Tonight I went and saw “Captain Marvel,” which came out a little over three weeks ago, and I will let you know what I thought about it.
The basic story is a soldier named Vers (Brie Larson) is training to fight a war with Kree leader Yon-Rogg (Jude Law).
She then gets kidnapped and questioned by the enemy Skrull Talos, played by Ben Mendelsohn), she starts to get flashes of her past on Earth as Air Force pilot Carl Danvers.
Chasing her captors there, she must save Earth with the help of Nick Fury, reprised by Samuel L. Jackson.
Starting on an alien planet with a completely new set of characters is some way to start the new huge new superhero origin story.
Helen O’Hara said in her review, “But then directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the team behind Mississippi Grind and Half Nelson, don’t pander to audiences.”
So they start off on an alien planet of Hala and introduce us to Vers, a high-powered soldier with amnesia training to join “noble warrior heroes” the Kree.
She mocks at authority, pushes herself so far and sometimes gets really worked up. She’s Marvel’s first solo female lead and she is not here to fool around.
O’Hara suggested, “If you’ve been slacking in Marvel history class you’ll have to figure out both Kree and Skrull on the fly, because the film doesn’t pause for exposition.”
This planet’s population is under control of an A.I. named the Supreme Intelligence. Vers is under the teachings of a Kree named Yon-Rogg, a charming leader who prepares her for the war against the shape-shifting Skrull.
“Guardians of the Galaxy’s” villain Ronan the Accuser is in here (Lee Pace makes an appearance) but that doesn’t mean all of them are mindless murderers.
O’Hara compared, “The Skrull, meanwhile, look like Deep Space Nine visitors, or alternatively like literally anyone, thanks to those camouflage abilities, and that sneaky power creates a rich fug of paranoia over the whole story.”
In some way, Vers and her enemies land on Earth in 1995. The Skrull, led by Talos, are looking for Dr. Wendy Lawson, played by Annette Bening, to get a very important part of technology she invented. Vers, who’s beginning to remember her past, finds out that she was once Air Force pilot Carl Danvers and that Lawson was her boss.
She joins with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury and old friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch, lightly avoiding limiting token-black-friend clichés) along with Maria’s daughter (Akira Akbar) to retrieve the technology and save the planet.
O’Hara said, “There’s a lot to absorb — a few pauses in the first act might have been welcome — and the film is so anxious to emphasise Danvers’ toughness that it sometimes forgets to allow us to glimpse her inner life and (presumable) insecurities; it’s a good thing that Larson is both gifted and charismatic, or she’d be a little dull.
It also feels like it’s been chopped down a lot: some glimpses of Mckenna Grace as the young Carol, showing her troubled relationship with her dad (Kenneth Mitchell), feel surprisingly thin.”
You also see that there might have been more for Bening to do, seeing how good she is in the small role she has in the film.
O’Hara credited, “Still, once Danvers connects with Fury, their odd-couple banter blasts the film into the stratosphere.
There are small but fun fight scenes highlighting Danvers’ tenacity, and the joy of seeing Fury having things explained to him for once.”
There’s a nice cat named Goose who Fury falls in love with and threatens to be the highlight of the movie.
Everything falls back to a nostalgic ‘90s soundtrack, with dancing songs from really popular singers like TLC, Elastica and Hole. As Danvers spends time with Rambeau, we see our first real look beneath her exterior and into her human side.
O’Hara noted, “It’s the last act before this film truly lives up to its potential, but at crunch time it delivers in a more satisfying way than almost any other superhero film of recent years.
Carol Danvers’ final battle offers a radical message and becomes a powerful metaphor for what could happen if we stop waiting to be told that we are enough; if we stop believing the people who tell us we’re too emotional or too weak.”
“Captain Marvel” tell viewers that when we stop looking for satisfaction, we can really get high standards. O’Hara said, “This is not another cheap girl-power cliché; it’s an explicitly feminist apotheosis.”
Some people will find it all over the place to watch. “Captain Marvel” gets zero compromises to please anyone in or win them over to Carol Danvers’ point of view. If that makes it hard for some people to relate to her, she’ll be fine.
O’Hara said, “As a Nick Fury buddy comedy, it’s fun. As a feminist fable it’s essential.” It takes a while to move forward, but when Carl Danvers starts moving she is unstoppable.
Spoiler Alert: in the mid-credit scene, in the present day, the pager which Fury had activated is being looked on by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) when Danvers shows up and asks where Fury is.
In the post-credit scene set in 1995, the cat Goose climbs on Fury’s desk and throws up the Tesseract.
This is a nice throwback to those who grew up in the ‘90s, like myself. You should definitely see this. Ignore what other people hate on this movie. It’s the polar opposite of “Justice League,” where critics hated that but audiences loved it.
With “Captain Marvel,” critics are praising it but audiences are thrashing it. There’s nothing wrong with this movie. It’s the MCU’s answer to “Wonder Woman.” Brie Larson killed it in the role.
There’s not a whole lot of action, there’s a lot of dialogue-driven scenes that people could consider to be slow scenes, but I feel the people who made this were following “Black Panther’s” method.
I think they did a good job, and it’s another one of my favorite comic book movies. Go see it, it’s a good movie that you should watch, and is a great preparation for “Avengers: Endgame.”
Related Post: Brie Larson revealed that “The Marvels” has started shooting.