With “Captain Marvel” in place, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has most superhero diversity bases covered, a few more to go but nearly there.
We first meet “Vers” (Brie Larson) as part of an elite Starforce Kree team readying to do battle with the dreaded Skrulls. Desperately seeking approval, Vers is trained by her mentor “Yon-Rogg” (Jude Law) in martial arts and controlling her powers, when not conversing with the supreme intelligence (Annette Bening).
When sent on a secret mission, Vers eventually crash-lands onto earth into a blockbuster video shop in the 1980’s. Which is where we earthlings used to hire movies from, for those viewers born after 1999.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) makes an appearance but not as we have seen him for a while. The CGI de-aging process has enabled joint directors Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck to create an origin story for Fury, cleverly creating a character arc we know from later movies in the series.
Vers over the course of the movie begins to remember her previous life as a hot shot fighter pilot “Carol Danvers”, where her relationship with her BFF “Maria” (Lashana Lynch) is formed. There is a complicated route via some neat plot twists until Danvers/Vers emerges from her metaphorical cocoon as “Captain Marvel”.
As we know from later movies, Captain Marvel is the most powerful of superheroes. Arguably kept to cameo parts in the last two Avenger movies, as acting alone she could win the day but “is too busy” with galactic events to be around for long.
The film is more complex than some and deals with some adult themes and even stranger cats – don’t ask. As you would expect the effects are top notch and the de-aging process works well and does not distract.
Larson makes for a strong central character, the train fight scene is fun, it’s not every day we cheer superheros punching old ladies. Jude Law gets to be Jude Law but Ben Mendelsohn who is in everything at the moment, adds surprising depth to characters even when subject to full CGI face and character changes.
As Danver’s friend from another life, Lynch also adds some gravitas to the proceedings and the film has an undercurrent of female empowerment, especially the final one liner which ends the film on a positive note.
Of course no Marvel movie is really over until the credits roll, the film neatly links in with “Endgame”, Marvel managing to fit all pieces neatly together, even when retrofitting is required.
A fun movie with a strong actor taking the main role, whether male or female should no longer provoke comment, which is as it should be.
Another excellent MCU addition, this continues the studio’s home run of hits and dovetails neatly into the ever expanding stable of superheroes.
Whether audiences will ever tire of this endless production line remains to be seen, current Box office suggests we have not reached peak MCU quite yet.