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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Captain Marvel

March 6th, 2019 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

I love Comics. I love movies. I love when the two come together.

Sure, we have a whole heap of bad ones since the 80s that stray too far from the source material for us fans but I love when movie audiences are introduced to these characters for the first time and watching if a spark is ignited to go read or discover more about them.

It’s not for everyone, but the MCU for the most part has done a damn good job of doing this over the past 11 years.

Taking elements from the various characters to hold the title “Captain Marvel” in the comics, The MCU incarnation of Captain Marvel is here and she is a force to be reckoned with.

The movie opens with (Vers Brie Larson) on Hala, a Kree planet. She is a Kree Starforce Warrior and a formidable one at that. We learn that she was found by the Kree with no memory of her past but has powers that she has not fully mastered yet. Her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) tries to encourage her that she must control her emotions and learn to act with logic if she wants to unlock her full potential and help in their mission to protect the Kree way of life.

This leads them on a mission along with a familiar face seen in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie (This Film is set years before the events of GotG) to extract a Kree spy from some Skrull terrorists on a remote planet – The Skrull are an alien race of shape shifters and enemy of the Kree who can infiltrate any civilization.

From here the actions takes us from the far reaches of space to Earth in 1995 where Carol will learn about her past and we learn along the way how her presence there will shape and inspire what is to come in the MCU.

You would expect the normal formula for a comic book origin story, but writer Nicole Perlman and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have crafted a story that moves along engagingly as Carol’s mission to track down the Skrulls on Earth to find a power source they want is intertwined with her finding out about her past life as an Air Force pilot and how it may have led to her new role in the universe as a member of the Kree Starforce.

The film is also laced with great humour and gags.

I’m not gonna say anything about Goose the Cat – he would get a whole paragraph to himself.

We get to see a younger softer Nick Fury as played by a pre-eye injury Samuel L Jackson and Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) out in the field and hints at what inspires future SHIELD protocols. Both benefit from the de-aging magic CGI as seen in previous MCU movies for some actors/ characters. But it suits Fury better.

As always there are cameos and eagle-eyed fans will spot some other characters and objects from the MCU and a nice reference to another of my favorite movies in a sweet moment. All I’ll say is: “would you like a chocolate covered pretzel?”.

The themes of deception, what’s in front of you is not to be taking at face value and knowing when to break the rules are quite evident as Carol and some other characters must choose between what is their duty and what is the right thing to do.

Also another great aspect of the film that will resonate with young boys and girls is resilience. As Carol’s memories are accessed we see that she has always picked herself up and been driven by wanting to be the best version of herself. Before she lost her memories and became part Kree, she was an air force pilot at a time when she was told she wouldn’t make it to that level.

Larson is great in the title roll: she handles herself well as the amnesiac warrior who can switch to big sister mode when needed. She could have done with some more scenes as she remembers her humanity to flesh out pre-Kree Carol – she didn’t set out to end up the other side of the galaxy and had a life on earth which was taken from her.

Lasron’s interactions with Nick Fury are brilliant and at times they feel like a buddy cop movie combo. She is a smart-ass and kick-ass Hero: think Buffy mixed with the latest incarnation of She-Ra.

Along with Jude Law, the characters played by Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull leader Talos and Lashana Lynch as Carol’s fellow pilot and Best Friend Maria during her life on Earth stand out too and as the film rolls on you see how each are important to Carol’s discoveries about herself .

The 90s backdrop is fantastic and not too heavily thrown in your face and the film feels like it was shot then too – just with today’s special effects tools thrown in to beef it up.

If you were around in the 90s you are going to recognise a lot of the bands and songs used, some to great effect. The amount of kids who are going to look up NIN for the first time and hear them is something I’m looking forward to getting reactions about.

But, by now you should know what to expect from the Marvel movies: you like them or you hate them. And Captain Marvel is firmly within the Marvel mould, it’s an entertaining and fun SciFi action movie but if you don’t like Brie Larson or the MCU in general, it’s not gonna to change your mind.

Like Alita: Battle Angel a few weeks ago, it has heart at its core and a new Hero for kids of all ages to root for.

As always don’t leave once the credits and end song kick in. Wait 😉

What Carol has been up to for the past 24 years and how she has changed or what she has seen is something I would like to see explored in the inevitable sequel(s).

Now only a few weeks to go till Endgame and hopefully we find out.

3 out of 5 Nerds 

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.