Before Marvel Studios drops their cinematic behemoth, “Avengers: Endgame” next month, the MCU is getting a very important introduction with the arrival of “Captain Marvel”. It has taken a decade for the studio to deliver a female led super-hero film, and it turns out that she is the most powerful of them all. Does that mean that “Captain Marvel” is also the strongest of the various character’s solo films? Nope! it is good, but not as marvel-ous as I had hoped.
As the story begins, we are introduced to Vers (Brie Larson). Fans of the character know that is not her full name, which will be discovered later-on. With no memory of her past, Vers has been living on the Kree home-world, training with the elite military unit, known as Starforce. Her commander is Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). Unlike the rest of her team, which includes “Guardian’s of the Galaxy’s Korath (Djimon Housou). Vers has super-powers. She can generate powerful energy blasts from her fists. Though, she hasn’t figured out how to control them.
When a shape-shifting alien race know as the Skrull, captures Vers during a mission, they unlock memories to her past. It turns out, she is originally from Earth and it doesn’t take long for her to arrive on her native planet, along with the Skrull who have a mission of their own. Vers only experienced memory flashes, so everything on Earth feels completely alien to her.
Because “Captain Marvel” is set in the 1990’s, the Avengers don’t exist yet. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is a low-level Shield Agent and his rookie partner is none-other than Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). Both-of-them have been de-aged thanks to visual effects. They are also the first to have contact with Vers (with-the-exception of a mall security guard).
It is hard for me to go further into the story without potentially ruining elements of the film so I am going to shy away from narrative and focus on what works and doesn’t work in “Captain Marvel”. Because this is an introduction to the character, it takes quite a bit of time for things to get interesting. Brie Larson is a fine actor, but she has difficulty making her character interesting. It is even more obvious when paired with Jackson’s Nick Fury. When the two are together, Larson is overshadowed by Jackson’s flair. Larson looks the part but just doesn’t quite sell it. Ben Mendelsohn on the other hand has some fun as Skrull leader Talos. His character was the most surprising, because he played it completely human in a laid-back kind of way. Those of you wondering what the deal is with Goose the cat, all I can say is that feline brought me some of the biggest joy in the film. I am not saying anything more about Goose than that
Vers aka Captain Marvel does eventually get to show off what she is capable of and it does look pretty-damn cool, but it just never felt exciting. Maybe it was too much CGI or maybe it was something else. “Captain Marvel” is a solid installment in the MCU even if it left me a bit underwhelmed. Hopefully Larson will be able to hold her own a bit better when we see her join the Avengers next month. From what I hear, she will be a major part of the story.
By: Marc Ferman