Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.
The final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before ‘Avengers: Endgame’ promises a lot, introducing a key new superhero into the mix at the final moments, and also being the first film in the MCU to have a female superhero in the leading role. ‘Captain Marvel’ is a film that feels caught between two clear aims, one being the aim to tell the origin story of a new character, and the other being the aim to provide background information to set the stage for ‘Endgame’, which promises to be something truly special. Like many prior entries in the MCU, the movies work best when they’re telling their own story as opposed to trying to be a segment of a much larger whole. Helmed by the directorial duo of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (who previously directed ‘Mississippi Grind’), this is an enjoyable precursor to ‘Endgame’ that successfully introduces a new character whilst once again expanding the scope of the MCU.
First and foremost, ‘Captain Marvel’ is great fun and it’s got a great lead in Brie Larsen. It successfully blends the space set hi-jinks of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films with an action-packed mystery storyline set in the 1990s on earth and I thought it was well paced and entertaining throughout. The film begins on the Kree planet of Hala, where an elite soldier called Vers is undergoing training whilst experiencing recurring nightmares involving an older woman and a seemingly alien planet. When a mission goes wrong and she ends up on earth, she starts to discover more about her past and finds her true purpose. The stuff on earth is particularly good, introducing a young Nick Fury, still played by Samuel L. Jackson who has been digitally ‘de-aged’ in post-production (this is genuinely cool and not a gimmick), and plot elements that tie into the state of play at the end of ‘Infinity War’. A lot of the humour comes from the ‘hey it’s the 90s’ style of writing such as a CD-Rom (remember them?) taking ages to load, and a lot of on point musical cues from the era (which are great!), but I was along for the ride nonetheless. I’ve watched all of the MCU films but wouldn’t consider myself an avid fan so I liked the way the plot developed, retaining surprises for those who aren’t quite as up on their MCU knowledge, and I thought the film worked well until a disappointing final act that seemed to wrap up too quickly, and in too obvious a manner.
‘Captain Marvel’ is a solid new entry in the MCU and it’s a strong introduction to a character we already know to be vitally important to the end of Phase 1, and I’m now all set for the conclusion of this part of the series.
Directed By: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
Starring: Brie Larsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan and Clark Gregg