Dan's Review: "Captain Marvel" Rises into the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Mar 05, 2019 07:06AM
● By Dan Metcalf
Brie Larson in Captain Marvel - © 2019 Marvel/Disney.
Captain Marvel (Marvel/Disney)
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.
Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Jude Law, Algenis Pérez Soto, Rune Temte, Akira Akbar, and Mckenna Grace.
Written by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Nicole Perlman, and Meg LeFauve, based on "Carol Danvers" by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.
Oh, the anticipation. Captain Marvel marks the final film before the final Avengers movie ushering in the closure on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s original series (more spin-offs and a new generation of films will follow, including Spider-Man, Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy sequels). Avengers: End Game will flood theaters in 52 days, but there is one more item of business to attend to before Tony Stark and his pals could make a graceful exit: Carol Danvers, and her role in the finale (as set up in Infinity War, with Nick Fury summoning a mysterious hero from afar).
Danvers is played by Brie Larson, a human infused with alien powers living on Kree planet where she is part of the elite “Starforce” military team, led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). Danvers (named “Vers” by her Kree leaders) has no memory of her previous life on Earth. After being captured by the shape-shifting Skrulls, the Kree’s sworn enemy, she experiences flashbacks of her Earth life. As the Skrulls pass near Earth, Danvers escapes and crash-lands into a Blockbuster video store in 1995. As Yon-Rogg mounts a rescue, Danvers is pursued by Skrull leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and picked up by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Danvers and Fury eventually team up to find answers regarding the events that led such powerful alien beings to Earth. Along the way, Carol gets reacquainted with her old friend and fellow Air Force pilot Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and gains a little more insight into a mysterious scientist (Annette Benning) who once held the key to ending the Kree-Skrull War. As her past begins to take shape, Danvers must garner all her strength as the truth behind the Skrulls and the Kree are revealed.
Since this is a spoiler-free review, I’ll digress from revealing any more details, and trust that anyone who wants to save the juicy details for later viewing will stay away from anyone who would ruin the surprises (and there are many).
Spoilers aside, Captain Marvel is an excellent film and a pivotal one in the MCU. Since the events of the movie take place in the late 1980s and mid-90s, it doesn’t play like a prequel, and works very well as a standalone film, while enhancing the MCU experience. Larson is spot-on perfect in the title role, offering just the right amount of grit, humor, determination and heroic action to make her one of the more compelling superheroes in the Avengers spectrum. Jackson is equally brilliant playing a younger version of Fury, complete with several humorous moments that do not detract from the focus of the movie (his scenes involving a very special cat named “Goose” are of significant note).
I feel compelled to address some claims that Captain Marvel is an overtly a feminist film. One could make that argument, but that would be selling the movie rather short. The appeal of Captain Marvel transcends gender and culture, making the hero accessible to all who may have felt as though life, doubt, and failure can be overcome with a drive to succeed, despite the odds or expectations of others. Danvers is a universal hero, a character who’s inspiring to all, no matter what your gender.
So, go ahead and see Captain Marvel. I’ll be seeing it more than once, myself.
One other important note: As with all MCU films, there are a few end credit scenes to enjoy, and one of them attaches Captain Marvel to the Avengers finale, so you’ll want to stick around for that.
Captain Marvel Trailer