No MCU film has had the media circus surrounding it that Captain Marvel has. Whether it is the people angry at the politics of the film or the people angry at the lead actor’s public statements about the film’s reception, I only know one thing. That cat looked surprisingly real. If only Garfield 3 gets this kind of budget, Bill Murray might slide to the booth again.
The last piece of the puzzle to Marvel’s road to Avenger’s Endgame has fallen into place. Some are saying that it doesn’t fit, some are saying that it fits perfectly, and then there are folks like me who aren’t saying anything because we shouldn’t be talking in the movie theater. Save that for the Taco Bell run afterwards. Captain Marvel takes place in the 90’s, making it the earliest Marvel film in the chronology after Captain America. Carol Danvers is an alien warrior hero of Kree blood that crash lands on Earth. While trying to get home she starts to experience some serious deja vu as if she has been here before. With the help of a young Detective by the name of Nick Fury, she seeks out answers while protect Earth from another alien race that has invaded the planet, the Skrulls. I can honestly say I don’t know see the huge flaws everyone is saying they see in this film. Is it the best MCU film we got? No, but it is a solid, fun and enjoyable film to watch. The humor was forced, the story felt smooth and Samuel L. Jackson is out here consistently doing his damn thing. Special acknowledgement to Ben Mendelsohn for being the best part of this movie, as well. I am one of the ones that felt the trailers were a bit heavy handed and was praying it would not be an over-the-top attempt to capitalize on some poor representation of the feminist movement, but I thought the movie was good. Captain Marvel is a yes for me. This isn’t Ghostbusters 2016, it is a vibrant and cosmic look at the weirder side of Marvel. In a similar vein as the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, just not quite as good.
Spoilers from here on out:Brie Larson plays Carol, an alien woman with super powered arm blasts that I cannot explain scientifically. She’s part of Starforce, a team of Kree warriors that are like the galactic Seal Team 6. The team includes Djimon Hounsou reprising his role as Korath from Guardians of the Galaxy, three other Kree warriors named Minn-Erva, Att-Lass and Bron-Char. Their leader and Carol’s training/friend is Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg. Yon-Rogg and Carol train a bit and we see that Carol has trouble keeping her emotions in check. A big criticism of Larson’s performance was that she seemed emotionally detached from the role. If only there was some logical explanation for that. Like maybe in the script. We see Yon-Rogg talk her down into subduing her power on some “conceal don’t feel” type stuff. Elsa let’s loose anyways and catches him harder than Ana when she got the Rogue strand in her hair. The two go to speak with the Supreme Intelligence which is like an all powerful guide to their people. It gives out missions, passes judgements and everything in between. It manifests in the form of the one you admire most, which for Carol is an older woman she does not recognize. Despite all of the weird CG in this movie, the one part that kept irking me was the weird tentacles things they used to communicate with this thing. It just looked off to me.
Anyways, Starforce goes to a planet to save a member that was captured by the Skrulls. While there, we get a pretty cool scene that explains to us the power of the Skrulls. They can essentially morph into anyone like Mystique. The rescue mission turns into an ambush and a fight. Ronan the Accuser even Facetimes Yon-Rogg for permission to execute Order 66 on these boys and Yon-Rogg is like “naw dude we got it.” The mission goes south and after a run in with Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, the leader of these big bad Skrulls. Carol is captured and the Skrulls hook her up to this time rewinding machine that I feel like is giving a good amount of screen time because it may be involved in Endgame somehow. They are sifting through her memory to obtain info and/or locations on a device that is said to be powerful enough to blow up planets. After breaking free, Carol takes an escape pods and is jettisoned to Earth right into a blockbuster because, 90’s ya’ll boys. There’s some other funny 90’s stuff in the film like a reference to RadioShack and even Stan Lee playing himself on his way to film a scene for Kevin Smith’s Mallrats. Even the soundtrack uses No Doubt songs and tries to keep that tone. It definitely feels a bit weird and doesn’t quite work as well as the musical cues on something like Guardians, but it still didn’t bother me at all.
