“Captain Marvel,” the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has a lot to do. It has to introduce the character of Captain Marvel, so audiences are up to speed when she shows up in “Avengers: Endgame.” It has to show us more corners of MCU that we heretofore haven’t seen. It also has to tell an entertaining tale that packs in all the fun and action we’re used to getting from a Marvel movie.
There are some potholes in the road, but “Captain Marvel” accomplishes all that and more.
“Marvel” introduces us to Vers (Brie Larson), a member of a crack Kree warrior team led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). Vers keeps having fragments of flashbacks to a past she can’t remember, which causes her to struggle in controlling her special powers. When she accidentally crash lands on Earth, she runs smack dab into things that are connected to her past.
Vers also runs into a younger, two-eyed Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who joins her mission to stop aliens called the Skrulls from overrunning the universe. Together with Fury and Goose the Cat, Vers begins to unravel her past, learns she’s a pilot named Carol Danvers, and begins to harness and control her cosmic abilities.
“Marvel” works the familiar Marvel movie formula. There are some strong character moments, interspersed with some funny jokes and energetic action sequences. It also fills in a few holes in the Marvel movie continuity and throws in a few cool Easter eggs just for good measure.
Oddly enough, this is the first Marvel flick where the main character is the least interesting part of the story. Part of that has to do with the Carol Danvers character is written. Carol is a character without a past and who is searching for an identity. In stories like this, it helps to give the character a strong, charismatic personality, and unfortunately, the writing doesn’t do a lot to help out with this.
The character also suffers from Larson’s flat performance. While Larson does inject a few moments of personality into the proceedings, she’s working with a limited emotional range. She does a good job of selling the heroic stuff, and overall it’s not a terrible performance. It just lacks a little life.
Also, “Marvel” is front-heavy and takes too long to get going. The plot jumps from location to location and features a lot of flashbacks, and they tend to derail the story train during the first half of the movie. The plot eventually settles down, but for it’s a bumpy ride for a while.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of great stuff to offset these flaws. Jackson is fantastic as Fury, and it’s good to see him get more screen time.
It’s also nice to see Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson on the big screen again, even if the effects done to de-age his face are less than convincing at times.
We also see Skrulls, the best aliens in the Marvel universe, with Ben Mendelsohn killing it as the Skrull leader, Talos.
The action is competent, with the best bit being a claustrophobic fight aboard a passenger train. The Marvel movie universe is expanded. We get to see new places and aliens, and exciting future possibilities are raised. Also, Goose plays a major role in the story and is a big, big highlight.
Overall, “Captain Marvel” is a lot of fun, packs in a couple of excellent surprises and enriches the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And make sure you have a few tissues on hand. You won’t have to wait very long to use them.
3 ½ Indy Fedoras out of 5
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Thanks to Fat Cats in Rexburg for providing screenings for movie reviews on EastIdahoNews.com.