Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel Movie Poster

There has been a lot of controversy online surrounding Marvel Studios’ new film, Captain Marvel, starring the lovely Brie Larson.  I have heard the hatred of the trolls trying to review bomb Rotten Tomatoes before ever seeing the film.  I heard initial reviews being highly positive, but followed by reviews, from a lot of online reviewers that I respect and listen to, saying the movie ranged between okay and meh.  BY this point, I had no idea what I was getting into.

Sorry haters, but I loved this movie.

Brie Larson, known at first as Vers, is training with Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), friend and mentor with the Kree Empire.  She had no memories of her past, and she pretended as if that did not bother her, but it was affecting her decisions and her ability to grasp the training.  Upon a mission to rescue a Kree spy, Vers and Yon-Rogg, along with a group of Kree warriors, is ambushed by their sworn enemies, the shape shifting Skrulls.  After this conflict, Vers winds up in the Skrulls’ control and finds herself on the way to earth, where, strangely enough, many of her memory flashes seem to be from.

Once on earth, she meets up with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the two try to discover the mystery of Vers’ past as Carol Danvers and how she is connected to a scientist named Larson (Annette Bening).

I know some people might claim that the beginning of the film is slow and takes a long time to get going, and I would agree with that assessment.  However, I would disagree that it was a bad thing.  I really liked the slow burn at the beginning of Captain Marvel, and I believe that it was a must.  Marvel Studios threw a lot at us in that opening part and all of the set up needed to be in place for this film to work.  And I really thought all the stuff with the Kree and their planet of Hala worked well.

Oh, and by the way, I had tears in my eyes in the first 20 seconds of the film.  No spoilers, but it was perfect.

The relationship between Nick Fury and Carol was great and Samuel L. Jackson was the best version of Nick Fury we have had since we have met the character.  Before all the horrors of the world brought him into the pessimistic super spy that he was before he was dusted, this version of Nick Fury was funny, quick witted and, certainly, a cat lover.

And speaking of the cat… Goose the Cat is an absolute scene stealer and a huge part of this film.  Look for this character as one of the break out characters of Captain Marvel.

Going back to Samuel L. Jackson, the de-aging technology they used on Jackson was freaking unbelievable.  He was not just in a few scenes.  Sam Jackson was a co-lead.  And never once did I think, oh look… they CGI’ed his face.  It was an astonishing piece of technological marvel.  Unfortunately, Clark Gregg, who played Phil Coulson here, was not as lucky.  Coulson’s de-aging was okay, but nowhere near as perfect as Jackson.  For Coulson, you could tell they had done work on him.  It was still nice to see Phil make his MCU return and to see the connection between him and Fury.

I did not see the story going the way it went, and, even after the story took a turn, I did not know what to think.  There was a point where I thought to myself, “I really don’t know what is going to happen” and that was awesome.  There were some real surprises for me and I was shocked that they chose to go in that direction a couple of times.  I really appreciated those decisions.

I have heard a lot of people complaining about Brie Larson and claiming that she was miscast as Carol Danvers, and I could not disagree more.  I found her to be wonderfully charming and a perfect fit for the character of Carol.  I have always liked Brie Larson, so maybe I was predisposed to liking her in this role, but I truly thought she was the Carol Danvers that I knew from the comics to a tee.

Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull leader, Talos, was brilliant as well.  I loved this villain and he was such a surprise with a much deeper story arc than I ever believed he would have.

Some of the 90s references were a bit ham-fisted.  It did seem as if the film was trying pretty hard to hit you over the head with the fact that this film was going on in the 1990s.  I am not sure the nostalgia bits of Captain Marvel worked very well.

As I am speaking about the parts that were not my favorite, I must say that I was not a huge fan of the CGI on Captain Marvel in the space scenes that we have seen in the trailer.  The final copy of this was better than in the trailers, but it did not live up to the levels of young Nick Fury in this movie or Avengers: Infinity War Thanos.  She looked too video game-y when she would have the helmet and the Mohawk on.

It also may be a bad thing to make Carol too powerful.  She may have trouble connecting to the normal movie goer if she is too strong.  I mean, who can stand up to Carol and be believable?

And there may be a few too many moments where the movie was explaining why something was as it was in the current day.  Let’s call it the “How Han Solo got his name” effect.  We did not need to see the origin of how Fury came up with the name of the Avengers Initiative.  There were too many of these Easter eggs which stretched the film’s credibility a bit far.

There are two extra scenes.  The mid-credits scene is absolutely amazing and made me all the more excited for the future of this franchise.  The post credit scene is … well, I think it is Marvel just F@#king with us.  It was awesome, mind you, but… they are f@#king with us.  They have to be.

I loved Captain Marvel.  Sure there are a couple of flaws in the production and some of the humor did not necessarily land (although I would say more landed than didn’t), but the story was compelling and the mystery of Carol’s past life kept you guessing.  The acting in top notch and the Skrulls are amazing…as is Goose the Cat.  There is great excitement and the film felt like it flew by for me.  There is wonderful character moments and I loved Brie Larson as the MCU’s big dog.

I cannot wait for Avengers: Endgame.

4.75 stars 


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