Brie Larson holds no punches as the flying, fire-fisted phenomenon known as Captain Marvel. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, “Captain Marvel” tells the story of Vers, a powerful Kree with little memory of who she is and what her past is hiding. The story revolves around Vers traveling from place to place hoping to find clues as to who she is and what her flashbacks mean.
This plot is very similar to that of “Alita: Battle Angel,” which also follows an overpowered woman trying to find out the secrets of her own forgotten past. The movie drags in that sense; there was so much the audience either already knew or could piece together that it made the story less engaging. Luckily, supporting actors like Samuel L. Jackson keep the film moving through comedy, Marvel fan service and kitten cuddling. Lashana Lynch’s performance as Maria Rambeau also lifts the film through scenes that evoke unexpected raw emotion. I also cannot forget to mention Goose, the cat that stole the show in more ways than one.
The film takes audiences back to the ’90s through a focused soundtrack. I found myself dancing in my seat numerous times because the songs chosen were timepieces — featuring artists like TLC, Salt-N-Pepa and Nirvana. Relics such as internet cafes, paper maps and Dial-Up Internet not only work to add comedy to the mix but also allow audiences to reflect on how much our society has progressed in such a short time.
The fight sequences in this movie were well choreographed. Props need to be given to Larson for doing an excellent job holding up against her opponents in hand-to-hand combat; she has been training for this role and it shows. The chase scenes on Earth were also compelling and captured the audience’s attention. With that being said, I thought that many of the other battles, which relied heavily on CGI, did not deliver. With this Marvel movie releasing so close to “Avengers: Endgame,” there is a craving for beautiful and well-constructed battles in space. I am not saying it must be colorful like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” it just needed to have more work done to it in terms of adding realism. “Captain Marvel’s” flying scenes look more like a video game cutscene rather than a blockbuster movie depiction of the most powerful hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her skin looks plastic, and all of the energy radiating from her body couldn’t hold my attention. And despite the nostalgia of the setting, the film’s scale is fairly small. In multiple instances, I found myself wanting to see more, but the locations are never explored enough. It felt like the characters would go to one location, have a chat, then move onto the next scene, making the settings seem unnecessary.
The film features shapeshifting Skrulls who have invaded earth and can camouflage themselves to look like anyone they see, copying the person down to their DNA. I am happy that Marvel has finally introduced the Skrulls. They add a new layer of mystery to the universe and encourage future surprises or twists. My only concern is that this plot device will become overused or predictable in future Marvel films. Luckily, this film does a great job balancing the Skrulls’ powers to keep audiences guessing. Ben Mendelsohn plays the lead Skrull, Talos, and does a fantastic job translating his emotions through the thick layers of green prosthetic makeup covering his face.
While I would not call “Captain Marvel” one of the best Marvel superhero movies because of its smaller scale and banal animation, its wonderful cast and interesting characters hold the audience’s attention for a majority of the movie. I was entertained and would recommend any fan of the MCU to give this movie a watch. I’m looking forward to seeing how this story continues and if Captain Marvel herself will shake things up for Thanos in “Avengers: Endgame.” I think she will.