Review: Captain Marvel is much more than what we expected her to be

Finally! She is here and she’s here to rule! One of the most awaited films of 2019, Captain Marvel, that releases tomorrow on Women’s Day, has all the ingredients to witness a record opening being the first female-led film in the MCU. Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel is based on Carol Danvers by Roy Thomas Gene Colan and also takes few elements from Thomas’s 1971 Kree–Skrull War comic book storyline. The film is set in 1995 and revolves around Carol Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel after the Earth is caught in between a galactic conflict between two alien worlds. Produced by Marvel Studios, Captain Marvel is an exciting, unexpectedly enigmatic science fiction tale, that is so smartly executed, that it has managed to keep most of its secrets. What we see in trailers is not even one per cent of what we get to experience on big screens with Danvers taking on the bad guys. Captain Marvel begins on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala, where Vers, (Brie Larson) warrior and Starforce member struggles with recurring nightmares involving an older woman. Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), her mentor, warns her to control her powers and focus on the present instead of brooding over the past. While on an operation to rescue a Kree agent, she is abducted and forced to undergo a memory probe by the Skrulls – Kree’s enemies. Escaping their ship, she crash lands on Earth and comes across Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) who helps her find her true identity and prevent the skrulls from wreaking havoc. The film moves forward as Vers discover herself as Carol Danvers, US Air Force pilot who is thought to have died six years earlier while testing an experimental light-speed engine designed by scientist Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening), whom she recognises as the woman from her momentary flashes. She was kidnapped by Rogg to Hala, after she tried to destroy the code Lawson created. Along with Fury, she meets her friend cum co-pilot Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and confronts Skrull commander Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), who reveal themselves as mere refugees threatened by the Krees. Thus begins her fight for good over evil. Larson, who was announced as Danvers at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, has gone deep into the skin of the character and made it her own. She is so effortless in her screen presence and acting timing, that we are made to feel there can be no Captain Marvel better than her. Jackson is terrific as usual in his comic timing, swag, attitude and unique charm. He is de-aged using CG techniques to almost 30 years, along with Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and both of them look amazing. And yes, we get to know how Fury lost his eye! The film hits you with nostalgia in some moments – slow downloading on internet explorer, tape recorders, and other typical 90s charm. The humour- both situational and verbal, is perfectly blended into the layers of the film. The script is comprehensive, dialogues well placed and well executed. When it comes to Marvel movies, we cannot miss talking about the VFX and CG works used in the film. With some amazingly crafted cosmic fight scenes, galactic explosions, Danvers’ memory probing scene by the Skrulls, change of Captain Marvel’s costume, Goose’s transformation into a weird alien looking animal and other several instances, the VFX and CG works are indeed commendable and deserves appreciation. The production VFX supervisor is Christopher Townsend and the rest of the teams includeIndustrial Light & Magic (VFX supervisor: Craig Hammack), Trixter (VFX supervisor: Dominik Zimmerle), Framestore (VFX supervisor: Christian Kaestner), Animal Logic (VFX supervisor: Paul Butterworth), Lola Visual Effects (VFX supervisor: Trent Claus), Scanline VFX (VFX supervisor: Nick Crew), Rising Sun Pictures (VFX supervisor: Malte Sarnes), Luma Pictures (VFX supervisor: Brendan Seals), Digital Domain (VFX Supervisor: Dave Hodgins)RISE (VFX Supervisor: Oliver Schulz) and Cantina Creative.
Captain Marvel is also about women empowerment and empowerment of the self in general. One of my favourite scenes from the film is where, Danvers knowing that she is weak, imperfect and human, embraces it completely, unleashing her inner strength and setting herself free. Danvers, Lawson, Rambeau and even Monica are strong and full of conviction in their own ways. War is another motif that is touched upon in the film, and as Fury says “ War is an universal language”, we are made to ponder about the conflict of war-peace, and its aftermath. Captain Marvel is an unmatched addition to the MCU; and as Fury mentions: “We have no idea of what threats are out there, We can’t do this alone We need you.” We’d definitely need her in the days to come!  Watch out for her making the impossible, possible tomorrow!