Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck prove that even some of the most bizarre characters in the history of Marvel Comics can have exhilarating films with their latest feature, Captain Marvel.
In the year 1995, a Kree warrior named Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), also known as Vers by her commanding team is caught up in the middle of an alien war with a species known as the Skrulls; shapeshifting creatures that can take the form of any living being. However, as Carol has been born into Kree upbringings and has been taught to fight ever since she can remember, the warrior has to find out who she really is while also helping to bring peace to the war.
To say that Brie Larson is one of the most talented actresses working today would be an extreme understatement to me. She has proven countless times that she has incredible range and can pull of a wide variety of roles and do so seemingly with complete ease. One of her most human, raw performances was in 2015’s Room, where she portrayed a mother named Joy Newsome. All of her roles to date have been exceptionally well realized and her portrayal of Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel is no exception.
Throughout the duration of the film, we learn fragments of her past and where she came from, and even past friends she had made during her time as an Air Force pilot. Seeing these little flashbacks ended up ultimately culminating in some emotional scenes that I never saw coming. I haven’t felt this emotional in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film in many years, and it is in large part due to Larson’s performance.
Also terrific here is Samuel L. Jackson who reprises his role as Nick Fury, although this time with both of his eyes. It was highly interesting to see a much younger version of this beloved character and the chemistry between Jackson and Larson is electric and makes for a large portion of the film’s great humor. But making any actor look twenty years younger is no easy task, and the de-aging team did an absolutely stellar job at doing so for Jackson as well as Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson, who also comes back from previous MCU installments.
Something that I deeply appreciated with Captain Marvel was how it did not rely on a bunch of action scenes to keep the film entertaining. They did not appeal to the masses on this one and at times I hesitate to even call this a real gigantic superhero movie due to the amount of time that is spent on developing the characters, which is a massive positive in my book.
There are times when the running time can be a bit noticeable and sometimes the pacing can be a bit scattered and unsure of where to go next. This is by far the biggest issue present.
Also, sometimes the dialogue was a bit off as well. A character will say a line that was supposed to be extremely epic but at times can feel a bit strange. Gratefully the majority of the dialogue is great, it is just that a few times they can be a little jarring.
Captain Marvel is yet another win for Marvel Studios, proving that even a relatively unknown and bizarre superhero can be highly intriguing.
Overall Grade: A-
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou
Directed by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Running Time: 124 minutes