Captain Marvel

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One of the reasons I’m not ashamed to still be reading comic books is that I appreciate the range they have. When I was little I devoured comics like Uncle Scrooge, and Casper the Friendly Ghost then I graduated to Batman and Superman comics, to now reading books like Saga which is a very rated R version of Romeo & Juliet that takes place in a messed up Star Wars universe. The point is there are comics for everyone, so naturally I figured it wouldn’t be long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe would do the same thing, and make a movie that was not for the hardcore fans that loved Captain America: Winter Soldier but something for the younger fans who enjoy the more fun elements like Baby Groot or Spider-Man. So now, as Stan would say “Get ready true believers, because here comes Captain Marvel!”

Vers (Brie Larson) is powerful Kree warrior hero who with her teacher Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) protect their world from the evil Skrulls, a shape-shifting race that are the sworn enemy of the Kree. While on a secret mission Vers is separated from her team and follows a group of Skrulls led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) to Earth in the year 1995. While there she meets Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who believes her story about alien invaders who can look like anyone. Together they try to find and keep a hidden light speed engine out of the hands of the Skrulls who could use it to turn the tide of the Kree/Skrull War. Along the way they discover a connection between Vers and Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who when missing years ago. As truths are revealed Vers must decide who she really is, where her alliances lie, and what to do with her incredible power.

Captain Marvel feels like the reward movie for little girls who’s dads dragged them to all the macho man Marvel movies for a decade. Now they get their own powerful superhero. Brie Larson as Captain Marvel not as awesome as Black Widow, Gamora, or Okoye but she is tough, cocky, and wise-ass enough to carry you through the entire film all the way up to the impressive CRASH-BAM-POW of an ending. Mendelsohn who has been on a villain run the past few years simply crushes it here again, by being wickedly funny in a very peculiar style. Both Larson, Jackson, as well as Law do their best with a rough script by a slew of writers including directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck along with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve. Combined they have written Disney movies, Marvel movies, and the most recent Tomb Raider movie. But with that many chefs there is bound to be a bit of combinations that don’t mix well.  The tone is a bit too goofy for it’s own good, some of the things the characters say and do seem very out of place.

The 90′ soundtrack reminded me of all those Vietnam movies where you hear the same Hendrix and CCR songs all the time, only here it’s TLC, Nirvana, and No Doubt in quite a few heavy handed moments. Not to say I wasn’t humming those hits later, because a catchy song is a catchy song. There are some powerful beats in the film that rival some of the more cringe-worthy ones. But like most Marvel films the action is solid and the final battle sequence is pretty amazing. This one just wasn’t made for me, it was made for my daughters, and I don’t fault Marvel Studios one bit for that, I just wish it was a bit stronger in its approach.

I wouldn’t put this in the category of Thor: The Dark World, or Iron Man 2, those are just not very re-watchable films. But if I’m being honest, it is in no way the caliber of the origins of Captain America, Black Panther or the other space brethren The Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s just not that kind of movie, it feels like a very mild and safe way to introduce Captain Marvel who is sure to light things up in another seven weeks in Avengers: End Game. And much like the first Avengers film and last year’s Infinity War, I cannot wait to see her meet the rest of the Marvel Universe.

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