Currently in theaters is Captain Marvel, the twenty-first film installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and final Marvel installment before the long-awaited Avengers: Endgame. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening courtesy of Marvel Studios, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.
Written and directed by the renowned filmmaking duo of Anna Boden and Ryan K Fleck (of It’s Kind of a Funny Story and Mississippi Grind fame) Captain Marvel tells the origin story of Carol Danvers (played by Brie Larson of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) a soldier in the Kree Starforce, headquartered on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala under the command of mentor and friend Yon-Rogg (played by Academy Award winner Jude Law). The year is 1995, and while trying to hone and master her astounding powers, ‘Vers’, as she’s known to the Kree Starforce, embarks on what seems to be a routine mission to intercept a dangerous band of Skrull terrorists, a race of shape-shifters. who can perfectly mimic any likeness and voice, she is captured by their leader, a powerful Skrull named Talos (played by Ben Mendelsohn of The Dark Knight Rises, Mississippi Grind, and Rogue One). Upon escaping, she crash lands on her home planet of Earth, which draws the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, including Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson, of course) who comes to assist the young Ms. Marvel on her quest to not only find the Skrull terrorists that have invaded Earth, but also to find out exactly who she really is. What happens from there? Who are the big bad guys in this one? How does all of this play into the larger MCU? All of these questions are answered, and you’ll just have to watch it for yourselves to find out!
Now, from a technical standpoint, there really isn’t much more to say about any Marvel Studios/MCU movie at this point that hasn’t already been said a thousand times.The truth is, Marvel has their signature formula, and if you watch closely, it’s featured in all of their films. In this regard alone, yes, if you’ve seen one superhero origin story, you’ve seen them all, but on the other hand, there is also the old saying of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” to consider, and thus, I will simply gloss over this part of the review, as there’s honestly nothing more I can add.
Now, as for the things that most people going to see a Marvel movie actually care about, Captain Marvel delivers in spades! The acting performances are all absolutely fantastic. Samuel L. Jackson (with some rather masterful use of age regression makeup, I might add) turns in yet another outstanding performance as Nick Fury, and Annette Benning turns in a phenomenal performance as The Supreme Intelligence of the Kree (the AI Ruler of the Kree Empire… they’ll explain it in the movie) alongside the rest of the supporting cast, but of course the real fan-favorite is bound to be a special CGI character named Goose, but I won’t say any more there. As for the leads, Brie Larson is absolutely stellar as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, breathing brilliant life into Marvel Comics’ classic answer to Superman, while keeping a perfect pace with the “hero’s journey” growth that the story demands. Likewise, both Law and Mendelsohn are excellent as the respective centerpieces of the famed Kree/Skrull War that comics fans are already well acquainted with.
The storytelling and script is absolutely the classic “Hero’s Journey” archetype, and this fact, combined with the big, epic, sci-fi/fantasy space opera backdrop absolutely calls back to Star Wars, in more ways than one… and ultimately, let Disney finally give fans the new Star Wars film they always wanted, so there’s definitely that! Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least address the so-called “controversy” of this movie brought on by an online-onslaught of the “Men’s Rights Activists” types claiming this is little more than some blatant “feminist agenda” piece, which is not only completely ridiculous, but is absolutely untrue. In fact, this movie is no different than any other superhero origin story from Marvel, regardless of sex/gender. The truth is, Captain Marvel is absolutely NOT some political statement, and is, believe it or not, just a really fun superhero movie, with very little politics thrown in… which might explain why so many, on both sides, are seeming to enjoy assigning their respective politics to it. This writer, not being a political science expert, or some self-proclaimed “activist”, however will say no more of this, as these topics are much better suited for people a lot more well-versed in such matters. Pretty good advice for a lot of us, don’t you think?
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Captain Marvel is yet another fun, entertaining installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and does a fantastic job of establishing a great new heroine to the MCU and set the stage for the ultimate climax in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame. This is absolutely accomplished by some brilliant acting performances by all involved, particularly Brie Larson in the lead, aided by some stellar co-stars. Don’t let the trolls all over the internet – or for that matter, the critics all over Rotten Tomatoes (and yes, I include myself on that list) – make up your minds for you, though! Especially with films that cause uproars like this (regardless of which “side” is making all the noise about it) it’s so important to remember that you, the paying audience are the ones that truly matter here. So go see it, have fun with it, and make up your own minds before you go listening too much to what everyone else is saying. That established, I must still give my own opinion in this review, and I personally really enjoyed it, and can’t wait to see where we go from here. Marvel sticks to its winning formula, and continues to set the bar for superhero films. Is it a perfect film? Of course not. Is it anything truly groundbreaking or world-changing? Not really. But it’s fun. And that’s all a movie like this ever has to be. – 9.0/10
Editor/Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine