Movie Review – Captain Marvel (2019)

She’s just a girl in the world, 3.5 readers.  Is that all that you’ll let her be?

BQB here with a review of Captain Marvel.

Amnesia.  Past lives.  Going back in time.  Shapeshifters.  Aliens.  The 1990s.  This movie has a lot of moving parts and none of it is spoon fed to you.  Instead, you’re trusted to hold on and wait for it all to make sense.  Eventually, it does.

In that respect, this isn’t the typical Marvel movie.  Most superhero origin stories are linear, while this one jumps around more than a Quentin Tarantino script on acid.  At times, I wondered if I had missed something but all I can say is if you feel that way when you see it, just give it some time.

Honestly, I don’t know how to discuss the plot without giving it all away.  Brie Larson is Carol Danvers, but also Kree warrior Vers.  Vers has memories of a life on earth that she doesn’t recall living and can’t make sense of.  Alas, to save the day, she’ll have to go on some earthly escapades during the 1990s.  (I don’t know if this is so much as a SPOILER as it is me giving you help that wasn’t provided me but I spent half the movie thinking Vers time traveled to 1995 only to realize the movie just begins in 1995 and the beginning just looks like the future because it takes place in space.)

Along the way, she teams up with a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who is occasionally helped by a young Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg.)  This movie should get a special effects Oscar because the tech they use to make Jackson and Gregg look younger stays pretty tight throughout the movie.

Part of the film is a buddy cop situation where Vers and Fury team up to track down the alien baddies.  They bust jokes on each other and it is fun.  There are 1990s throwbacks throughout – dial up modems, grunge music, and aliens who are used to super computers are freaked out by a Windows 95 desktop that takes forever to load a file.  Also, there’s a kitty who is pretty much the star of the film.

We live in a political world and unfortunately, sometimes that bleeds into movies.  There’s been a lot of online turmoil about this movie.  Some fans say it’s a great day for women as there’s finally a superhero movie with a female lead role (Wonder Women gets pissed when she hears this.)  Some detractors say the movie sucks and critics are just propping it up to make women happy.

Personally, once the movie started, all that drama went out the door for me.  It grabs you.  It does confuse you but it does eventually make sense.  Typical Marvel action and humor and it does have positive messages for women.

Some detractors have complained that this film doesn’t follow the traditional superhero origin arc and therefore, Captain Marvel isn’t relatable.  In other words, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America are all flawed individuals and they have to figure out a way to do their jobs without letting their shortcomings get the best of them.

Captain Marvel, on the other hand, appears to have no shortcomings.  As Carol Danvers, she was already pretty special as fighter jet test pilot.  As Vers, she’s a skilled Kree warrior.  There’s never really a moment where she’s like, “Wow.  I’m a dick because I have X problem.  I should conquer that problem to be a better hero.”

Eh.  I mean, OK.  That might be a valid point but then again, what are we saying?  Well adjusted people who never picked up bad habits or character flaws should not be allowed to become superheroes?

Plus, she does face adversity, something that all watchable heroes must overcome.  As Carol Danvers, she has to deal with men telling her she shouldn’t become a pilot.  As Vers, she has to deal with her Kree boss (Jude Law) telling her one thing while her conscience tells her another and so on.

One criticism is I could have used more info on the Kree.  Why are some of them blue and others not blue?  Is there a blue race on the Kree planet?  How do they get their powers?  Lots of unanswered questions.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Good addition to the Avengers universe.  And honestly, when there is political drama over a film where some are saying it sucks because it is too political and others saying it doesn’t suck or whatever, I’ll be honest and say whether it sucks or not.  For example, I didn’t think the 2016 all-female Ghostbusters sucked so much as I just thought it was rather basic and forgettable.  Captain Marvel doesn’t suck and I’d watch it again so it is worth your time.

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