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article imageReview: ‘Captain Marvel’ is a galactic force to be reckoned with Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Mar 10, 2019 in Entertainment
‘Captain Marvel’ takes audiences back to where it all started by introducing to them to an unstoppable superhero who was trying to save the world before she ever left it.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe consistently delivers entertaining films, they are less committed to sticking to a linear timeline. Consequently, the movies must be rearranged like puzzle pieces to get the full picture. The latest movie is about to bring things full circle by going all the way back to the beginning (or actually, just before the beginning) before swinging back to the present debacle caused by Thanos. In spite of featuring some very strong female characters in their films, it unfortunately took Marvel 20 outings to make a movie with a female lead. Nonetheless, the moment has finally arrived with Captain Marvel.
The Krees and the Skrulls are mortal enemies, scouring the galaxy to destroy each other. The Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening) put together an elite team of Krees led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) to eradicate the shapeshifters. Their secret weapon in the fight is Vers (Brie Larson), a woman imbued with incredible power that they’re training her to harness. Ambushed on an alien planet, Vers ends up on Earth in search of some elusive tech. However, she’s been plagued by forgotten memories and there’s something eerily familiar about this world. In the meantime, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is a lowly S.H.I.E.L.D. agent trying to make sure this intergalactic war doesn’t destroy his home.
For those unfamiliar with the comic books, they may be surprised to discover Vers, Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers are all the same person. However, in the context of the film, each name represents a different stage of the character’s life. Carol is her Earth moniker, and the one linked to her forgotten loved ones and former career as a military pilot. Vers is the name bestowed on her by the Kree, though it does have a notable origin. Captain Marvel is the culmination of her experiences and the woman/hero she chooses to become. There’s nothing confusing about her multiple handles, but they do offer an interesting means of getting to know her.
Since this narrative is set in the ‘90s before any of its predecessors, filmmakers are able to have fun with elements with which fans are already familiar. Fury’s name and still intact eye are the subject of several inside jokes, while Agent Coulson is the newbie on the team who makes a habit of following his gut. The ending is especially on the nose as Fury and Carol dispute the pronunciation of “Mar-Vell” and he writes a report suggesting Earth needs to consider forming a program to protect it from intergalactic threats — an idea with several inspirations from his most recent case, which also revealed an unexpected love of cats. This film introduces audiences to Goose, an orange tabby that captures everyone’s hearts with his comedic antics and furry loyalty.
This movie is expectedly thrilling with high-flying action, alien battles and extraterrestrial technology that puts Fury’s pager to shame. It’s also got a strong retro vibe for some things viewers may feel nostalgia for and others their happy to be rid of, including Blockbuster Video, walk-mans, slow loading speeds and dial-up. However, it does fall short of the impact DC made with Wonder Woman. Rather than change the way comic book movies depict women, this picture makes a standard superhero movie with a female protagonist. This approach doesn’t detract from Captain Marvel being an incredible character and, possibly, the most inherently powerful Avenger, but there’s also no doubt this is a Marvel film. But unlike its counterpart, the MCU wasn’t in need of a makeover so that’s not an entirely bad thing. The film also includes a nostalgic, era-appropriate soundtrack with female rock anthems from No Doubt, Hole, Garbage, Elastica and Heart, as well as music from Salt-N-Pepa, TLC and Des’ree.
True to form, there are must-see mid- and post-credit sequences: one that predictably links the movie to the present and another featuring the film’s adorable show-stealer. But more importantly, this movie begins with an affectionate tribute to the late Stan Lee and includes one of his last cameos, which couldn’t be more perfect.
Directors: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn
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