A cool blend of contemporary & retro culture

Captain Marvel zaps them right between the eyes

After a slew of Marvel Comics adaptations hitting the big screen, including the epic Avengers Infinity War, the “endgame” was literally beginning to play on the minds of Marvel fans. The long-awaited Captain Marvel was certainly on their radar, with theories shared online as to who or what would come out next in the interconnected, intergalactic superhero family.

But did we really need another Marvel comic film adaptation so soon? The short answer: Yes.

Captain Marvel is actually more of a stand-alone movie that breaks the recent pattern of typical battle-fuelled sagas. Those ‘epic’ flicks may have pleased some, but they’ve pretty much resulted in less than memorable movies.

With Captain Marvel, character development and the telling of the story is key, making it refreshing and satisfying. There is, of course, innovative CGI with at least one stunning visceral scene that is jaw-droppingly captivating.

Brie Larson admirably plays the titular action superhero, and fits the suit perfectly as a complex modern heroine who is pained by emotions rather than driven by ego.

Larson performs the role with a fierce physicality, with action stunts that appear seamless and never redundant. She also has terrific chemistry with the film’s other characters, and is especially good in the rapport department with Samuel L Jackson’s young Nick Fury. Viewers will enjoy the enigma of Jackson looking and acting 20 years his junior (a little of that magic CGI, we’re sure).

So… to the plot.

Captain Marvel is searching for her identity through fragmented memories of an inverted past while on a mission to end an ongoing war between two clans: the Krees and the Skrulls. Jude Law is the driven Kree commander who mentors Captain Marvel to fulfill her true potential. Leading the Star Force team, they set out on an important mission but it takes a new trajectory that sees Marvel land on Earth smack in the middle of 1994, only to rediscover her earthly past and some dire truths. (Cue one of the most awesome ’90s soundtracks you’ll hear committed to celluloid).

On Earth, Marvel makes an unexpected alliance with Fury, as the belligerent Skrulls follow her with their own battle agenda. While a couple of kick-ass fight scenes follow, remember, this isn’t your average brute-boys-go-into-battle comic flick so if you’re looking for plenty of that, best you set your sights on Alita: Battle Angel.

Directors and co-writers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck bring a cool ’90s aesthetic to Marvel, with jokes about redundant video stores and slow CD-ROMs making their way in for a little retro relief.

Captain Marvel boasts so many talented actors, like Annette Bening as a deliciously diabolic Kree scientist (and another surprise role but we won’t spoil it), but the standout might have to be Australian Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, leader of the shape-shifting Skrulls. Mendelsohn refreshingly delivers his lines in a rough-and-ready Australian accent even though he is in alien form. It’s something you might like to dub ‘Australien’.

As for the film’s production values, these are near-perfect, balancing admiration of engaging characters with our contemporary urge for state-of-the-art visual aesthetics, though not overusing the CGI.

Captain Marvel goes beyond expectations; a fun cinematic experience that ticks all the boxes of quality entertainment.

Annette McCubbin

 

‘Captain Marvel’ is in cinemas now.

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