Then the film starts, on the Kree homeworld, and we see Vers (Brie Larsen) training with her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). We see immediately that she isn't just your standard human who finds themselves on an alien planet. She is very strong, a capable soldier who can somehow shoot energy out of her hands. Also don't expect to have that or much else explained to you right from the get-go. The film literally dumps you on Kree and takes off. After a mission doesn't quite go according to plan Vers crashes on Earth (as they always do) and has to figure out a way to get home. And this is, as they say, where the fun begins.
'Captain Marvel' takes place in the mid '90s. Cue nostalgia, epic '90s music (and this film officially has the best soundtrack of them all) and plenty of puns. This film is a lot funnier than I ever expected. It easily passes the six laugh test. The snappy dialogue is delivered to perfection. The gags fire left, right and centre and don't ever really stop. 'Captain Marvel' is a great amalgamation of witty dialogue, perfect comedic performances and a soundtrack that is beyond ear-wormy. Add to that great visual effects (the de-ageing is now flawless), action and the nostalgia trip and you have an amazing two-hour-entertainment package of a film I can't recommend enough.
Because 'Captain Marvel' lets the audience time travel of sorts - the film takes place in 1995 - we are greeted by a young Nick Fury and Agent Coulson before the creation of S.H.I.E.L.D., so the film doesn't just work as a back- or origin story for Captain Marvel herself but also for the supporting cast. As much as Brie Larsen is Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel and this is her film, 'Captain Marvel' the film also functions as an ensemble piece. Larsen is great as Carol Danvers, but her best scenes are with Jackson's Fury.
These two work together like a comedic duo, their energy and characters bounce off each other like you rarely see. A pure joy to watch. In addition to Larsen and Jackson in their respective roles, the entire cast brings memorable performances and characters to the screen that all occupy their time and space in the story for a reason. Mendelsohn's Talos is an outright surprise and delight.
Annette Benning cements herself in MCU lore (I don't want to give away too much). Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau grounds Carol as her best friend and brings a lot of heart to what, until then, has mostly been a quest storyline. These two women, having each others' backs, make for one of the most profound relationships in the film. A relationship you don't get to see often. Women supporting each other, just sitting at a table, talkingabout their lives. Beautiful and refreshing.
The film plays with expectations and subverts them in surprising and entertaining ways. It has a very dry and slow start. It didn't win me over right away. But after the initial 30 minutes I was onboard and it soared from there. Carol Danvers is one of the more relatable superhero characters I can think of. She is brash, stubborn, has her issues and does her own thing, but always with her heart in the right place. Not a goodie goodie two shoes always be good superhero, she feels like the most realistic depiction of a person in a superhero setting. She's the kind of person you'd want to be friends with.
The only problem I had with 'Captain Marvel' were the action scenes. They are well done, probably even great. Unfortunately thanks to the way they are set up you hardly see what is actually happening. There is a flurry of motion, loads of light and shadow, sparks flying etc, which make it hard to see what exactly is going on other than people flying into walls left and right. It's a real shame given I've seen this done perfectly in the recently released 'Alita: Battle Angel' and I think 'Captain Marve'l would have been even more astounding if the same techniques had been used for the action scenes. Larsen trained like a fiend for this film and I expected her to kick some major ass so it's a shame you don't really see it.
Despite that let me just tell you, my immediate reaction after watching the film was to book tickets for the midnight premiere because I wanted to see this again, recreate this experience, watching this film with a special audience. IMAX (preferred) or not, 3D (can't comment yet) or not, this is a film that needs to be seen on the big screen with an audience because you won't get the whoops, laughs and cheers at home. An absolute MUST SEE whether you're into girl power films or not.
P.S. No matter your feelings on cats before you watch this film, you'll be a cat-person after. Goose is MVP!