CAPTAIN MARVEL may not be the best MCU release but it’s an essential story that will complete the Avengers timeline.
This review will not focus on Brie Larson’s statements (which everyone seems to be interested in) but rather focus on the movie itself and it’s over-all appeal to movie-goers who may be MCU fans or not.
WARNING: My review contains some details about the movie. If you don’t want to hear spoilers – go no further.
Everyone Wants Captain Marvel
First of all, CAPTAIN MARVEL (pronounced as mar-vell) first appeared in comic book pages in December 1967 after cleverly acquiring the name when its trademark lapsed. The character was created by Stan Lee and it first appeared as a MALE Kree cosmic superhero on the pages of Marvel Super-Heroes #12 and illustrated by Gene Colan.
The original Captain Marvel was neither Marvel nor DC it’s from an American comic book company called Fawcett Comics who first introduced the character in the 1940s. It became one of the most popular comic book superhero in the era outshining even Superman. When DC filed a copyright infringement suit saying that Captain Marvel is a copy of Superman, Fawcett Comics seized publication in 1953.
M.F Enterprises then published their own version of a Captain Marvel series in 1966 but had to settle for 4,500 USD to award the trademark to Marvel.
DC finally got the license to the original Marvel Family characters from Fawcett in 1972 and relaunched it using the trademark SHAZAM while maintaining the original name of Captain Marvel of the main character – it was not until 2011 when they finally decided to rename the character of the original Captain Marvel to Shazam – who will have his own movie this year also.
MCU then turned their Captain Marvel into a woman – even the original Kree Mar-Vell is a woman.
The Other Captain Marvels
In Captain Marvel the movie, we have two character references there that actually were Captain Marvels in the comic book pages.
CAROL DANVERS (Played by Brie Larson) is the first incarnation of Captain Marvel. She was originally the colleague of the Kree superhero Mar-Vell (Captain Marvel) published in 1968. She then assumed the role of the earth superhero Ms Marvel in 1977 when her DNA got fused with that of Mar-Vell during an explosion, giving her superhuman powers – which actually happened in the movie. But Mar-Vell was a woman played by actress Annette Benning.
The movie was actually partially based on the story of Ms Marvel and even have the Kree Military Officer Yon-Rogg (plaed by Jude Law) as her archnemesis both in the comic book pages and in the movie. As well as the appearance of Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) who played a vital role in the Captain Marvel story arc.
MONICA RAMBEAU (Played by Akira Akbar) is a Captain Marvel. First introduced in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1982 and then later on becoming the leader of the Avengers for a brief period before assuming other titles like Photon, Pulsar and Spectrum. In the film, Monica Rambeau is the 11 year-old daughter of Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) who is Carol Danvers BFF. Monica will give viewers hints on her future self so watch out for that in the film.
Let’s Tie Some loose Ends
The Captain Marvel movie is loosely based on the Kree-Skrulls war. And while I am not really impressed with the portrayal of Brie as Captain Marvel, I believe that the film is an essential watch to tie a couple of loose ends.
Captain Marvel is the 21st film in the franchise and probably one of the most important – I am not saying that it’s the best but it does contain a lot of crucial pieces to the puzzle. And the truth is not what it seems.
For example, we now know what really happened to the Tesseract and to whose hands it fell during the lost years and how it finally ended up with SHIELD. I guess all I can say is that the cat ate it.
What’s a Flerken?
The real star of the movie is a cat named Goose (whom Mar-Vell named to a character in the 1986 Tom Cruise film Top Gun). Goose is Chewie, Ms Marvel’s cat who was first introduced in the Ms Marvel #1 comic book released in 2006. Goose is not actually a cat but a highly intelligent and dangerous alien called a Flerken.
You wanna know how Fury (Samuel Jackson) lost his left eye – ask the Flerken!
We have two timelines in the film – 1989 and 1995. The 1989 scene has that Top Gun feel in it while the 1995 scenes somewhat felt like an action-packed X-Files episode with lots of 1990s technological references which includes slow loading computers, poor internet connections and pagers!
The pager which belongs to Nick Fury connects us to where the Avengers Infinity War left us.
Captain Marvel is like a time machine that transports viewers to the 90s through its soundtrack which features You Gotta Be by Des’ree, Waterfalls by TLC, Come As You Are by Nirvana, I’m Just A Girl by No Doubt, Whattaman by Salt N Pepa and many others.
While I did like the song selection, what I didn’t like is the disconnection of some of the songs to the scenes. I just thought that they could’ve made the shots more dramatic – like MTV dramatic. Fight scenes are okay but not exceptional.
The origin of the Avengers Initiative is also explained in the film.
My most favorite scene was that monologue from Lashana Lynch talking to her newly resurrected BFF. That scene almost brought a tear to my eye and then it panned to Brie and her expressionless face – well, moment gone. 🙂
Aside from Lynch, I also loved Ben Mendelsohn playing the role of the Skrull Talos who then shape-changed to Fury’s SHIELD Boss Keller. Towards the end of the film Mendelsohn as Talos will slightly break the 4th wall to compliment himself as Keller.
A lot of new questions raised in the film though. Like where did Goose stayed after the incident in 1989 and why is she in Pegasus. Where did Captain Marvel disappeared to after 1995. What did Ronan mean when he said that they’ll come after Captain Marvel. Does this mean that we’ll be seeing another Captain Marvel movie even after the Avengers End Game to explain all these?
As a summary, I would just like to say that… Goose is so adorable! I give Goose a 10 out of 10 stars!
Captain Marvel is directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.
This film is best watched in IMAX Theaters by SM Cinema.