Simply Mar-Vell-ous - Captain Marvel (REVIEW)
written by Justin Prince (prince_justin)
Before we get to the endgame, we have to jump back… way back… back into time with another captain. Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson in the titular role; backed up by Samuel L Jackson wearing his best “young guy” pants as a two-eyed Nick Fury, Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Skrull leader Talos, with returning characters like Djimon Hounsou’s Korath, Lee Pace’s Ronan the Acuser, and the ever lovable Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson also wearing his “young guy” pants.
Set during the Summer of 95 (good times) the Kree have been fighting a deadly war with the Skrulls, green skinned shapeshifters that can simulate any living being right down to their DNA; Carol Danvers, a human woman with amnesia, fights alongside elite Kree soldiers under the name Vers. She’s powerful but kept in check by her Commander Yon-Rogg and the artificial intelligence that leads the Kree forces. After being captured by Skrull forces and interrogated by their leader Talos, Vers crash lands through the roof of a Blockbuster Video, returning to a home she has no memory of.
Captain Marvel’s first act comes with its fair share of ups an downs, after one of the best fight scenes in the film (solidifying how bad-ass this hero was) her crash landing on Earth abruptly slows down the pace. Pre-eyepatch Nick Fury, a rookie Agent Coulson, and a few other nameless SHIELD agents join the narrative and these first responders get a glimpse of these mysterious Skrulls, forcing a skeptical Nick Fury to accept what he just saw.
The pace slows further when we make our way to the second act with the film shifting gears to a mystery as Vers realizes that she was from Earth before losing her memory and joining Yon-Rogg’s unit. The search for answers surrounding the mysterious Wendy Lawson and her scrapped Project Pegasus felt like the lowest point for me. I saw most of the twists coming and thanks to my familiarity with the lore I was able to predict the Wendy Lawson plot twist as well. The rest of the twists mind you, I did not see coming.
Despite being set in 1995, the film doesn’t scream 90’s nostalgia. Aside from a few sight gags (hehe Blockbuster) and outdated tech that can’t even power modern Kindles (hoho Two-Way Pager) Captain Marvel was “like totally 90’s” without being aggressively 90’s. Striking a balance between doing a full on period piece like Captain America: The First Avenger and telling a story more in line with current Marvel pictures but with outdated tech.
The film’s third act reinvigorates the narrative, dropping one big ol plot twist you’d think M. Night Shyamalan was hired to be the film’s “plot-twist consultant.” This action packed final act of the film tossed in plot twists, Star Wars-esque dogfights in a canyon, outnumbered fight scenes, more 90s sight gags, and the best contribution ever made to the MCU… that’s right, Goose the cat. Save for a mediocre at best final showdown with the bad-guy, much of what left me apprehensive about Captain Marvel’s second act was rectified as the credits rolled.
What stood out was despite this being the first female-led (FINA-EFFING-LLY) MCU film, and it arguably having to prove itself, Captain Marvel was light where it needed to be… sweet where it needed to be… funny where it needed to be… and bad ass where it needed to be. While it doesn’t dethrone my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film (it’s still Winter Soldier guys) it does creep on up there despite the wonky second act. This is one to see and Brie Larsen freakin killed it!
Everything it needed to be and then some