“Captain Marvel,” brings the audience back to phase one in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ with a mixture of 1990s nostalgia, shape-shifting alien doppelgängers, and Brie Larson blasting light beams in space.
The film stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn and Jude Law.
The story follows intergalactic super soldier, Vers (Larson) from the distant planet of Kree in the midst of an ongoing conflict in the mid 1990s between the Kree race and the race of the Skrulls, a group of aliens that they have been fighting for centuries. Befriending S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Jackson), the pair hopes to settle the conflict once and for all in this humor-filled, action-packed superhero origins story.
The film shines brightly with entertaining action sequences, witty one-liners and funny banter between the main cast and well-balanced pacing; however, “Captain Marvel” falters with a weak villain and relationships that could have been more fleshed out for the audience to care about the emotional moments in the film.
It is no secret that Marvel movies over the years have been the spectacle for blockbuster entertainment and this film is no exception. The action sequences are fun, loud, colorful and thrilling, showcasing Larson’s brutal physicality throughout the film.
There is a variety of hand-to-hand combat, galactic dogfighting and fast-paced shoot-outs that both sound excellent and look visually stunning. “The action scenes are playful and engaging to watch with Larson’s physicality and choreography really taking center stage during every fight,” said Meg Downey from ign.com.
However, even though the action sequences are fun to watch, they can often leave the viewer disoriented at times. Instead of creating tension and brutality, the audience is left puzzled as to what is actually happening in some of the scenes, especially those involving hand-to-hand combat.
The humor in the film is a treat for the audience, since it makes the relationships among characters more grounded, light-hearted and realistic. Dialogue between characters is both witty and laugh-out-loud hilarious, and of course, Vers dealing with 1990’s technology from Earth makes it all the more amusing.
Furthermore, Jackson’s charismatic performance leads Fury’s unfamiliarity of Kree’s species and technology to be all the more laughable. Without spoilers, let’s just say his relationship with an animal provides for some laughable and cute moments in the film that cannot go unnoticed.
The film’s run time is two hours and two minutes, but a balance of expositional scenes and action make for a well-balanced story that does not overstay its welcome. Some exposition in the first act may drag on for a few minutes too long, it is rather a minor flaw that does not affect the pacing of the film overall.
The villain of the film is unfortunately too two-dimensional for the audience to care about his motivations. This ultimately weakens the climax, leaving the third act to be an action-fest with not as much of an emotional impact that the audience would want.
Vers and Fury have great rapport with each other and their relationship feels natural and is the best in the film. “Larson and Jackson play off of each other beautifully, trading snappy banter and affectionate zingers with ease,” said Christy Lemire from rogerebert.com.
Jackson’s character provides for some very entertaining sequences, although he is closer to an after-thought as opposed to a legitimate supporting role.
Vers’ other relationship with her old friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) never really reaches its fullest potential. There are a few emotional scenes between them that are very well acted, but those emotional moments feel rushed so we can feel for the humanity of Vers.
“Captain Marvel” is yet another home run when it comes to the blockbuster genre due to its humor, great performances, 1990s nostalgia and entertaining action sequences, although the substance just isn’t quite there yet.