In March of this year, Marvel introduced another superhero in its cinematic universe. Captain Marvel might not be categorically fresh, having been featured in other media before then. However, the film adaptation represents the first iteration of the character in the big screen. Just this weekend, I finally sighted the blockbuster. As they say, ‘better late than never.’ I was impressed.
Marvel follows the story of Carol Danvers, a former pilot from California who gains superhuman abilities. She led a happy, contended life, where she often had to prove herself against tougher competitors. She played a lot of sport and had a small circle of loyal friends. At the picture’s outset, she fails to remember these precious memories. She is on another planet, Hala, where has little control over her powers. She has likewise been dubbed simply as ‘Vers’. Her past only visits her in her dreams. The shape shifting Skrulls are their sworn enemies. Her kindred refer to Earth as C-53.
On her visit to C-53, she sticks out like a sore thumb, complete in her extra-terrestrial getup. She crashes into a video store, nicks a bike, and disassembles a pay phone. She catches the eyes of the authorities, including the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. One in particular, a younger Nick Fury, would work closely with her. As the battle goes on, we become versed on Flerkens and The Tesseract/Core, which is the cause of the squabbling. Despite her posthuman attributes, Carol is able to win her friends in her hour of need. Together they dodge the bad guys and journey to infinity and beyond. She visits familiar places in her search for answers. She would go on to uncover her past and solve her nagging questions. She’d realise that she has a place on Earth, that she is well accepted even with her marked differences. She gains a better understanding of her powers, and learns to harness it. She might even uncover a few lies along the way.
The movie was beautifully choreographed: the extra-terrestrial sequences, in outer space shots, as well as in the California ambience. The Hala shots were impressive, as were the fight scenes in outer space. The use of alien weaponry reminded me a little of Star Wars. The touch of zero gravity and objects levitating was awesome. I have to admit though that this stretched the boundaries of realism, as in how Carol’s friends managed to hover there without space suits. However, we don’t view Marvel films to stay true to reality. Since the film was set in the 90s, there’s a bit of a retro vibe. The technology in the U.S. was clearly a notch lower than that of today, from the dated cars and pagers to the existence of a video store. The story proceeded smoothly, moving from a confusing present to an obscure past.
Brie Larsson was perfect for the role of Marvel. Sam Jackson added a few laughs and some spunk. Jude Law inspired both love and loathing as Carol’s mentor. Goose was on the ball as the feline friend. The movie though belonged to Larsson and she did a marvellous job, steering the picture to open at number one. The production also crested the billion dollar mark at the global box office, one of only a handful to do so this year. The reviews don’t lie: Captain Marvel soars high.