Saturday, January 4, 2020

Movie with Abe: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Released March 8, 2019

There is no seeming end to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which continues to produce more movies even after it brought together all of its characters in the epic two-film saga that was “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Its superheroes all bring something different to the table, and many are based on very popular comic characters. What’s often most interesting is when the protagonists less featured or well-known get a chance to explore their own origin stories and invite audiences to visit their unique and wondrous worlds.

Vers (Brie Larson) is a Kree soldier with an incredible power that her mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), trains her to help her harness. When they are separated during a mission to rescue a spy, Vers is interrogated and realizes that the dreams that she has been having of a life on Earth may in fact be memories that can help explain her past, which include a scientist named Lawson (Annette Bening). When she arrives on Earth, Vers meets young S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who quickly learns that she is telling the truth about her alien identity and does his best to support her in her quest to figure out whose side she’s really on and what she can do with the abilities she has yet to fully unlock.

This film, which was the only Marvel movie released in between the two mega-blockbusters that signaled an official end to the fourth phase of films, is notable for being the first of its kind to feature a female lead. Larson is undeniably a fantastic fit for the role, giving Vers a tremendous energy and confidence that allows her to quickly establish a banter with Fury and find entertainment in her every interaction with him and others who attempt to challenge her in any way. Jackson, who has a bigger role here after minor appearances in so many other films in the franchise, is entertaining as always, and it’s fun to see him play a younger version of the character. Ben Mendelsohn is particularly entertaining in the supporting cast.

This film effectively manages to bring in many familiar elements of other Marvel Cinematic Universe projects, including its signature agency and its later director, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), and the Kree people. Rather than waste time on too much exposition from the start, this film launches right into the action, allowing the woman also known as Captain Marvel to discover herself along with the audience. It’s an engaging and very watchable experience, one packed with a number of superb flight and chase scenes and great visual effects. The sequel is already in the works, and the way this film delivers on its premise suggests bright things for the future of Captain Marvel.


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