One of the most powerful heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes her debut in Captain Marvel. Vers (Brie Larson) is a Kree warrior and a member of Starforce, lead by her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). The Starforce is sent on a mission to save one of their own from the Skrulls, a species of shape-shifting aliens, who have been at war with the Kree for centuries. Vers ends up being captured by the Skrull general Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), who is looking for someone on Earth named Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening), who Vers somehow has repressed memories of. Vers escapes from the Skrulls and crash lands on Earth, where she reluctantly teams up with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to find Dr. Lawson and discover how she ties in with Vers’ past.
After a decade’s worth of films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally releases its first female-lead superhero film, directed by the duo of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, Mississippi Grind). There have been multiple heroes of both gender that have gone by the name Captain Marvel over the years, with the film focusing on the character of Carol Danvers, who was originally known as Ms. Marvel in the comics. Captain Marvel introduces us to Danvers going under her adopted Kree name of Vers, with her being haunted by repressed memories of her time on Earth. As her backstory unfolds, it is learned that Carol Danvers was once an aspiring fighter pilot, who was assisting Dr. Wendy Lawson with a top secret project, involving the development of an experimental engine, which seems to be the reason why the Skrulls have come to Earth.
I’m probably not going to spend to much time talking about my thoughts on Captain Marvel, since probably the last thing the world needs right now is the opinion of another white male on this film. It is sad to think that fanboy culture is so adverse to having a female superhero that they would set out to try and sabotage this film before its release, similar to their response to the new Star Wars films and 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot. That’s a real shame, since Captain Marvel is actually a quite fun film. I wouldn’t go as far and say that it’s the best film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I wouldn’t say that I didn’t enjoy myself.
Part of the fun in Captain Marvel comes from the film’s 1995 setting, which results in a lot of nostalgic jokes involving Blockbuster Video, slow internet, and other 1990s tropes. The film also has probably the best soundtrack since Guardians of the Galaxy, filled with alternative rock tracks from the likes of Elastica, Garbage, and No Doubt. Then there’s the buddy comedy of the film, which has Carol Danvers teaming up with a young Nick Fury, played by digitally deaged Samuel L. Jackson. Then of course there’s a cat named Goose, who practically steals the film.
While Captain Marvel is a relatively stand alone film, there is still connective tissue with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, small the return of Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the appearance of Guardians of the Galaxy characters Korath (Djimon Hounsou) and Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). Then of course there’s the now obligatory credits scene that hints at the future of Carol Danvers.
Overall, I will say that Captain Marvel is a fun 1990s-set origin story for a hero set to become a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from this point forward.