Review: Captain Marvel
This film fills a pretty glaring void in Marvel’s lineup of cinematic superheroes. Carol Danvers (a perfectly cast Brie Larson) is the studio’s first female hero to have a solo film. While it’s difficult to separate the movie from the importance of on-screen representation, on its own, it offers an entertaining but very standard origin story.
The film opens on the homeworld of the Kree, militaristic, humanoid aliens locked in an interstellar conflict with the Skrull, a race of shapeshifters. Danvers is a member of an elite military team, but she chafes under the rigid command of the Kree and is haunted by a past she can’t remember. After a mission gone wrong, our hero crash lands on Earth in 1995 (Blockbuster and RadioShack play important roles in her arrival.) She quickly attracts the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson), and they team up to stop a potential Skrull invasion and unravel the secrets of Danvers’ past.
Captain Marvel starts out slow, and it does very little to disrupt the standard Marvel formula. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have backgrounds in indie dramas, and it shows in the character-less quality of some action sequences. But those flaws can’t keep the charismatic Larson down, and she is bolstered by a strong supporting cast that includes Annette Bening, Jude Law and Ben Mendelsohn (plus, a scene-stealing feline named Goose). Ultimately, Captain Marvel shines brightly, even if she takes a while to reach her full potential.
Should you see it? Yes, it’s flawed but still fun and compelling.— S.W.
Viewed at Marcus Galaxy Chesterfield