to remind her can be taken away just as easily as she acquired before the they go off with a team on a rescue mission against the shape shifting Skrells / skrulls or something like that. But she still suffers from those teasing flashbacks to another time in her life where she was training as a fighter pilot on Earth and further back in her childhood where she had other knock backs as a female made to feel that she was never good enough to succeed and it all feeds into the powerfully feminist undertones of the script by duo directors Anna Boden & Ryan Flak. There are a lot of story stands to Captain Marvel which they juggle well and pull together satisfyingly and introduce Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury where here he has both his eyes in a film that prefigures many of his eye patch wearing in the other Marvel films. So whilst Captain Marvel tries to piece together her memory she is also trying to locate a powerful energy source which is part of Annette Bening’s Project Pegasus as part of the overall Avengers story arc which this neatly dovetails into.
Bur Captain Marvel is a film with a feminist agenda which is no bad thing all underlined with a soundtrack from 90’s girl bands that includes Elastica, Hole, Garbage though mercifully not the Spice Girls and there are songs whose lyrics emphasize female empowerment with fight scenes played against a back ground of No Doubt’s Just a girl and Nirvana’s Come as you are. Stan Lee would be proud and this is the first film since he passed away and it’s a fitting tribute that the films opening animated Marvel logo replaces the superheroes with the man himself which is far better than the increasingly tiresome cameos of which the one here is no exception.
We’re well into Marvels’ secondary stars now but this is another recent film where previous knowledge of Captain Marvel is irrelevant. Brie is fine in the role despite the script setting her up as a girl with a lippy attitude and sly quips which all but disappear for most of the film. Samuel L Jackson is Samuel L Jackson but this is as much an origin story for him too and at last we do find out just how Nick Fury ended up wearing that eye patch. But like Guardians of the Galaxy it’s an animal that steals the show and here it’s a cat called Goose, a ginger tom that is dragged along for the ride but vies with Brie to be the star
Captain Marvel doesn’t disappoint with its effects and battles and here the plot and her background are gradually revealed bit by bit in satisfying fashion and yes…….there are both a mid and end credits sequence.
Here’s the trailer……