Captain Marvel ★★★★½

As the movie starts we are greeted with the Marvel logo and the comic book pages flipping. Usually we'll see pictures of our favorite heroes such as Iron Man, The Hulk, and Black Widow, but not this time. Instead we see images of a great icon, probably the most renowned comic book writer, who gave us the stories of heroes such as Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four. A true hero in his own right, thank you Stan Lee, for creating these wonderful worlds and characters for me to get lost in, you will be sorely missed.

Captain Marvel tells it's story through a series of flashbacks our hero, Vers (Brie Larson) who is a Kree, as she sees glimpses of a past that she doesn't remember. It comes in bits and pieces throughout the film and it makes Vers question what can't she remember. After a mission gone wrong with her team, including it's leader and Vers' mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), Vers is kidnapped and her memories are probed by their attackers, a group of shape-shifters known as the Skrulls. Vers escapes and heads towards planet earth. After crashing through the roof of a Blockbuster she meets an Agent of Shield. We finally get to see the long awaited re-introduction of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). However, since this film takes place in the 1990's they play a younger versions of themselves, with the use of CGI to make them look younger.

The cast overall did a great job. There are a slew of characters and they all have great chemistry, but there are so many characters some do get lost in the shuffle, primarily Vers squad-mates. I'm glad we got to see Coulson back in the MCU but seeing him digitally de-aged was a bit weird since I see him weekly on Agents of Shield where he is much older. Then there is Nick Fury played impeccably by Samuel L. Jackson and he stole nearly every scene he was in. He and Larson both have great chemistry which really helped bolster their relationship.

Then, of course, there is our titular hero Goose who gave the best performance of this generation. Brie Larson is also in this film but can't hold a candle to Goose. All kidding aside Larson delivers a wonderful performance as Vers/Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel. She brings a lot of snark and sass, as well as moments of anger, happiness, compassion and grief. This movie just reaffirms for me why I think Larson is such a great actress. Without her, the film wouldn't be nearly as good.

Spoilers for the film and Agents of Shield!

There are quite a few plot points in the film that have been vital story beats in Agents of Shield including the tesseract and the Kree. Then of course there is the shows star, Phil Coulson. I wonder if the show will somehow ever make it in the MCU films. From what I've heard it seems unlikely but it's a shame since both the movie and the show shares important plot points.

I'd also like to say that when Carol Danvers finally unleashes her true power it was quite a spectacle. She mowed down her enemies left and right through powerful energy beams, hand to hand combat, flight, and stopping Kree nukes midair by just grabbing them. I remember reading somewhere that Kevin Feige said that Danvers is the most powerful hero in the Marvel universe. I don't know if that's true to the comics but I loved it and Danvers is such a cool hero. Apparently Daisy Johnson/Quake is also one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe and she is in Agents of Shield so it would be cool if they would team up one day. It's unlikely but one can dream.

End spoilers!

I don't think that I've hidden my distaste for Phase 3 of the MCU. I enjoyed both Black Panther and Infinity War but hated Doctor Strange and Homecoming and had actually considered walking out of both of them. I also watched Thor Ragnarok on Netflix and quit about halfway through that one. However, Captain Marvel reminds me of Phase 1 of the MCU. For me that phase was the best and I loved Iron Man, The Hulk, and Captain America First Avenger. This film just felt like the old Marvel films that I really loved and it was refreshing for me to watch.

On the technical side the film was good for the most part. It has some good cinematography, costume and production design. I didn't really like the CGI though. There were some good moments, mostly in the final battle, but the rest of the time it looked fairly bad. I'm not sure quite how to describe it but I guess that it looked too clean and shiny.

With a engaging story and solid performance from Larson, Jackson, and the four cats who played Goose, Marvel's Captain Marvel is one of my new favorite films in this cinematic franchise. Despite some iffy looking CGI and some underdeveloped side characters, this film overall was a blast from start to finish. Now I must wait till I can see Endgame... Highly recommended!

P.S. I had a lot of nostalgia watching this with the Blockbuster and Radio Shack stores, the Gameboys and pinball machines and AOL and really slow dial-up.

Andrew liked these reviews