At long last: a female-led Marvel hero origin story. And what a hero she is. Brie Larson’s Vers/Carol Danvers is a photon blast of fun. There’s a teasing mischief to her humour which is worlds away from someone like, say, Tony Stark, for whom wit is just another weapon toRead More
Captain Marvel Info
Release Date: 2019-03-06
|Original title||:||Captain Marvel|
|Directed by||:||Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck|
|Written by||:||Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet|
|Starring||:||Brie Larson, Gemma Chan, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Mckenna Grace, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Kenneth Mitchell, Colin Ford, Lashana Lynch, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Robert Kazinsky, Raul Torres, Ana Ayora, Adam Hart, Pete Ploszek, Clayton Chitty, Gastón Dalmau, Mel Powell, Connor Ryan, Damon O'Daniel, DJ Jenkins, DaJuan Rippy, Danny Wendt, Rayniel Rufino, Chuku Modu|
|Production company||:||Marvel Studios|
|Distributed by||:||United States of America|
|Translations||:||English, Pусский, Português, Español, Polski, Italiano, Deutsch, Français, Český, ελληνικά, Español, Türkçe, 한국어/조선말, български език, 普通话, עִבְרִית, Український, Magyar, Português, ozbek, Dansk, 普通话, 普通话, ქართული, Slovenčina, svenska, Srpski|
“Captain Marvel” review: A clever addition to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, and just in time
Unlike most of its superheroes, Marvel works within well-established systems to accomplish its goals — in this case, the corporate refineries of Hollywood and its theatrical and home-video pipelines.
The Avengers may be wrecking cities in order to save humanity, but Disney-owned Marvel is more interested in polishing existing ideas and watching the money pour in.
However, that shouldn’t discount Marvel’s risk-taking, calculated though it may be.
“Captain Marvel” is the latest link in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s decade-long, 21-film-and-counting chain of comic book adaptations. It isn’t as epic as last year’s “Black Panther,” as brightly fizzy and tonally daring as 2017’s “Thor: Ragnorok,” or as witty and propulsive as 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” — arguably the MCU’s three best.
But it is a long-overdue addition that finally lets a woman lead for the first time, and an acrobatic bit of narrative choreography that adds to and stretches what we already know about the MCU.
We’re introduced to the would-be captain, first known as Vers (played by Brie Larson), on a mission with her fellow Kree warriors — a blank-faced, highly trained force led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and various glowering, blue-skinned killers. The symbolic register Vers exists in as a member of Kree’s elite Starforce is an echo of her previous life, which only appears to her in memories as jumbled and confusing as blurred puzzle pieces.
The Kree are at war with the shape-shifting Skrulls, and the brutal dynamics of their fight recall contemporary conflicts in their collateral damage and deception. Larson excels as the choice for a lead here, communicating equal parts uncertainty and steeliness with precious little dialogue.
Through her flashes of memory and disciplined training, Vers is also waking up to the fact that she possesses an untapped power, even if her trainer, leader and ostensible father-figure Yon-Rogg assures her, “There is nothing more dangerous for a warrior than emotion. Humor is a distraction. Anger only serves the enemy.”
In other words: Be a machine and don’t think about what you’re doing. That’s something Vers finds impossible, particularly when her interstellar adventures bring her to planet C-53 (a.k.a. Earth) in the mid-1990s, a time when Earthlings are unknowingly caught between the warring Kree and Skrulls.
With the words of the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening, as an A.I. projection) fresh in her mind, Vers begins the same journey into a secret past that we’ve seen in numerous Phase One MCU entries, from “Thor” to “Iron Man” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
In stumbling fits, the film plants its feet in shallow waters, trading in timeline-establishing cultural references that feel as awkwardly broad as they are tacked-on (please, hold your Blockbuster jokes for another decade or so). Luckily, we also get to meet a young(er) Nick Fury, inhabited as always by Samuel L. Jackson, with seamless digital de-aging effects.
At this point in his life, Jackson is basically just playing a composite of all his previous screen roles, with an emphasis on the coolly capable Jules Winnfield from 1994’s “Pulp Fiction” (incidentally, the year before “Captain Marvel” is set).
That’s not a bad thing given Jackson’s charmingly calibrated MCU turns and his chemistry with Larson’s fish-out-of-water Vers — who’s beginning to realize she’s actually a former Air Force pilot named Carol Danvers.
Well-written and credibly acted supporting characters such as former USAF pilot Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and the unpredictable Talos (Ben Mendelsohn, doing what he does best as a creepy yet vulnerable Skrull) help pad what feels like a throwback to an era of less visually crowded, CGI-driven action flicks.
But since the plot is built on twists and revelations, there’s little else to say that won’t spoil it for most viewers. The references to existing MCU properties and Marvel lore — as well as a truly impressive revision that assures us Captain Marvel was at the core of The Avengers Initiative all along — arrive fast and precisely. As does the humor, which is lighter and less forced (for the most part) than recent superhero films, MCU or otherwise.
Unlike macho, hyper-violent sci-fi titles, “Captain Marvel” feels inviting to both kids and hardcore MCU devotees. Not because it’s holding back in some way, but because it realizes how many of the overstuffed distractions in Marvel’s lesser films — from fetishized explosions and planet-ending crises to busy, hard-to-follow establishing shots of our heroes battling — are just that.
“Captain Marvel” has fun with itself in other ways, incorporating warm synthesizer into a fine orchestral score that recalls the classic “Dr. Who” theme as much as “Rick and Morty.” As its story winds from personal discovery to defense of innocents and intergalactic insanity, the puzzle pieces magnetize and sharpen into a triumphant image of a hero discovering herself despite discouragement, lies and invisible restraints (literal and figurative).
Encouragingly, there are a handful of cheer-worthy moments that rival Rey’s third-act discovery of her full powers in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Larson has a lot to shoulder as the script — written in part by directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck — layers weighty, relentless change on her back. But she has nothing to prove to anyone, as Danvers quips at one point, and that’s just as clear in the real world following Larson’s 2016 Oscar for “Room.”
Larson can turn a moment as slight as walking into frame and blowing a strand of hair out of her face into an uproarious, powerful visual beat. Never mind that the period music (mostly from great, women-led ’90s bands such as Elastica, Hole, Garbage, Salt ‘N’ Pepa and No Doubt) isn’t always as effective as it should or could be, or that “Captain Marvel” features the MCU’s worst child acting thus far.
As it hurtles toward its next point on the timeline — “Avengers: Endgame,” scheduled for April 26 — the MCU remains an exciting, occasionally disorienting place. The fact that they’re years late to the game in having a woman lead one of their movies doesn’t change the fact that they’re finally doing it.
Think of this, “Black Panther” and other self-consciously diverse additions to the MCU as the spires on a long and ornate build like Barcelona’s centuries-old construction project Sagrada Familia. Things are only looking up from here.