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Movie Review: Captain Marvel

CAPTAIN MARVEL is a retro-tastic origin story worthy of its namesake.  As one of comic’s best superheroes, I’m glad that the film captured the strength and heart of the comics. I mean how could you not love a kickass fighter pilot with formidable super powers whose co-pilot is a scene-stealing cat? Of course, the element I love most about the film is that it showcases a distinct female empowerment story, bereft of a forced romantic storyline and highlighting a woman’s quest to overcome the odds and succeed personally, professionally, and eventually heroically. It’s certainly not lost on me that CAPTAIN MARVEL is opening on International Women’s Day.

Vers, later Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), doesn’t remember her past; strange flashbacks of places and people she doesn’t recognize are her only ties to her past. However, she is able to stifle the emotions triggered by these visions as she trains to be a fierce Kree warrior with her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). The Kree are ruled by the Supreme Intelligence, which appears as a different form to each Kree citizen, usually the person they respect most. I am convinced every Kree still saw Annette Bening because she is f-ing Annette Bening, but I digress…

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers in her Kree uniform in Captain Marvel

Carol and her team are training to fight against the Kree’s mortal enemy, the Skrull. The Skrull are especially dangerous because they can shapeshift into anyone. After being ambushed by the Skrull during a rescue mission, Carol is taken prisoner and eventually ends up on Earth during the 1990s. Helllloooo nostalgia! Clothed in her best Nine Inch Nails t-shirt and badass leather jacket, Carol sets out to destroy the Skrull that made it down to Earth with her. Now all she needs is a little help from her friends, and by friends I mean Marie Rambeau (Carol’s best friend from her previous life), an adorable cat named Goose, and Nick Fury. Emphasis on the fury.

Captain Marvel is one of the few comic book series I have actually read extensively and I have been looking forward to the film version for years. While I still wish Marvel would have gone with an “older” (I hate that I have to word it like this) actress, preferably Charlize Theron, Jennifer Garner, or Jessica Chastain, I was still happy with Brie Larson’s performance. Larson’s best attribute is her ability to go from steely Air Force pilot/Kree warrior to chumming it up and cracking jokes with Samuel L. Jackson; both actors have amazing chemistry, by the way. I’ve seen other actors struggle with changes in tone, but not Larson. Of course, I also have to shoutout my queen Annette Bening, who I would’ve totally been okay seeing play the titular role. Bening’s commanding presence is palpable throughout the film; even when she wasn’t on-screen I was wondering when she would be back. Of course, the breakout star of the film was Goose the cat, who easily steals every scene he is in and will be a quick fan favorite. I may or may not already have Goose merchandise.

Brie Larson in Nine Inch Nails shirt and leather jacket as Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel

Despite how much I enjoyed the film, it does have a few areas to improve on for a (hopefully) upcoming sequel. It took a little while for the action to get off the ground; I was a little concerned in the film’s opening moments that I wasn’t going to like it as much as I thought, but once the action got to Earth, I jumped onboard. CAPTAIN MARVEL also needs to give its supporting characters a bit more of a character arc. In particular, I thought the film should have and could have done a lot more with Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch); it was hard to know much more about her than that she was Danvers’ best friend and a fighter pilot herself and I would have liked to get to know her more. The film is lucky in that some of the other supporting characters, such as Nick Fury, had already been fleshed out in previous Marvel movies. Lastly, humor is subjective, but I also felt some of the funnier moments in the script were too forced and those moments always take me out of the movie.

I can’t wait to see what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has in store for Captain Marvel; I guess we will find out soon for AVENGERS:ENDGAME. All I care about is that Goose has another awesome storyline… coughing up a hairball on Thanos perhaps? And if you are wondering about the end credit scenes, make sure you stay in your seat for TWO.

My Review: B

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