Spoiler-Free ‘Captain Marvel’ Review
Last night I got the chance to see the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson as the titular character and directed by frequent collaborators Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (whose collaborations include Half Nelson, Sugar, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story), who also wrote the screenplay. This movie has been hyped up for months and the character even more so, based on the events of the last two movies; Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Based on what transpires during this latest installment of the MCU, it seems that this was warranted.
We are dropped into the middle of a hazy dream and sudden awakening that prompts the Kree warrior “Veers” as she is known for the first half of the film to find her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and train with him. He gives her several pieces of advice as they spar, which leads her to commune with the “Supreme Intelligence”, which take the form of the person you admire most. The Supreme Intelligence imitates a woman who Veers cannot remember, so why would that be the form taken? There is a lot of mystery and a lot of intrigue surrounding her background. She can’t remember anything, and the only surety in her life is the set of values given to her by Yon-Rogg and the Kree society. She knows that she needs to defeat the Skrulls, a race of shape-shifting beings that are branded terrorists and threats to the Kree Empire.
We then see a mission with Veers, Yon-Rogg and a team of other Kree warriors including Bron-Char (Rune Temte), Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan), Att-Lass (Algenis Perez Soto) and Korath (Djimon Hounsou, who played the same character in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film) to rescue Soh-Larr (Chuku Modu) before the Skrulls can get him and the information he’s obtained about them. It turns out to be a trap and the scene ends with Veers crashing through the roof of a Blockbuster Video store in a scene that was shown in several trailers. Because of this, she ends up crossing paths with a younger Nick Fury.
There are several chase scenes, some exciting action set pieces and a series of revelations about Veers’ past in which she learns that she’s actually Air Force pilot Carol Danvers and that she had a life on Earth prior to her life with the Kree. This comes as quite a shock, as she has had no memory of anything before being a Kree warrior, aside from brief glimpses through dreams.
The final act of the movie is fantastic. There are several emotionally resonant moments that reminded me of a few certain parts of Wonder Woman, and there are several “hero” moments that are typically associated with these types of films. There are a few issues I had with this movie- it was not perfect by any means. There is a fight scene that takes place in an overly dark area with a lot of quick cuts that makes it difficult to really keep track of the action. This isn’t an indictment of the film, it seems to be a staple of superhero films in general- action scenes that are either in a dark room or dark hallway or there are so many cuts and changing camera angles that make it almost impossible to determine what’s happening. The main battles in the film’s climax, however, were great; they were shot with a lot of light and color and with a lot of long takes to keep the action centered and easy to track.
Overall I found this film to be one of the top Marvel films to date. Personally, I’ve got it in my top three with Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War. One of the best characters, Goose the Cat, was actually played by four different cats, so I want to praise Reggie, Gonzo, Archie and Rizzo for their performances (purrformances?) as well. The characters were great, especially Ben Mendelsohn as Talos and Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, who was my personal favorite character.
There’s obviously a lot I’ve glossed over, mainly because the film is so new. I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone which is why I’m only giving the barest summary of the plot. I will say that this was certainly a fun movie and I enjoyed it immensely. I can also say that one of the things I liked the best about it was even though this can be considered a prequel film because it takes place twenty-plus years before the first MCU film Iron Man, there isn’t a whole lot of heavy-handed fan service letting you know that this is the first in a series of films. The things that do get covered are essentially just there, and you can make connections on your own if you’re familiar with the other films, but even if this is your first Marvel film, you won’t be left wondering what’s happening or who these characters are because the majority of them are being introduced for the very first time. There is a mid-credits scene as well as an end-credits scene so stick around for those. The end is more of a humorous scene with no real relevance, but the mid-credits scene is jaw-dropping.
I recommend seeing this film if you are a comic fan, a Marvel fan, or a fan of strong female characters in general. It’s well-written, well-directed and the actors are great in their roles. Go see this, support the film, and enjoy yourself! You won’t be disappointed.