Captain Marvel
Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain Marvel.’ Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson).
Photo: Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2019

Title: ‘Captain Marvel’

Directors: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Clark Gregg, Jude Law and Annette Bening

Sometimes the most entertaining stories can also become some of the most inspiring and sentimental tales that leave a heartfelt effect on its audiences. That’s certainly the case for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures‘ first theatrical film release of 2019, ‘Captain Marvel,’ which was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fle, who also worked on the script with Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The distributor will unveil the sci-fi drama this Friday, March 8, under its Marvel Studios banner.

The action-adventure movie’s story follows the protagonist as she becomes the title superhero, after the Earth is caught in the center of a galactic conflict between two alien worlds. The film is also meaningful because it’s the first Marvel Studios movie to be built around a female superhero, after the company decided to pass on creating spin-off movies at the moment for such long and beloved Marvel Studios franchise characters as Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow, Elizabeth Olsen‘s Scarlet Witch and Hayley Atwell’s Agent Carter.

Set in 1995, ‘Captain Marvel’ follows the title character (Bree Larson), a Kree warrior who’s known as Vers on the planet of Hala. As a soldier for the scientifically and technologically advanced militaristic alien race, she regularly works on building her combat skills with her mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), the top leader of the intergalactic military force of the Kree. He continuously encourages her not to allow her emotions influence her combat skills, but she finds it difficult to stop her state of mind from determining how she’ll attack.

Yon-Rogg leads his elite team of mercenaries, Starforce, which includes Vers; his second-in-command, Korath (Djimon Hounsou); and the high-ranking Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), who also appears in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy;’ on a top recon mission. While on the mission, they’re forced to fight back against a gang of Skrulls, who are led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), and surprisingly ambush the Kree. After fighting back against Talso and his team, Vers unexpectedly lands in Los Angeles on Earth.

While left stranded and on her own, as she waits for Yon-Rogg and the Starforce to save her, Vers begins to hone her powers by trying to figure out who she was before she became a leading Kree warrior six years ago. As she sets out to uncover her past connection to Earth as Carol Danvers before she landed on Hala, fights back against Talos and his team of Skrulls from overtaking Earth and attempts to find her way back home to Yon-Rogg and their team, Vers meets Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the future director of S.H.I.E.L.D. who’s only a low level bureaucrat at the time, and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), who’s working at the time as a rookie agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Fury. The Kree warrior and agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. form a bond that will not only help her find the answers and solutions she’s looking for, but also have an influential impact on the espionage-special law enforcement-counter-terrorism agency.

‘Captain Marvel’ is an enthralling and radiant entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that surprisingly relies on both emotion and visuals to showcase the title character’s backstory, and how her life has influenced the trajectory of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the eventual forming of The Avengers. While other origin stories in the MCU, including ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and ‘Thor,’ have been inspired by darker elements, the latest entry has smartly gone down the route taken by such installments as ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Ant-Man,’ and instead emphasizes how humor has also helped inform the superheroes’ sensibilities.

Throughout ‘Captain Marvel’s story, Vers has strong and serious sentiments about uncovering her past before she became a Kree warrior, and fighting to do what’s right for all worlds. But she also isn’t afraid to engage in playful banter with the people she’s working with, especially Yon-Rogg and Fury, regardless of the situation they find themselves in, and are forced to fight their way out of, in order to secure their goals.

Larson was an intriguing choice to portray Captain Marvel in the superhero’s origin story, as she was previously best known for her leading roles in independent dramas, including her Oscar-winning turn in 2015’s ‘Room.’ But the actress naturally and grippingly proves that she’s worthy of the transition, however, as she radiates the natural ability that not many actors in comic-book superhero roles get the chance to show: freely expressing their true emotions and emotions without fear of consequence. Larson effortlessly plays the superhero as a determined and fearless warrior. While she’s determined to uncover the truth about her past, Vers also isn’t afraid to lead Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. into the intergalactic war between the Kree and Skrulls, and protect those who are truly innocent.

Like their main star, Boden and Fleck both also come from an indie filmmaking background, having previously worked together as co-directors on ‘Sugar,’ ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story‘ and ‘Mississippi Grind,’ which also starred Mendelsohn. While the visual effects and stuntwork on ‘Captain Marvel,’ which are included in such memorable scenes as Vers fearlessly fighting against several of Talos’ workers on her own on their spacecraft, to an exhilirating chase between the title character and Fury against several of the Skrulls on an L.A. highway and train, the sci-fi action movie’s most powerful moments are when the superhero relies on her wit and instincts to find the answers she needs. The helmers’ sensibilities as storytellers offer powerful insight into who Captain Marvel truly is, and not just as a warrior superhero, which is the essence of any origin story.

Sometimes the most entertaining stories can also become some of the most inspiring and sentimental tales that leave a heartfelt effect on its audiences. That’s certainly the case for ‘Captain Marvel,’ which is a captivating and riveting entry in the MCU. The origin story surprisingly relies on both emotion and visuals to showcase the title character’s backstory, and how her life has influenced the course of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the eventual forming of The Avengers.

With the support of such versatile and talented indie filmmakers as Boden and Fleck, who successfully made the transition into blockbuster tentpole territory, Larson powerfully portrays Captain Marvel in the superhero’s origin story. The Academy Award-winning actress effortlessly radiates the ability to freely expressing her true emotions, without fearing the consequences.

Technical: A-

Acting: B+

Story: B+

Overall: B+

Movie Review Details
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Captain Marvel
Author Rating

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *