For the past six years, Carol Danvers, portrayed in the film “Captain Marvel” by Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room), has been residing on the alien planet Hala. As the viewer will soon learn, Hala is the home planet of the Kree race. Danvers is a member of the Kree Starforce, which is a contingent of elite warriors; as a member of the team, Danvers is referred to by the name of Vers. She is part alien and part human, and possesses, among other powers, phenomenal strength and the ability to fly. She has been living with the Kree on Hala, and has been training, and continues to train with her warrior mentor, Commander Yon-Rogg, played by BAFTA winner Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley). Unfortunately for Vers, she has no recollection of anything she did prior to living on Hala. She suffers from post-traumatic stress and receives fragmented pieces of a past she can’t make logical sense of. The condition, understandably, leaves her with a yearning to know, not only who she is, but where she comes from, as well as, how that information could have an impact on her future. (As an aside: Captain Marvel, the twenty-first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe of films, is the first to feature a stand-alone story of a female character).
Toward the beginning of the film, there is an attack on the Kree planet by the shape-shifting Skrull, who are the mortal enemies of the Kree. The Skrull are led by Talos, acted by Emmy winner Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline). During the mayhem, Vers crash lands on Earth, in the mid-1990s, however, she is not out of danger, because not far off, on her trail are the enemy Skrull. Not long after crashing through, of all places, a Blockbuster video store, Vers is picked up by characters familiar to fans of the MCU films, Nick Fury and Phil Coulson. During the time this film takes place, Fury, played by BAFTA winner Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), is not the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., as he has been known throughout numerous MCU films. Fury is a regular agent, who is sans his eye-patch and leather jacket, and is dressed in professional garb. An additional change regarding Fury’s character, that viewers will note, is that they will get a chance to see a more humorous side to the agent, as opposed to the gruff, all business persona he has been known for in the other MCU films he has appeared in. Furthermore, since this story takes place in the past, thanks to digital de-ageing technology, Jackson’s character appears decades younger than his actual age. The same is done with Fury’s fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). In addition to the aforementioned characters, included, but not limited to, are, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), an air force pilot and mother to Monica (Akira Akbar), who was Danvers’ former best friend, prior to the accident that led her to be living on Hala.
Vers purpose, while on Earth, is to find a special engine that was created by her mysterious former mentor, Dr. Wendy Lawson, portrayed by two-time Golden Globe winner Annette Bening (Being Julia). Vers needs to locate both the machine and its creator before the Skrull do, or the consequences for the Kree could be disastrous. The more Vers researches her past, the more she learns about the life she once led on Earth, which includes, amongst other things, her relationship to Dr. Lawson, and the work Lawson was and is doing. Vers also investigates the real story behind the conflict that exists between the Kree and the Skrull. During this time, she begins to realize that not everything may be as it appears.
An aspect of the film that I did like, is that, in one respect, to a degree, it changed the formula that was used in its predecessors, as it relates to its origin story. In most films that feature super heroes, the individual, who becomes a hero, starts out rather ordinary, and over time, through a variety of different means, garners the knowledge and the abilities that separate them from the vast majority of humanity. In “Captain Marvel,” however, Vers is already aware of her abilities. What she seeks is, not to find out how to harness her powers, or for someone to teach her how to handle her new found abilities, but instead – the answers regarding her past. Does she find those answers? I’ll let those of you who want to watch the film find out for yourself.
“Captain Marvel” was directed by Anna Boden (Billions) and Ryan Fleck (It’s Kind of a Funny Story). Boden and Fleck also contributed to the writing of the screenplay, along with Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) based on a story created by the aforementioned three, who also collaborated on the story with Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Oscar nominee Meg LeFauve (Inside Out). The film premiered in London on February 27, 2019. The negative reviews and unflattering commentary put out by some individuals on social media prior to the film’s release, certainly did nothing to diminish its box office. As of the writing of this post, the film has grossed over $330,000,000 dollars.
All in all, I enjoyed “Captain Marvel.“ I thought it was, for the most part, a fun and entertaining film, and that’s exactly what I expected it to be before I watched it, so I was pleased that it didn’t disappoint. In addition, while I certainly didn’t think that “Captain Marvel” was the best or the most praise-worthy entry amongst the MCU film offerings, it was far from the worst. I think the character has great potential for growth, and I look forward to see where Captain Marvel is taken in future installments of the series, along with her inclusion in other MCU films.