Captain Marvel (2019) – Directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck. Screenplay by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck & Geneva Roberstson-Dworet. Story by Nicole Perlman & Meg LeFauve. Starring, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg and Annette Bening.
Marvel Studios has done it again. Over a decade in the business, and the now juggernaut movie studio still knows how to deliver awe-inspiring spectacle without having to repeat itself.
Though still a super-hero origin story, the familiar three-act structure takes a break and allows this story to jump around in the hero’s timeline to deliver a different way of introducing a character. It is a bit risky, considering there are times you will sit there and think, “wait, did I miss something?” but rest assured the film ties itself up beautifully in the end, taking all the pieces and displaying the big picture like a astonishing mosaic.
From this point on, there will spoilers to the plot. If you do not wish to know what happens in the film, please wait to read this until after you have seen it.
Before the movie even released, it was obvious that the entire films success would bank on Larson portraying a superhero that the people will love. Iron Man wouldn’t be the cinematic powerhouse that he is today without having it all rest on Robert Downey Jr.’s shoulders, so it was inevitable that Larson was going to have to face the same test, and she crushes it completely. Larson is so good, in fact, that you forget that she is not actually the title character come to life.
Carol Danvers is a United States Air force pilot who is infused with an astounding power after she purposefully causes an explosion, involving alien technology that she was trying to keep out of evils hands. After the blast, the only thing left of Carol Danvers is a half of a dog tag, leaving the beings that find her in the wreckage to assume she was called Vers. Vers is then recruited into an ancient war between two alien races and by either fate or coincidence, makes her way back to Earth where she is left to figure out who she really is, and just how powerful she truly is.
It is the transition of watching Vers remembering who Carol Danvers truly was, and then how Carol Danvers had to become the hero that we would know to be, Captain Marvel that is truly just incredible and is the success of the film. Another key factor was how successful of a period piece this ended up being.
Though the 90’s do not seem that far away when compared to other films that tackle subject matter sometimes going back centuries, it is still something to behold and feel nostalgic about when Vers first comes to Earth via crashing through a Blockbuster video. The shelves are lined with hits from 1995, which are all in their VHS sleeves, of course. There are cardboard cut outs of famous actors, and the parking lot of the now extinct video rental store shares a parking lot with another blast from the past, a Radio Shack.
Finally, this movie would not have worked without Samuel L. Jackson coming back to reprise his role as S.H.I.E.LD. agent Nicholas Joseph Fury. Marvel has truly perfected their “de-aging” process with the technology they have developed, first showcasing the process with Michael Douglas in Antman, and really takes center stage as Jackson looks to be around the same age he was when he shot Pulp Fiction. The same can be said for Clark Gregg and his character Agent Phil Coulson. Watching the two of them start what we all know blossoms into a beautiful relationship, is so satisfying.
Captain Marvel, now in theaters.