'Captain Marvel' Review: A good film despite having a clichéd plot

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Brie Larson in Captain Marvel

During a scene in Captain Marvel a male fighter pilot makes a sexist remark in front of her female colleague saying that ‘cockpit’ is a place meant for the guys and not girls. Such a remark in a film co-directed by a female filmmaker and revolving around a female superhero is bound to have a deep meaning and it surely does. When boys are small they may want to grow up as Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Captain America, or Iron Man. What about the young girls? Finally they too have options to choose from. For, Brie Larson’s kickass Captain Marvel is here to give Gal Gadot’s hitherto untouchable Wonder Woman a run for the money.

Also, Marvel Studios finally have a standalone film based on a female superhero—about a decade after Iron Man (2008) hit the theatres and a couple of years after the release of DC Entertainment’s Wonder Woman (2017). And, fortunately, it is a good one despite having a somewhat clichéd plot that doesn’t hesitate to overtly draw from movies/franchises like The Matrix, The Terminator, Men in Black, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Transformers, Stark Trek and whatnot. One thing is certain that female super heroes are here to stay and for good. After all, why should the boys have all the fun? Speaking of fun, Brie Larson seems to be having a lot of it beating up man twice her size, often single-handedly taking down half-a-dozen of them without even breaking a sweat. Sharing a majority of screen time with her of course are two gifted male performers: a Morpheus-esque Jude Law and a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson. The trio is well supported by actors such as Ben Mendelsohn, Lashana Lynch, and Annette Bening.

Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel serves as a prequel of sorts to the Avengers films. The film set circa 1995 aptly oozes with ’90s nostalgia as evident from a Nirvana soundtrack, video rental store with a True Lies cut-out, dial up modems, phone booths, AltaVista web search engine, and a direct reference to Hannibal Lecter’s face mask from The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Another great moment of nostalgia brings back the legendary Stan Lee to the delight of the Marvel fans who would be equally delighted to see a two-eyed Nick Fury before the famed S.H.I.E.L.D. agent started wearing his trademark eyepatch. And if that’s not enough Captain Marvel has a very interesting post credits sequence that will have direct impact on the Avengers: Endgame—the highly anticipated sequel to Avengers: Infinity War. So make sure you stay till the very end.

Rating: 7/10
A version of this review was first published in The Sunday Guardian.

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