‘Captain Marvel’ an exciting and powerful origin story


Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (2019)

Ever since Thanos snapped and half of the world’s population turned to dust last spring, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been on edge. It seems like no amount of superhero films can satisfy us until we see what’s going to happen next to “Earth’s mightiest heroes” but unfortunately, we still have to wait. So in the meantime, Marvel takes audiences back in time to where it all began: introducing us to a powerful, new star, “Captain Marvel.”

“Captain Marvel” has got it all: a cool, seemingly unstoppable heroine, a compelling origin story and a plethora of 90’s references and vibes including 1990’s Samuel L. Jackson. It’s hard not to love a film that’s this fun.

“Captain Marvel,” the historic first Marvel female-led film, focuses on Veers (Brie Larson), a Kree pilot who has mysterious superpowers and flashbacks that she can’t quite explain. Veers trains with her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) in combat skills and controlling her powers, and while she’s an impressive soldier, her identity is still a mystery to her.

After being taken prisoner by the Kree enemies —a group of shape-shifting alien “terrorists” called Skrull— Veers’s brain is sifted through and examined by her captors. Frankly, she’s just as clueless about her past as they are, but she soon escapes to a mysterious planet called C-53, aka Earth, landing in California in the year 1995. To be honest, this section of the film is the weakest, and I felt just as lost and confused as Veers for a while.

When Veers teams up with a young Nick Fury (a very realistic digitally altered Samuel L. Jackson) she discovers the truth about her past as an Air Force pilot named Carol Danvers and fights to reclaim her identity and reach her full, awesome potential.

“Captain Marvel” is one of the most fun Marvel films so far. It doesn’t weigh itself down with brooding characters or complicated plot points, but it instead works to simply be a great origin story. It’s not every day that you see Nick Fury with both eyes standing outside a Blockbuster. The writers understand the potential that this story has and have successfully made the most of it.

An all-star cast leads the way for this new, very powerful heroine with Oscar-winner Brie Larson taking center stage as Carol Danvers herself. Larson plays the hero with plenty of charisma and courage while making her immediately likable and easy to cheer for. Her character constantly perseveres under trials and gets back up again and again, even when she’s unsure of who she is as a person or how her past affects her current identity.

However, I wish that Carol was a more well-rounded character. She has awesome powers and plenty of swagger, but many of her motivations come across as flat or unconvincing. It’s hard to read what she’s thinking and even compared to other Marvel characters, she doesn’t feel like a complete character. Larson is such a wonderful actress, but her talent wasn’t fully exhibited in this performance, which is disappointing.

Samuel Jackson returns as his enigmatic, straight-talking Nick Fury, but with both eyes and a friendly demeanor. After being digitally de-aged Fury has a new pep in his step and joins in on the action more than he’s done in his past Marvel appearances. Annette Bening also does a fine job playing Carol’s mentor Dr. Wendy Lawson.

Many people have criticized “Captain Marvel” for being lackluster, but its simplicity is what makes it so refreshing. It has several clever nods to other Marvel movies, but it also stands on its own while not taking itself too seriously. With plenty of action and humor, its two-hour runtime flies nearly as fast as Veers herself.