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| 26 March 2019 | Reply

Written by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Benning
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

In a culture which has been dominated far, far too long by toxic masculinity and sexism, Captain Marvel (and Wonder Woman) is exactly the hero and movie we need right now. Oh, there’s a couple of minor spoilers coming, so beware.

Captain Marvel starts with a tender tribute to Stan Lee, before launching into a fantastic tale as Vers (aka Carol Danvers, aka the eponymous Cap) – played with ultra cool, grace and humour by Brie Larson – fights to save ‘90s Earth from shape shifting bastards (so we’re initially told) The Skrulls (led by the never-better Ben Mendelsohn), with pre-S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury and Agent Coulson (digitally youthened Samuel L Jackson and Clark Gregg) in hot pursuit.

Before Vers can assume the Captaincy and protect Earth, she also has to struggle to remember her own Earth-bound past; clash with her Kree commanding officer Yon-Rogg (Jude Law); reunite with air force pilot friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and daughter Monica (Akira Akbar); inspire the very creation of S.H.I.E.L.D.; face down the Kree Supreme Intelligence; lead the not-the-bad-guys-after-all Skrulls to safety and – most importantly and relevantly in these slowly-becoming-more-enlightened times – rise above the male gaslighting which has been holding her and her awesome powers back.

If it sounds like a typically convoluted Marvel plot, take solace in the fact that co-writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck make it look easy, even including a timely and relevant subplot about unjustly accusing a minority of terrorism in order to eradicate their way of life simply because it’s different to that of the powers that be.

While disgruntled fanboys – their sexuality mysteriously threatened by a powerful woman Superhero – have been whining all over the internet about everything except the awesome ‘90s soundtrack (Hole, TLC, Elastica, Garbage and the best cinematic use of No Doubt’s Just A Girl, EVER), they completely miss the point: Captain Marvel is a warm, funny, tough ass hero who charismatically and cleverly leads this warm, funny, action-packed film as she discovers her true nature and rises above personal oppression in a perfectly on-point allegory for our times. Anyone for whom that doesn’t sit right deserves to feel threatened: it’s well and truly time for their attitudes and ways of life to change.

Captain Marvel returns in Avengers: Endgame, but frankly, just like D.C.’s Wonder Woman, we can’t wait for the dedicated sequel.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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