Saturday, March 23, 2019

Captain Marvel - Movie Review

   This is the third Marvel movie where I thought, "They must be crazy."

   The first time was with Ant-Man. The second time was Guardians of the Galaxy. I thought, "There are comic book fans who don't follow these characters. How are they going to get movie fans to show up?"

   And yes, I thought the same thing about Captain Marvel. Here was a character with an EXTREMELY convoluted origin - was this going to be Marvel's first flop?

   There was a bit of a concerted effort to make it fail. Trolls rolled out bad reviews before seeing the film (they did the same thing with the Black Panther movie, with similar results). Commentators complained about the film being "woke" (is that a bad thing? Seems like there should be plenty of room for films of all stripes).

   At any rate, I followed my usual process of ignoring the trolls and going to see the film so I could make up my own mind. And guess what? Marvel proves me wrong again!

   This film cleverly fixes the origin story for Carol Danvers, gives us a younger Nick Fury (and Phil Coulson, for that matter), mixes in a solid science fiction story with more than a few twists (and some glimpses of the ongoing Kree/Skrull War), and loads in lots of action sequences and a fair dash of humor and heart.

    When we meet Carol (or Veers, as she's called) she believes she's a Warrior belonging to an alien race known as the Kree, and gifted with strange energy powers. 

   But an encounter with some Skulls starts to throw her history into doubt, as she learns more about herself - and a side trip to the planet Earth (in the 1990s) gives us more of her backstory.

   Brie Larson is terrific in the title role - tough, assured, funny, and taking no guff from anyone, she holds her own on the physical side of the equation, and adds plenty of gravitas as a strong female looking for answers.

   Samuel L. Jackson as Fury gets to show some depth (and even humanity) to his character (all while being a badass). Who knew that Fury liked cats?

   Jude Law is a mentor to Veers - but there's a lot more to his character than simply being a capable warrior.

   The movie is loaded with Easter eggs, from the name of her best friend's daughter to the movie Carol looks at during her "visit" to Blockbuster (it's The Right Stuff).

   It's not a perfect movie - it suffers slightly from "origin-itis," as it has to cover a lot of ground and explain the backstory for this corner of the Marvel Universe - but that's a minor quibble in a movie that's loaded with science fiction goodness and sets up all kinds of possible storylines for the future.

   And there's a powerful sequence in there that every young person should see - it's inspirational!

   Keep proving me wrong, Marvel - I love it!

Grade: A





Bruce R said...

Thanks! Looking forward to it!

Dwayne said...

When people ask me about the movie, I say that generally I liked it, but that Carol Danvers is a little boring. Part of that is the way the wrote the origin story of her not really knowing who she is, and discovering that identity along the way. She's not a narcisstic billionaire genius, a clean living "Boy Scout" or Demi-God. She has no personality that the audience can connect with. You brought up Ant-Man and Guardians which are great examples of the movie being propelled in large part by the personalities of the stars. Deadpool too. This one couldn't do that. They didn't want a comedic tone for the first Marvel movie starring a woman. So, she comes off as a little boring. I'd give this a B.