Captain Marvel, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first solo female superhero film since the series began with 2008’s Iron Man, has been capturing the hearts of many critics and audience members this weekend.
Steph agrees that the film is a hit, giving it four out of five stars and calling it “a gratifying ride with a badass woman at its heart”.
But what did the rest of our team think of Marvel’s newest hero? We asked them to weigh in.
Alex – 4/5
If Captain Marvel feels revolutionary, it’s not because of her phenomenal cosmic power. The pointed unpicking of regressive attitudes towards female emotion is genuinely refreshing (that, and no love interest; plenty of love stories though). Mary Sue concerns are sidestepped, as the focus on Danvers’ human roots gives the planet-hopping origin story welcome intimacy. There are echoes of the Thor franchise in both the personal arc and the light tone; the inevitable meeting in Avengers: Endgame should be fun. It’s better on second viewing, too, though at times it could stand to lose the hint of Air Force recruitment video.
Carmen – 3/5
Captain Marvel’s premise is a difficult sell: an amnesiac protagonist with a largely predictable backstory and two redshirt alien armies make for a plodding first third. Fortunately, all involved are having a blast with this ’90s space setting, allowing for a compelling, joyous final half set to a killer soundtrack. Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers grows into her own with a dignified strength, though lacking much other personality, and Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, and a convincingly de-aged Samuel L. Jackson provide the campy fun. Lastly, Goose the cat steals the show and earns a place of honour in the MCU canon.
Bertie – 4/5
Filled with inspiration from Star Wars to Men in Black, and a substantial dose of Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel manages to be its own unique adventure without ever being entirely new. The clever plot subversions and weaved threads from previous movies behind it are artfully achieved, crucially never losing the directors’ indie vibe. Of course, we’re all here for Captain Marvel herself – Brie Larson is superb, her optimism infectious and strength well deserved and realised. Add in commendable supporting performances from Ben Mendelsohn and young Samuel L. Jackson, and the Captain earns that rank among Marvel movies.
Alice – 4/5
The best of Marvel is showcased in this film. It is witty, stylish, and alive with character. My favourite aspect of the film above anything is the soundtrack – what’s not to love about Brie Larson fighting while Nirvana plays on a turntable in the background? The soundtrack so cleverly serves as a way to segment events within the time frame that it helps us weave together the events prior to Avengers. At times the action is a bit full-on and disorientating, especially on the big screen. However, in a film that features artificial intelligence, space travel, alien shapeshifters, a cat, and Jude Law, there is an undercurrent of humanity that lies at the core. I urge everyone to see it; you’ll have a great time.
Jack – 3/5
After entries like Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Infinity War, Captain Marvel is definitely B-tier MCU, with poor villains and action. That said, it still manages to be fresh in important ways. From Marvel’s first female lead to a welcome touch of Matrix-esque surrealism and an unconventional origin-story structure, Boden and Fleck impart enough of their indie sensibility to keep Captain Marvel distinct. There’s no escaping the feeling that it’s kind of just filling the gap before Endgame, but no other superhero film has Samuel L . Jackson doing baby talk to an adorable cat, which is all we really need.