Movie Review Monday: Captain Marvel
Marvel’s twenty-first film and first female led movie hit theaters over the weekend with the release of Captain Marvel. It was written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck with Geneva Robertson-Dworet also contributing to the writing process. It chronicles the origins of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel as she is caught in a conflict between two alien races. Brie Larson stars as Vers/Carol Danvers with Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury. The film’s fantastic supporting cast also includes Ben Mendelsohn, Lashana Lynch, Lee Pace, Djimon Hounsou, Gemma Chan, Jude Law, Annette Bening, and Clark Gregg.
The film begins with Vers awakening from a dream that alludes to how she received her powers. She is troubled by her dreams and copes by awakening her mentor, Yon-Rogg. The two train by fighting one another, and during this fight, Yon-Rogg reminds Vers that she must let go of the past she struggles to remember and not be so led by her emotions. She communes soon after with the Supreme Intelligence, who also encourages her to keep her emotions in check. The Supreme Intelligence also informs Vers that she and her team are being sent on a mission to rescue a Kree operative who has been infiltrating an alien shapeshifting race called Skrulls. During the mission, Skrulls kidnap Vers and probe through her memory. Vers manages to escape to Earth, but the probe has left her with more questions about her identity. It is as she seeks out information on Earth and encounters Nick Fury that Vers begins to realize her past identity and becomes more deeply involved in the Kree and Skrull conflict.
So, while there seem to be a lot of different thoughts flying around this movie, I will say that I honestly loved it. I have already watched it twice, and I am sure that I will view it again in the coming weeks. Captain Marvel is not the typical origin story, and the filmmakers go about telling Carol’s beginnings in a unique way. It has some deep moments and hard-hitting themes, but it also contains a lot of humor. The buddy cop feel between Carol and Nick Fury is immensely enjoyable, and it provides a lot levity to the storyline. This film is full of nostalgic 90’s references, and the different songs they incorporate into the film are perfect in setting the tone. This film also has some cool and trippy science fiction sequences, which I thought worked well within the film. Plus, it is borderline unsettling how real Samuel L. Jackson’s age and likeness look in this movie. I will admit that I think the first act contained a lot of information and some weird pacing, but after that, the pacing and story beats level out.
I guess it should come as no surprise, though, that Carol Danvers’ personal journey is the highlight of the film. I found her storyline to be incredibly emotional as she searches for answers about her identity and her past. The film touches on her time in the Air Force and the obstacles she had to overcome to be a pilot when women were not allowed to fly in combat, which only enriches the storyline. I also really like the way Carol relates to the people in her life, and how some of them are quite integral in reminding her of who she has always been. Of course, part of the impact of the character is due to Brie Larson’s wonderful performance. However, to only highlight Brie would be a mistake because this whole cast is truly fantastic. Lashana Lynch brings a lot of depth to a character who could easily be eclipsed in light of Carol’s journey. Ben Mendelsohn and Jude Law provide for some compelling supporting characters, and Annette Bening provides more than a few surprises in this role.
Overall, I would say that Captain Marvel is truly a touching story and a fantastic introduction to someone who is going to be leading the MCU moving forward. It sets a lot of things in motion, and I cannot wait to see how the Kree and the Skrulls are used in the MCU timeline moving forward. This film is supported by some outstanding performances, a compelling script, and the coolest cat imaginable. This story has some interesting reveals, and the after credit scenes cannot be missed. I personally cannot wait to see Carol Danvers show up in Avengers: Endgame, and I think that Captain Marvel not only needs to be seen in theaters but deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.