Movie Review: Captain Marvel

So the first big movie for 2019 for the MCU, Captain Marvel dropped last week on Friday - and I managed to catch it, first day. The International Woman's Day datelines aren't a coincidence. The first big Marvel act headlined by a woman (also co-directed by another: Anna Boden. Go girl power!), Brie Larson dons the big fiery gloves of the super-saver of the Universe. She strives her best to bring in the big-bangs (literally, photon blasts of pure fury shot from bare hands) while juggling the flawed, human act ( amnesiac, prone to a temper with an ego to spare) and is tons of fun to watch. But is the movie good? The numbers do the talking. I think, as I write, this one's going to be become one of the top-grossing Marvel movies of all times.

But is this my favorite Marvel movie? Nope. That honor still goes to...Black Panther? Captain America: Civil War? Infinity Wars? Sigh. Tough one, but getting back to Carol 'Vers' Denvers.

The movie opens onto a hazy battle-field scene that is straight out of the badly formed memories of Vers (Larson) - a soldier fighting an intergalactic war part of the Kree Starforce, a sect of noble warrior heroes and is assigned to a group, led by the enigmatic Yon-Rogg ( Jude Law, characteristically in superb form as usual). But an ambush makes her land on Earth and in contact with a younger Nick Fury ( Samuel Jackson, in crackling superlative form here!). She realizes there's a connection she has, with Earth. And with the help of Fury, she proceeds to unravel the missing bits. Her past hides a huge secret and as she uncovers the truth, she also befriends her long-lost pilot-friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), an ancient Skrull (the shape-shifting foes who are being hunted by the Kree) and a ginger cat named Goose, that might not be a cat.

As far as super-hero origins go, Captain Marvel is a breezy and fun lighthearted take. It steers away from the grim expectations that's been building up, from Civil War onwards about the fate of Avengers. And I say, it's a very welcome diversion. Because, in tone and treatment it is full-on woman empowerment in blazing form and Carol Denvers doesn't need a 'boyfriend' ( Unlike Wonderwoman to inspire her to stay back on Earth and do good!) as she comes to terms with her superpowers and learns to shoot photon blasts with her bare hands. Because, as Maria puts it, "You were the most powerful woman I know, even before you could shoot fire from your fists." The visual spectacles are grand and do MCU justice. After all, the scope is inter-galactic and you had to bring in a lot of space-ships and space-fighting as well. Even though, the finale is decided on that "shithole" dustbowl of "planet C-53", fondly called Earth.

The banter between Nick Fury and Denvers brings in the lighter moments of the movie, though I felt unlike the previous few editions of MCU movies, the comic department was decidedly lighter. Oh there are moments of course. Samuel Jackson and the ginger Kitty are a hoot. You should watch the movie, only for Goose.

I loved the movie. And the fact that we are taken back into the 90's riff with some foot-pounding grunge rock soundtrack that boasts the likes of No Doubt, Hole and Nirvana's Come as You are - is just  icing on the cake. A super-hero tale that soars high on energy and plenty of heart, Captain Marvel is just the soothing balm on our aching hearts as we still wait, with bated breath to know whether Tony Stark will live or die


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