Captain Marvel (2019)
On this trip to the movies, I was joined by my brother, Andrew. Both of us are Marvel fans and have watched everything the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) has released so far.
Set during the 90s, when flannel, grunge, pocket pagers, and Blockbuster video stores were still a thing. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) crash lands on Earth, teams up with a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and together they expose corrupt regimes, make each other laugh, and answer the mystery of the ages—why does Fury wear an eye-patch?
Captain Marvel opens with a very touching tribute to the late, Stan Lee, and ends firmly embedded into the MCU. This is yet another competently made product from Marvel that slots into the franchise as a better film than, say, Thor 2 and Iron Man 2, but doesn’t reach the goose-bumpy highs of The Avengers, or Captain America 3.
So, it’s a solid time at the theater. Mostly. Brie Larson certainly seemed to be enjoying herself, and the “fountain of youth” CGI treatment on Samuel L. Jackson is freakishly good. I enjoyed the 90s references, and the action set pieces are well put together.
Where I think it doesn’t work, is due to this being written more like a piece of the MCU puzzle, rather than a standalone film. This honestly felt like more of a warmup act for End Game (out next month), and as such, its girl-power message doesn’t land as well as it should, and its immigration allegory feels like an afterthought. As my bother so eloquently put it after the film, “It was a hodge-podge of Easter eggs to get you ready for End Game.” And he’s not wrong.
Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening
Directed by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Screenplay by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr 4 min.