If you’ve listened to me blabber on on fellow Funkhouser writer “Diamond” Daniel Dunston’s podcast Nerds for Normal People, you’ll know that pretty much all of us were skeptical about Captain Marvel. Every trailer released made it look like your run of the mill origin story, that because it’s Marvel, will inevitably be good, but might be a little bland. Well I owe Kevin Feige and Marvel an apology because Captain Marvel is a marvelous introduction to the MCU’s strongest and most badass hero.
Captain Marvel follows the story of Carol Danvers(Brie Larson), or as she’s first introduced in the film, Vers. Vers, having no memory of of her previous life, except for flashes in dreams is living on the Kree homeworld of Hala. Where she is part of an elite task force called “Star-Force” headed by her friend and mentor Yon-Rogg. With these dreams of her past life plaguing her, she and Star-Force embark on a mission in pursuit of the villainous Skrulls, shapeshifting aliens who are at war with the Kree. When the mission goes horribly wrong, Vers discovers who she really is and begins to question everything she thought she knew.
Right away I have to give a lot of credit to Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson. Larson brings a strength and presence that’s unlike any Marvel hero we’ve seen so far. She can undoubtedly hit you with a one liner and has a couple of funny moments, but she brings an intensity and dedication that wasn’t expected. She is Captain Marvel!
While I really want to praise the film for what it does right, I can’t go any further without calling out the most glaring issue against it. The opening act. Simply put, it’s a mess. It’s confusing and the whole time I kept getting a little bit lost. What I loved about Guardians of The Galaxy was that it was this big sprawling epic in space that had excellent characters, and we were discovering this brand new cosmic element to the MCU. In a lot of ways Captain Marvel doesn’t feel epic and grand until we leave space and she crashes into a Blockbuster Video on Earth.
As soon as Carol comes to Earth the movie really, really steps up its game and goes toe to toe with the best of the MCU. Taking full advantage of its 1990’s setting and cast, with great nods and songs to the decade. This is where we’re re-introduced to our good friend Nicolas J Fury. The film relies on a buddy-cop dynamic between Carol and Fury and I had a blast watching them interact. This is probably my favorite portrayal of the character by Samuel L Jackson and shows us a less seasoned Fury that’s easy to like. The CGI that they’ve used to make him look younger is really impressive he looks exactly like he did in the 90’s.
Marvel has been on a bit of a tear recently with its villains and that continues with Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, a Skrull general that you actually find yourself sympathizing with. The Skrulls in general I found particularly compelling and their shape-shifting abilities add a new layer of tension because they could be anybody. Without spoiling anything there are some awesome twists here that I didn’t expect and made the film that much better. Also if you’re a cat person, you’re going to want a cat like Goose, such a good boy.
Finally the final act of Captain Marvel is with the exception of Infinity War, the best final act in the MCU. Carol Danvers kicks a whole lot of ass and as it was happening in front of me I couldn’t help but think how much trouble Thanos is going to be in Endgame. She truly goes further, higher.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the touching tribute and awesome cameo by the late, great Stan Lee. It took me two and a half hours to cry at the end of Infinity War, but with Captain Marvel it only took 2 and half minutes. Such a great way to honor a legend who we can never repay.
Captain Marvel isn’t a perfect film, but on the whole it’s a stellar addition to the MCU. An addition I can’t wait to see in just over a month in Avengers: Endgame.
For what it’s worth, heres where it stacks on my list of the top MCU films.
4.Captain America:Civil War
6.Guardians of The Galaxy
7. Captain America: The Winter Solider
8. Iron Man
9. Captain Marvel
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