Saturday, March 9, 2019

Captain Marvel - Movie Review

The Movie: Captain Marvel

The Director: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

The Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg, Rune Temte, Gemma Chan, Algenis Perez Soto, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Mckenna Grace, Reggie, Gonzo, Archie, Rizzo

The Story: A cat named Goose saves the galaxy from all out war setting up the events that unfold in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, Carol Danvers discovers how powerful she really is.

The Review:
People will tell you that this movie is about Carol Danvers and how she reaches her full potential by rediscovering who she really is after years of being trained to become something else. People will tell you this movie is about the early days of S.H.I.E.L.D. and how Nick Fury first embarked on the journey that would eventually see him assembling Earth's Mightiest Heroes. People will tell you this movie is about how Earth becomes involved in galactic war between the Kree and Skrull races, a war that has been waged for as long as anyone can remember.

What people may not mention is that the movie is really all about a seemingly cute and cuddly and lovable cat named Goose that single handedly saves the galaxy without ever once asking for anything in return. Over the course of the movie he manages to unite a group of people who might otherwise be fighting among themselves while showing that real power and heroism can come packaged inside a furry orange purr machine. His triumph inspires those around him and shows that anyone no matter race, gender, species, or biological makeup can achieve amazing things. This my friends is what this movie is all about. Goose, or Chewie as he is known in the comics, is the hero we have all been waiting for.

Sure, all of that could be viewed as Carol Danvers' aka Captain Marvel's story as well and that's what Marvel and Disney want you to believe, but we all know better. Of course, Brie Larson does a fantastic job playing what I see as a supporting role to Goose and really brings her character to life, even under the shadows of Reggie, Gonzo, Archie, Rizzo who each did their part at bringing Goose to the screen. Larson has a vibe and energy that is as relatable as it is likable and she easily stands tall against some of her more established co stars, primary example being her interactions with Samuel L. Jackson who returns to the MCU as a de-aged Nick Fury.

Yes, this movie is set in the mid 90's so some fancy movie magic had to be created to get both Fury and other actors like Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson to look the part within that timeline. They both look great and I never felt like they looked odd or out of place so kudos to whoever was responsible for that. The music that was used for the movie was also spot on within the timeline featuring artists like No Doubt, Salt-N-Pepa, En Vogue, Nirvana, Garbage and Hole with Celebrity Skin being one of my favorite inclusions.

Of course, this wouldn't be a Marvel movie if it didn't connect to the rest of the MCU and there's a lot going on that does just that. From people to locations to discussions and so much more, there is a ton of really cool stuff to take in and piece together with previous movies. One of my favorite moments is when Carol and Fury go to a military installation looking for someone and, right away, it's obvious that this is the same place that eventually becomes the S.H.I.E.L.D. base we see at the beginning of the first Avengers movie. We also get to see characters like Ronan the Accuser and Korath who each debuted in the fist Guardians of the Galaxy.

Does the movie have any major faults? Not really but that is mainly because Marvel definitely played it safe in creating a movie that would appeal to everyone across the board so it lacks a bit of the emotional punch that I was hoping for. If that is the worst thing I can think of to say about the movie then I would have to also say job well done to the entire creative team and special shout out to the directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck who have been more well known as having worked together on a few indie films and TV projects before taking the reigns of this Marvel sized blockbuster production.

The Verdict:
Captain Marvel is a super charged introduction to one of the most powerful and most important super heroes we had yet to see make an appearance on the big screen. It is also one of the most well rounded entries into the MCU with just the right mix of action, drama, comedy, nostalgia, and high flying heroism. For Marvel fans, this is a no brainer and for women of all ages, this is the hero you've been waiting for.

Captain Marvel is also an early front runner for being my cat Flash's favorite movie of the year.

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