By JD Phillips
Never in the history of film has there been so much controversy over a film that is so totally inoffensive.
If you’ve been pretty much anywhere on the internets the last few months, you’ll know that the new Captain Marvel movie has made lots of people really really really REALLY REALLY REALLY upset. This movie was reported to be the selling out of Marvel and the beginning of the end of the extended franchise as a whole.
Except it’s a completely normal Marvel movie. Aside from being the first MCU film to feature a female lead and the fact that it’s completely set in the 90’s instead of occasionally flashing back to the 90’s, it’s just like pretty much any MCU origin film.
We meet the Kree soldier Vers as she trains with her superior officer Jude Law. They go on a mission that goes poorly and Vers ends up stranded on Earth. Here she learns about a conspiracy involving the Skrulls, an American scientist, and a pilot named Carol Danvers.
The movie is honestly a lot of fun. It has impressive fight scenes, a solid plot, and pretty great humor throughout.
The cast is all pretty great. Brie Larson kills it in every single scene. For all the drama about how robotic Larson looked in the first trailer, it’s amazing how charming she is in almost every scene. Seriously, they picked the only scenes where she’s not being energetic for that trailer. Very strange.
The rest of the cast is also really solid. Jude Law plays a surprisingly tough military commander. Annette Bening is serviceable as the Great Intelligence (among other things. No spoilers.) Lashana Lynch makes great use of limited screen time as one time Captain Marvel Maria Rambeau. And Ben Mendelsohn has a lot of fun as the surprising Skrull commander Talos.
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise but the actor who steals the show here is Samuel L. Jackson. He has a ton of fun as the younger, less grizzled Nick Fury and has outstanding chemistry with Larson. Every scene between the two of them is just gold.
There are a few things about the film that don’t work. It gets so concerned with the various twists and turns associated with the plot that the middle of the film drags a bit. The ending makes up for it by being a cgi battle spectacular when Captain Marvel fully embraces her powers.
This is far from the best Marvel movie but it’s farther from the worst. It may be the most medium good of the franchise as a whole. It’s just better than clunky films like Ant Man and Thor but not quite as solid as films like Thor: Ragnarok and Iron Man. It’s a solid popcorn summer film delivered early in March. Go see it, you will have a blast.
Best part of the film though is the opening Marvel crawl. I don’t want to spoil it but it does perfectly memorialize MCU favorite Stan Lee in about the best way it could. I didn’t get choked up! You did!