While on Earth, Carol bumps into a young a super impressively de-aged Sam Jackson as Nick Fury. It looked great! Fury and her butt heads a bit as he thinks she’s some crazy lady with a weapon, that is until he sees some Skrulls in action. He and a de-aged Clark Gregg, as young Coulson, give chase in a car. Turns out the real Coulson is still at the video store which leads to even more direct alien exposure for Fury. While helping Carol get closer to uncovering the mystery of her past from government files, the two meet Moose the cat. An orange fluff ball that Fury takes a strong liking to. Fury helps Carol uncover some information about her past, but feels called to do his job and report to his boss Keller their coordinates. We also see Fury do some dope spy work with tape and fingerprints. Fury soon realizes his boss is actually just a skrull copy that Talos has embodied to get closer to Carol. With Shield hunting the two of them down the are on the run and are cornered by young Phil Coulson. He makes a gutt call and lets them go because he believes there is something bigger at play. This scene isn’t super important, but it shows how “on it” Coulson was even back then. It leads to Fury and Coulson’s relationship down the road too.
Carol and Fury make contact with a young woman that Carol has been having visions of named Maria. They find her info in the documents and go to see what these memories and blanks are all about. We find out that Maria and Carol were best friends. Maria’s daughter even calls her Aunt. She starts to remember everything about her past. She was a pilot that was testing a secret power source for a plane that was off the books for Dr. Wendy Lawson. Lawson was their mentor and is the face Carol sees in the Supreme Intelligence. They are interrupted when Talos and some Skrulls roll up. Side note, Talos’s right hand man is this baby-faced Skrull whose name escapes me at the moment. This dude is hilarious and he barely has any lines. He’s great. Anyways, we find out the Skrulls are oppressed and don’t want the power source for a bomb, but for a ship that can get them far from the Kree’s reach. The search leads them to this off world location where a ship holds the power source, but once there Talos doesn’t want it. He was only after the passenger of the ship. His wife, kids and fellow Skrulls. Carol finds the power source, which is the freaking Tesseract! Yon-Rogg shows his hand as a not-so-nice dude who has been lying to and manipulating Carol. He calls upon Ronan and the Starforce to take back the source and stop Carol. It results in a final fight where we find out that Carol got her powers the same way Turbo the snail did. The battery on this hyper powered ship exploded when she tried to stop Yon-Rogg from getting it back then by shooting it. They took her and wiped her brain while giving her Kree blood for survival. Carol faces off with Yon-Rogg and hilariously destroys buddy after he tries to get her to fight with no powers. I forgot to mention the cat is actually an alien monster called a flerkin that kills a bunch of Kree warriors. Fury keeps the cat, despite taking a pretty damaging scratch to the eye and the cat eventually vomits up the tesseract after eating it on the ship.
Overall I had a blast watching the movie. It was funny, entertaining and we even got a little clip of Endgame where Carol answers that galactic pager she gave Fury. My memory of the tesseract is fuzzy, because I thought Howard Stark fished it out of the water in Captain America: The First Avenger. I guess between then and Captain Marvel Dr. Wendy convinced them to use it for her project? Oh yeah, Dr. Wendy was actually the original Mar Vell. That’s how she knew all of this advanced stuff. She was Kree. That was a twist that I didn’t really expect. That and the Talos twist which was acted to perfection by Ben Mendelsohn. Talos is easily my favorite in the movie, I hope we see him again. A twist that I saw coming a mile away, however, was Yon-Rogg being a bad guy. After the first act established that the Supreme Intelligence manifests as the one you most admire, I though for sure that we would get a scene where Jude Law enters the mind palace thing to report on Carol’s location and the Supreme Intelligence would look like Thanos. That would’ve been dope and you can’t convince me otherwise.
My recommendation of the day is the movie Room starring Brie Larson and the golden boy Jacob Tremblay. It truly is great and made me realize Brie was more than just Abed’s awkward coat check girlfriend in Community. Also, since most people mix them up, the other recommendation is The Room starring Tommy Wiseau. Just watch it man, who cares?