River’s review published on Letterboxd:
The immense hatred Brie Larson has endured these last couple of weeks, mainly by angry white men, is not just absolutely idiotic, it’s almost scary. It’s a sad given that most people will watch this film with their mind already made up. That only becomes painfully clear when you read headlines and reviews. It never quite soars, one says. A massive disappointment, Indiewire tells us. Yes, the same Indiewire who misconstrued Brie’s words about diversity a few weeks ago that sparked a massive online hatred towards Brie.
Politics in Marvel films seem to be risky territory. Thor: Ragnarok was allowed, like many other Marvel films, to be simply entertaining. Captain Marvel simply isn’t. Captain Marvel wasn’t too political as most people make it out to be, but it’s feminist and doesn’t for one moment shy away from it. However, it's not exemplified feminism, they simply embrace it. Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) mansplains Carol about keeping her emotions in check as they spar during the opening scene. At one point Skrull infiltrators literally probe into Carol’s memories, memory after memory reveal men having been doing the same throughout her entire childhood and adulthood. It’s not exaggerated, it’s reality.
The film has some issues, it’s not perfect. However, story-wise it’s arguably one of the best. Narratively speaking Captain Marvel has a strong and fresh take on building up Carol’s superhero origin, diverting it from the usual and instead going for a non-linear approach. It’s very unpredictable, which is only amplified by its plot twist halfway through. There’s also plenty of room for investment in the characters, sadly it does fall a bit short on its villains.
At the very core of the film lies Carol’s only one real connection to Earth: Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). Captain Marvel doesn’t explore a familial bond or a love interest, it’s Maria who seems to fill in both of the gaps. Carol however doesn’t remember Maria and their awaited reunion is stilted at first but soon progresses into something heartwarming. Maria and her daughter Monica are Carol’s family. While for most part of the film Carol doesn’t know who she is or where she really belongs, one thing is quite certain: Maria and Monica are her home.
Brie is great and perfectly embodies Carol Danvers in every single way. She is Carol Danvers. It’s a bit disappointing that there wasn’t a lot of room for Brie to really shine. She doesn’t carry the film as much as she should have. It has a lot to do with a lack of emotional depth. This of course excludes her shared screen time with Lashana, it’s a shame they didn’t explore that part a bit more.
As a whole the film might not be that special but for Marvel it’s more mature and refreshing. I haven’t enjoyed a Marvel film this much since CA: The First Avenger and CA: The Winter Soldier (among my favourite Marvel films to date). It’s a wonderful way to start Marvel’s new phase and I simply can’t wait for Carol to be the face of this new era of the Marvel universe.