Captain Marvel soars OK but can't land perfectly.
Indyfreak - wrote on 03/09/19
Marvel's newest movie starring their first female superhero is a winner that soars thanks to a strong leading performance by Brie Larson and a twisty take on the ever tiresome origin story. Taking inspiration from 90s science fiction thrillers like Men in Black, Species, and a little visual flair from the likes of ID4 and The Fifth Element, the action moves from planet to planet as the half human/half alien soldier Carol Danvers goes on avital mission to thwart a sinister extraterrestrial race.
Carol Danvers (Larson) is an elite member of the special forces overseen by the powerful Kree empire who are locked in battle with the shapeshifting aliens known as the Skrulls. Unfortunately, she is plagued by nightmares suggesting a past life on Earth so she teams up with the human secret agent Nick Fury (SLJ) to uncover her forgotten memories and prevent her home planet's war from spreading to Earth.
The space battles and chase scenes are energetic and fun to watch. Brie Larson is charming and snarky as Carol Danvers, often delivering one-liners with a sly quip and a smirk. Jackson is much more comedic as Nick Fury in this film, but displays a resourceful streak when called for. Ben Mendelsohn often steals the scene as the Skrull general Talos.
The film is not perfect however and it mostly comes down to other supporting characters getting shortchanged. There is a very small cameo appearance by Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) who is built up as a major threat but then shortly disappears. In the first two acts of the film, Danvers has a whole team of Kree warriors who are given little development aside from the stock characterization: Big guy; black guy; the chick; you get the idea. Clark Gregg reappears as Agent Coulson but doesn't do much (aside from resembling a young Dennis Quaid).
On the other hand, this avoids the film being bogged down in subplots and does make the movie more fast paced. What is most interesting about the plot is the introduction of some moral ambiguity to the MCU regarding ethics of war and espionage and military secrets. Not quite as well as The Winter Soldier and you wish they went further in that direction.
CAPTAIN MARVEL is another solid entry to the ever expanding MCU thanks to Brie Larson's charming performance, a fun buddy/mystery storyline, and yes, an enticing tease for the upcoming mega-blockbuster AVENGERS: ENDGAME.