Captain Marvel is the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, acting as a sort-of prequel to Avengers: Endgame, which opens next month. I say sort-of because it mostly exists to introduce viewers to Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), a heretofore unmentioned hero in the MCU who will be joining the Avengers for Endgame, and apparently playing a major role going forward. In the comics, Carol is actually the third person to go by the name Captain Marvel; originally she went by the name Ms. Marvel. That's the short history, onto the review.
Captain Marvel opens on the Kree home planet of Hala. We first met the Kree back in Guardians of the Galaxy, where they are presented as one of the major powers in the galaxy. At this point in time, they are at war with another major power, the Skrulls, a race of shape-shifting aliens who infiltrate and take over planets. Vers (Brie Larson), who suffers from amnesia is a new recruit for a Kree para-military strike team called Starforce. She has a recurring dream about what she believes to be her past life, but has no idea what any of it means (I'm being intentionally vague here because of spoilers).
Vers' first mission with Starforce is to rescue an undercover Kree intelligence operative before the Skrulls can capture him. Things go south, and Vers ends up on Earth, circa 1995, along with a group of Skrulls who have stolen a vital piece of Kree intelligence. She crosses paths with a SHIELD Agent named Nick Fury, and the situation quickly becomes more complicated from there. Along the way we learn how Nick Fury lost his eye, gained possession of the Tesseract, and devised the Avengers Initiative first mentioned all the way back in Iron Man, which came out eleven years ago. Wow, I feel old.
I can't really go into more details without getting into heavy spoiler territory at this point, and I really don't want to do that with Avengers: Endgame right around the corner. Captain Marvel is another Marvel movie, and if you've seen the rest, you know what to expect at this point. As a film, Captain Marvel doesn't really stray too far from the Marvel formula, and it hits most of the right notes in the right places. That's not necessarily a negative thing though. I personally found Captain Marvel to be a lot of fun, and ended up enjoy myself more than I expected. It's a bit clunky in places, which, for the most part, can be attributed to its attempt at cannon-welding past events into an already existing narrative. There's also a handful of places where the filmmakers leaned into the "Girl Power" a little too much. At the same time, the Space Opera stuff is all really cool, and I really enjoyed learning more about the Kree Empire, as well as finally seeing the Skrulls (longtime villains in the comics) onscreen. Lee Pace even reprises his role as Ronan the Accuser from the first Guardians film.
It also plays on 90s nostalgia the way other films and TV series, such as Stranger Things for example, play on 80s nostalgia. When Vers crashes into Earth, she actually lands in a Blockbuster video full of VHS tapes, and in other places it often feels like a film made in the 90s. I personally really enjoyed that aspect, since I actually grew up in the 90s, but I'll fully admit your mileage may very there. Captain Marvel isn't anything new, and it's definitely not a perfect film. However, I personally felt that it was a lot of fun, and it's certainly worth seeing before Avengers: Endgame opens next month.
My next post won't be next Friday, since I'll be reviewing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and I actually need to play it before giving my proper thoughts. See you folks then.