By Nicole Fernandez | Staff Writer
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for their handsome male leads, building a widly successful franchise off the backs of superheroes like Iron Man and Thor. Now, the MCU has introduced their first lead superheroine. “Captain Marvel” stars Academy Award winner Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, an incredibly powerful alien warrior fighting for her people, called the Kree. It’s an intense two hours as the captain struggles with her abilities and discovers secrets that contradicts everything she is told, while changing the world that the Earth, or C-53 as the Kree refer to it, thought it knew. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck directed.
Returning to the screen is S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson, played by Saturn Award Winner Clark Gregg. He, alongside Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, were made into a much younger, smoother version of themselves through impressive CGI since “Captain Marvel” takes place during the mid-’90s, long before Coulson’s untimely death and Fury has his hard-as-nails persona. The former S.H.I.E.L.D. director even has a full head of hair and both eyes; his iconic eyepatch that was nowhere to be found. No spoilers, but the reason behind his missing left eye is finally revealed.
Based off previous MCU origin films, I had presumed that it would tell the story of how Carol Danvers, who goes by the name of Vers (pronounced like “veers”) on Kree, acquired her powers. This was true, but also totally wrong. Unlike Iron Man, the primary focus was not on her power’s origins. Captain Marvel already had her powers in the beginning; in fact, she showed them off within the first five minutes. This movie blended her past, present, and even her future seamlessly together.
As the film progresses, audiences are treated to flashbacks of Vers’ life. Just from the trailers it is obvious that she had a life prior to becoming a Kree, yet her entire backstory is not given until near the end. It was enjoyably frustrating to be aware of her past and, at the same time, knowing next to nothing about her human history. The twist they threw at us in the climax made the wait worth it, though.
Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg attempts to help Vers with her internal battle of maintaining her powers by controlling her emotions and memories. Despite his tough training and literal punches to the face, the relationship between the two of them is heartwarming, similar to a father-daughter bond. With their squad, which included Djimon Hounsou’s character from “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Crazy Rich Asians” actress Gemma Chan, they created a formidable force that could possibly rival the Avengers.
To an extent, “Captain Marvel” is a serious, almost dark film. That’s a given with anything from MCU. However, there were multiple moments of well-placed humor that lightened the mood, not to mention the hilarious interactions between Fury and Goose, a ginger cat they meet at an Air Force base. The soundtrack added to the ’90s atmosphere, with hit songs like “Come As You Are” from Nirvana, alongside Vers’ very cool grunge outfit of ripped jeans, leather jacket, and a flannel tied around the waist. I was transported to over a decade ago when the world had yet to transition away from the last of the late 20th century fashion and trends.
The action was on a whole different level. The fight choreography had everyone gasping and wincing at the screen. Larson trained for 9 months in judo, boxing and wrestling for her role, and she did not disappoint when delivering a truckload of butt-whooping moves to her enemies. It was great to see a hero that employed both hand-to-hand fighting and her powers in combat, instead of relying heavily on just one.
“Captain Marvel” was a film that had it all: humor, action, twists, and thrills. It tops my list of favorite MCU movies. Against the backlash of a thousand sexists, Brie Larson brought to life one of the biggest forces in Marvel, and she did it amazingly. I cannot wait until her return on “Avengers: Endgame,” and hopefully in a sequel.