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Captain Marvel (A Movie Review)

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Captain Marvel


Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Jude Law, DeWanda Wise, Mckenna Grace, Lashana Lynch, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Chuku Modu, Matthew Maher, Akira Akbar, Azari Akbar, Kenneth Mitchell, Vik Sahay, James Morrison and Stan Lee.

Screenplay by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet.

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Distributed by Marvel Studios/Buena Vista Pictures. 124 minutes. Rated PG-13.

My very first reaction walking out of the theater auditorium after watching the Captain Marvel screening? Well, it wasn’t Black Panther.

So okay, let’s just start with that.

There were so many reasons that Black Panther was Marvel’s first film nominated for Best Picture – the lore, the costumes, its complete immersive universe. I saw it three times opening weekend and knew I would see it again.

Captain Marvel is not Black Panther.

But it’s a damn good Marvel origin story.

Captain Marvel has been a Marvel Comics character since 1967. There have been different variations on the character, but the one portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Captain Marvel is Air Force pilot Carol Danvers (played by Brie Larson).

Danvers is plucky, spirited, and most of all, courageous. She is someone you want to root for right from the start, because while traumatic amnesia leaves her not knowing the details of who she is, she remains strong and persistent. And witty to boot.

Marvel comics fans will recognize the big players of this film. For the unindoctrinated, the film opens on the planet Hala, the capitol of Kree civilization and we learn quickly that they are at war with the Skrull. My daughter is the super fan, and without her by my side, I was desperately unaware of any of these names before walking into the theater. I mention this now, not as a spoiler, but to say that the film does a good job of bringing even us lay people up to speed.

I don’t want to go into details that will risk leading to spoilers, so we’ll pass on the rest of a synopsis. However, as the trailer has shown, they’ve come a long way with some super cool CGI anti-aging throughout the film. We are jettisoned back to the mid-1990’s, introducing us to a super young-looking Samuel L. Jackson (continuing on in his Nick Fury role), and a slew of 90’s references, from store fronts to pop references to music, that add a lot of humor and charm to the aesthetic of the film.

Marvel screenwriters and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck take the script through some touching story points and mix in the humor that audiences have grown to love in the MCU. While there are no signature car chases, the action takes to the skies, of the earth and beyond. Overall, the story is satisfying, inspiring, and uplifting, while remaining full of action.

Captain Marvel is a solid return to the Marvel Origin story film genre that we know and love while connecting some of the dots between references in earlier Marvel films. I look forward to seeing how this character grows into her place in the Universe, particularly with Avengers End Game just around the corner.

So yes, while my first reaction was a slightly deflated, “it’s no Black Panther”, two days later, I already feel the need to go watch Captain Marvel again.

Bonnie Paul

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: March 6, 2019.

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