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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

REVIEW: Captain Marvel soars higher than expected


(Major spoilers for Captain Marvel ahead. Read at your own risk.)

After all the real-life Skrulls bombarded negative reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, Captain Marvel soars higher than expected as it leads the biggest opening for a female-led superhero movie of all time with $153m in North America this weekend.

The stakes are high for Marvel most especially considering DC already released its own successful superhero flick in Wonder Woman. But that didn't stop Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) from delivering a fantastic experience.

Captain Marvel tells a story of an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.

The film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Additional casts are Ben Mendelsohn (Talos / Keller), Djimon Hounsou (Korath), Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser), Lashana Lynch (Maria Rambeau), Gemma Chan (Minn-Erva), Annette Bening (Mar-Vell / Dr. Wendy Lawson), Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson), and Jude Law (Yon-Rogg).


MOVIE VS. COMICS

Mar-Vell

Movie: Dr. Wendy Lawson (a disguised Mar-Vell) is Danvers' old boss and a Kree scientist whom the Skrulls are searching for. She is, in fact, helping Talos to escape from the Kree. Upon telling Danvers to destroy the engine's energy-core before being killed by Yon-Rogg, she absorbed the energy from the ensuing explosion at the cost of losing all her memories and gaining her powers as well.

Comics: Dr. Walter Lawson, the human alias of alien Kree hero Mar-Vell, is an officer in the United States Air Force and Security Chief of a restricted military base. In a later story, Danvers is caught in the explosion of a Kree device after trying to get close to Captain Marvel. Although Mar-Vell manages to save her life, Danvers sustains serious injuries. Danvers gained superhuman powers after her DNA was fused with Mar-Vell's during the explosion.

Talos

Movie: He is a shape-shifting leader of the Skrull invasion of Earth, who is working undercover within S.H.I.E.L.D. as Fury's boss, Keller. Posing as a threat at first but turns out he is just trying to help his family find refuge away from the Kree. He has a daughter and possibly be Veranke. (More of this in the theory section below.)

Comics: Known as Talos the Tamed and considered a Mutant by his people, Talos is a Skrull that was born without the ability to shapeshift. He made up for it by becoming one of the most feared Skrulls on his planet earning the title Talos the Untamed due to his savage and sinister nature. However, after getting captured by the Kree, he refused to commit suicide in the hopes of gaining glory for his survival. Instead, he was ridiculed and renamed the more humiliating Talos the Tamed.

Yon-Rogg

Movie: The commander of Starforce and Danvers' mentor, who trains her to use her new powers. It was revealed that it was he who shot Danvers during the stand-off between him and Mar-Vell.

Comics: He is an alien Kree, a military commander whose weakness is his jealousy of the accomplishments of others and his love for the medic Una. He is sent to supervise the troublesome planet Earth. He is primarily a foe of Captain Marvel, specifically the Carol Danvers version and was indirectly responsible for her transformation into Ms. Marvel.

Maria Rambeau

Movie: One of Danvers' oldest friends and a fellow Air Force pilot who goes by the call sign "Photon". She is a single mother to daughter Monica.

Comics: She was a successful seamstress and wife of retired fireman Frank Rambeau. The couple had one daughter the famed Avenger; Monica Rambeau

Monica Rambeau

Movie: She is Maria's eleven-year-old daughter that looks up to her Aunt Carol.

Comics: She was a lieutenant in the New Orleans harbor patrol, and operated as a cargo ship captain. Rambeau was exposed to extra-dimensional energy while trying to prevent the creation of a dangerous weapon. As a result, she was thereafter able to convert her body to energy— dubbing her "Captain Marvel".

Goose

Movie: She's a Flerken— an alien with Krakken-ish powers that gnaw impending enemies and aid our heroes. She also swallowed the Tesseract (Space Stone) in order to safekeep it. 

Comics: There is no Goose in the comics but a similar cat was owned by Danvers and was called Chewie. Chewie is a Flerken and has access to pocket dimensions located inside their body. In these "bubbles," they can store a large number of things, like eggs, fanged mouths or even tentacles for offensive capabilities.


THE 90s ERA

The movie transported us back to mid-90s, thanks to Nirvana, No Doubt, Garbage, Hole and TLC to name a few. Nineties kids are screaming inside with such eargasm, especially when Danvers wore a Nine Inch Nails tee, leather jacket, and classic denim jeans.

