Captain Marvel

The 90s are all that, and so is Brie Larson.

One of the most talked about movies of this season is “Captain Marvel,” the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It serves an honor towards women, by allowing a female superhero to take the lead the way Gal Gadot portrayed Wonder Woman in 2017. I know these are two different comic book universes, but the adage still applies.

The following takes place in 1995, way, way, way before Thanos snapped his fingers.

We meet Brie Larson as Vers, a soldier on the Kree planet Halos, who begins to develop memories of her past on Earth. Her mentor and commander Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) leads her and the other Kree soldiers on a rescue mission against their enemies-the shape-shifting Skrulls.

Vers becomes a victim of them, and ends up on Earth, where she meets the younger Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson with a digitalized face). The leader of the Skrulls, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), arrives on Earth to come face-to-face with Vers. But two things surprise her: she was an Air Force pilot by the name of Carol Danvers, and the Skrulls are really the good guys trying to find a new home from the real enemies-the Kree.

The cast also includes Annette Bening as a scientist, Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson (remember: this is 1995), Lashana Lynch as Carol’s old Air Force buddy, and Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser (again: 1995).

“Captain Marvel,” directed by Anna Fleck and Ryan Fleck, is a fun movie that feels inspired by “Top Gun,” “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” and “Memento.” It offers 90s nostalgia, amazing special effects, and its ability to continue helping women get their lead roles in superhero movies. Larson is smart and flexible as the title hero in the ways she struggles to regain her memories, and changes her outlook on life. And you get some supporting work from Jackson, Mendelsohn, and Law.

The 90s music (with hits from Hole, Salt-n-Pepa, TLC, and No Doubt) keeps things rolling along, and I’ve enjoyed listening to them. Even the old-fashioned trinkets and stores reminds you about your old generation. The alien make-up is “Guardians of the Galaxy” fascinating, because most of the Kree are blue, and the Skrulls are green. And obviously, this Marvel entry has a sense of humor.

It’s not at the Oscar-worthy level of “Black Panther,” because of how the story of Carol regaining her memories and who her enemies are gets a little complicated. But still, there’s a lot of ambition going on in “Captain Marvel,” and I enjoyed it for what it is.

Is this a warm up to the upcoming “Avengers: Endgame?” Probably so, but we can’t just jump to conclusions without an introduction.


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