Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female lead character has finally arrived. The only hope left for Avengers: Endgame has finally made an entrance with a cosmic-flavoured origin story that follows the classic Marvel Phase One formula, with a much-needed fresh approach.
The twenty-first instalment to the MCU follows Carol Danvers as she tries to discover herself and become Captain Marvel as the Earth gets caught in the crossfire of a galactic war between two alien races, Kree and Skrull.
Why did I love Captain Marvel? [May contain spoilers]
The first female-led Marvel movie subverts the origin story of a superhero in the best possible way. It is two hours of pure female empowerment bundled with all the visual power one would expect from a Marvel movie. The extremely talented Brie Larson was a perfect choice. She is incredibly fierce and effortlessly cool as a fighter, pilot, cosmic warrior, on a journey of discovering herself. She has created a hero that’s worth rooting for, even though Carol still isn’t certain about where she really belongs. She plays the role flawlessly.
Goose. What seemed like a friendly feline casually strolling in the base would turn out to be a breakout star. We later identify Goose as a Flerken, a species that actually serve as gateways to pocket dimensions. All the scenes where we witness Goose are either unexpected or undeniably humorous. The character added to the roster and it was quite enjoyable to see how it can be adorable and ferocious at the same time. (Honourable Mention: IT SWALLOWED THE TESSERACT WHICH HAD AN INFINITY STONE IN IT, and later coughed it up like a regular fur ball.)
Taste of the 90s. The references and soundtracks created the perfect setting for the movie and served as an excellent nostalgia. Some of the notable references are — Panama Jack’s boots and coveralls, Alta Vista, Turtlenecks, Pagers, Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and ridiculously slow MACs. It also gave us some 90s hits to compete with Guardians of the Galaxy films, the frontrunners when comes to music. And notably, the way they used the scores was beautiful, for instance, who would’ve thought that “Just A Girl” by No Doubt would be a fairly good fit for an action sequence. “Come as You Are” by Nirvana and “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage manoeuvred the backdrop during a couple of memorable moments.
The commendably executed origin story with a fresh approach. Honestly, the same old approach to origin stories was getting sort of boring, and I’m really glad that Captain Marvel wasn’t the same. The unique character arc left more room for surprises and a different take on the narration. It threw us right into the action, where Carol already has her powers and the mystery follows. The film beautifully takes the audience on the journey which keeps them connected to the character by compiling the pieces of her past as the course of the movie follows, whilst, not sacrificing in fleshing out the character(s) alongside.
Extravagance is not always the key to a great Marvel movie. Movies about one of the most powerful superheroes, involving galactic wars and different species fighting for cosmic energy, it screams extravagance, however, I loved how they kept a proper balance of action, plot, characters, pace and an introduction of a new character in the massive extended MCU. It is an origin story, and it is really appreciable that they did not overdo and exaggerate everything like it was a crossover movie. The movie needed a fair and share of a perfect character introduction and action sequences, and it delivered. And personally, I’m glad that they focused more on the character because the only possible trump card for Avengers: Endgame needed a splendid introduction.
The Skrull Switcheroos. Skrulls are finally introduced into the MCU and the sequences including them have been a lot of fun to watch. The alien shapeshifter added to the surprise element of the movie and it was quite enjoyable to see the switheroos , for the audience and Captain Marvel herself as she fights them off by cleverly identifying them. Moreover, what’s better is that the movie kept the reveals short and sweet which allowed them to work as a number of small surprises throughout the film, instead of banking on one big reveal at the end.
The credit scene. After getting a good introduction of one of the main characters, we witness a credit scene which is a HYPE TRAIN. It features a place where Captain America, Black Widow, James Rhodes and Bruce Banner, watching the death toll still rising as the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War. They have retrieved the pager of Nick Fury and are trying to reactivate it when suddenly Captain Marvel arrives and asks them, “Where’s Fury?”. This was a perfect build-up for Avengers: Endgame and it has hyped me up even more.
The heartfelt tribute to Stan Lee and another surprising cameo. Before the film began, instead of the standard Marvel Studios logo that shows one superhero across the screen one after the other, we received one that was solely dedicated to Stan Lee ending with a message saying, ‘Thank You Stan’, conjointly, his cameo in the movie. It was an amazing tribute to the icon. What was really surprising was a completely unexpected cameo which is pretty easy to miss- Kelly Sue DeConnick, the comic writer who spearheaded the reinvention of Carol Danvers into the hero we know today.
The transition scene. What blew me off completely was a highlight scene where we witness the transition of Carol from her childhood to adulthood where she kept falling and raising with courage and a strong will of not giving up. Personally, that was the highlight of the movie for me and the best scene.
Making the original Mar-Vell a woman. MCU still has a long way to go when it comes to representing female heroes, but the initiative is commendable. The filmmakers didn’t just do justice to Carol Danvers, but they decided to make Mar-Vell a female — the predecessor of Captain Marvel. That’s when Annette Bening’s character came into play. Not only was this another surprising twist the story, but it was also a correct decision for female empowerment as it did not showcase Carol simply following the footsteps of a man.
There are a lot of other things which make Captain Marvel a great movie with a soaring tale of self-discovery. Obviously, the movie isn’t flawless, but it is still an exaggeration by the reviewers calling it a ‘bad movie’ or a ‘boring movie’. Captain Marvel is a must watch. This was the perfect movie to watch on Women’s Day. A beautiful origin story, packaged with astounding visual effects and hype!