Captain Marvel/Marvel Entertainment

Some of the notable 90s easter eggs are:
  • Blockbuster Video Store where Danvers crash landed into after tangling with some Skrulls.
  • The movie True Lies where Danvers blasted a standee of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.
  • Danvers used Nintendo's first handheld system to upgrade a payphone to make an intergalactic call.
  • Danvers struggled with her connection with her team when she's prompted to enter her "long-distance access code."
  • Stan Lee's cameo was seen reading the script for the comedy movie Mallrats.
  • Doing some research, Danvers used the search engine Alta Vista.
  • To show proof that Fury isn't a Skrull, he sarcastically offered to give Danvers his AOL password.
  • Lots of toys were in Mar-Vell's lab including a few naked Troll dolls.

FRIENDSHIP AND UNLIKELY ALLIANCES

Captain Marvel/Marvel Entertainment

Danvers and Fury's friendship is being established here and there is no doubt that they are an instant click. We can see the newly-formed alliance flourished all the way to Avengers: Infinity War when Fury had to contact Danvers to seek help for impending Earthly dangers. 

And just like his relationship with Danvers, an unlikely bond was formed between him and the cat Goose, though this bond cost him his eye. Like almost everyone, who doesn't have an affection for small animals preferably small felines, right?

Talos forms a surprising connection with the gang. Upon realizing he needed help than harm, he forms an alliance with Danvers' group and their banter always deliver.


A SALUTE TO STAN LEE

The tribute for Stan Lee first appeared on the Marvel Studios title card which flashed all of Stan's past cameos. It is the first MCU movie that features such montage after his death last November 2018.

The familiar Stan Lee cameo comes when he becomes a passenger on a bus rehearsing his line, “Trust me, True Believer.“ as Danvers walks past him and smiles at him. Lee plays as himself rehearsing for "Mallrats".



POST CREDITS

The movie includes a mid- and post-credit sequences.

Mid-Credit: In the scene, Captain America, War Machine, Bruce Banner, and Black Widow have held on to the infamous pager left by Fury after The Snappageddon and have been keeping it running ever since. However, the pager suddenly stops working making the group in shock and panic as they needed to get it going again. As Black Widow turns around, they discover Danvers right behind them with only one question: "Where's Fury?"

Post-Credit: It shows Goose eventually throwing up the Tesseract and spitting it onto Nick Fury's desk.



THEORIES

Theory #1: Talos' daughter could be Veranke

Lenil Yu/Marvel Entertainment

Upon witnessing her father, Talos, being shot by a Kree just when they are about to take off from Mar-Vell's lab, she may be bringing the grudge that may lead to a potential major Avengers arc, Secret Invasion.

In the comics, the story of Secret Invasion involves a subversive, long-term invasion of Earth by the Skrulls, a group of alien shapeshifters led by Veranke who have secretly replaced many superheroes in the Marvel Universe with impostors over a period of years, prior to the overt invasion.

Theory #2: Captain Marvel may appear earlier in Avengers: Endgame

While the mid-credit suggests that Captain Marvel appeared upon the SOS made by Fury in the company of the remaining worried Avengers after The Snapageddon, she may be featured in at least the first 30 minutes of the movie upon exploration of what the galactic beeper could do to them thus having a full Avengers appearance.


RATING

Visually astounding with a not-so-complex of a backstory, Captain Marvel opens a new era for the future of the Avengers franchise.

What makes Captain Marvel at par with her MCU predecessors is that it is grounded by its origin and its ability to tell the story in a heartful way. There's no motherhood statement presented but her logic and flaws both comes hand in hand and exposes the character's strength as well as her vulnerability that makes her relatable just like us normal people.

Aside from being Marvel's first female-led movie, Captain Marvel delivers us a female superhero and a potential purple-ass kicker.

We may not agree with the gender-bent Mar-Vell, we approved the new retelling of how Danvers acquired her powers to become Captain Marvel.

The fight between Danvers and the Skrull armada headed by Ronan is a bit awkward and rushed as they face their ultimate demise, thanks to Danvers' compassion let the rest of the fleet go. The same thing happened between her and Yon-Rogg. Despite being an OG (slur: original gangster), Danvers shows strength towards Yon-Rogg by showing an Earthly trait: being human.

Though the movie feels like more of a mash-up between Guardians of the Galaxy's groovy soundtrack and Ironman's origin feels, the movie is special on its own as it presents both Earth and space scenes in an equal exposure.

It still has the MCU magic that conjures visual spectacle, simple narration, and nostalgic music.


Rating: 8.5 Goose purrs of 10.

1 comment:

  1. I like this review, oh I don't what to start!

    They prolly made Maria that kind of character to be more badass. I like how Monica turned out in the movie but I like her too, she's cute!

    I see, so no Goose in the comics, but not bad,right!

    Ah 90's nostalgia; Alta Vista search engine, lol! The grunge style of Brie with the black leather jacket,still my staple wear.

    Yeah overall, I agree that this movie still had that MCU magic! Never got bored and I didn't get up my seat, bec, who would? It's a Marvel movie! Haha

    ReplyDelete

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