Unfortunately for the Captain Marvel, most of the media and discussion leading into the release has been the horrible online drama about fake reviews, political correctness and reboots.
As a longtime Marvel comics fan, I couldn’t understand where most of it came from considering Carol Danvers’ hitting her 51 year anniversary in Marvel Comics this month and with Captain Marvel (as she has been since 2012) looking like one of the best possible additions to the devastated Avengers cast to face Thanos in next month’s highly anticipated Endgame.
With that said, introducing a character like Captain Marvel to audiences for the first time while making it seems as though the likes of Nick Fury had known her all along was a confusing choice on the surface, so I was keen to see how this new origin story would stack up in a generation of superhero blockbuster fatigue.
Nothing award winning in the story, but despite the confusing chronology the insertion of this 90s throwback into the greater MCU continuity is relatively seamless. Add to that some genuine plot for a stand-alone movie and a surprise here or there and Captain Marvel stands up as a solid narrative.
Brie Larson as Carol Danvers turned out to be an excellent choice, and the strong female protagonist isn't alone with some solid supporting performances from Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch and Akira Akbar, each bringing some genuine heart and some laughs as Carol progresses from angry blank slate to a fully realised character throughout the movie.
Ben Mendelsohn and Samuel L. Jackson really steal the show however, and the chemistry between Brie's Danvers and Jackson's Fury make for the best laughs of all.
A couple of scenes fell flat and the pacing wasn't perfect, but all in all I really enjoyed this movie and definitely had a smile on my face in all the right moments.
The action is fast paced when it needs to be, and there was more than one moment that ellicited an involuntary "oh shit!" from me while watching.
Mostly a spectacular film, with the special effects and space sequences looking as brilliant as we've come to expect from a Marvel blockbuster of this ilk. Some of the effects weren't 100% spot on though, and some of the action sequences were a little hard to follow.
The mix-tape concept from Guardians of the Galaxy isn't quite so blatant here, but the mix of great 90s music really does set the tone and setting to perfection. On top of that the background score is well constructed and the sound FX go a long way to bringing Captain Marvel's powers to life.
With so many audiences now starting to fall off the superhero blockbuster bandwagon after an exceptional decade of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, creating something so different that sits so parallel to the other films while only tying in where it needs to is a fantastic choice.
Watching Captain Marvel felt, for the most part, unlike any other movie I've seen in the last few years and giving female representation such a boost with genuine characters and heroes on the big screen is a huge positive if executed correctly.
Due to the nature of the storyline, writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck worked hard to transition from a confused and displaced starting point through to the full realisation of Captain Marvel over the course of the movie. Unfortunately as a result much of the first act of the film is confusing and jarring for the audience, although not sufficiently so to make it a bad viewing experience by any means.
There wasn't Thor: Ragnarok levels of humour or Captain America: Winter Soldier levels of intrigue and suspense, but the movie is a good one on its own merits.
It's a totally new character and a totally new plot, in totally new time period but there's so much common ground here that it's difficult to justify a higher score in this category.
We've done origin stories, we've done superheroes, we've done aliens.
To Captain Marvel's credit, the origin story aspects are not the same old same old from previous examples, and finally having one of the legitimate badass female heroes from the Marvel comics roster on the big screen is a welcome change. Add to that the refreshing opportunity to have a superhero story in a world that isn't already teeming with other heroes, and the originality of Captain Marvel actually comes out feeling more new and different than I could have anticipated.
Long time Marvel comics fan dying to see Carol Danvers on the big screen? Check. Marvel movie fan hanging out for something to further flesh out the universe ready for Avengers: Endgame? Absolutely. Finally a female superhero movie that young girls can aspire to be without a hamfisted love story? Thank fuck! A new superhero movie that stands up even if you haven't watched hundreds of hours of the movies that came before it for context? Surprisingly, yes.
It may not be the greatest movie ever made, but it really is accessible to everyone (unless you hate Brie Larson I guess).
Your mileage may vary on this one, and unlike most other addictive movies a big part of this is due to the first of the two post-credits scenes, but the final point that Captain Marvel leaves us with is one that had my heart pumping and my fist pumping.
Avengers: Endgame can't come fast enough, and I am thoroughly excited to see Captain Marvel in the mix when it does!
Although the most emotional part of the movie was the Stan Lee tribute in the opening credits, this is still a movie with a good balance of heart, action, humour and spectacle.