By Khaleel Hayes
The year is 1995 when pagers, pinball machines and Blockbusters were not just ancient relics hanging in a museum; they were a way of life. Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) lands smack dab in the middle of it after a mission to save a fallen comrade from the Skrulls, an alien race who can shapeshift into any person or object, goes sour.
While communicating with her mentor, leader and only friend, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), Danvers runs in with a young, two-eyed Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and some other agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Before Fury can arrest her, a Skrull is on the move and Danvers runs after it via subway/lightrail, which is sort of a reminder of the bout between Spider-Man and Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man 2.
After Fury’s comrade turns out to be a Skrull, he decides to find Danvers and learn more about the intergalactic race. After the two get acquainted, they set out to find the ultimate weapon to end wars, developed by Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening). Danvers remembers Lawson from her youth, but she can’t put the pieces together. After visiting an undercover facility, reuniting with old friends and flying through space, Danvers taps into her full potential and proudly wears the name, Captain Marvel, one of the strongest beings in this or any other galaxy.
Captain Marvel lives up to Marvel’s superhero quota–great action scenes, comic relief and scenes that tug the heartstrings. Danvers, in combat, has the wit of Iron Man and Spider-Man combined, which makes her a bit more appealing than Gal Gadot’s tough-as-nails Wonder Woman. She has no problems getting physical with the enemy, especially when she sends them on their butts with her atomic ray blasts. Brie Larson gives a marvelous performance that’s sweeter than her Envy Adams from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
Samuel L. Jackson gives his trademark performance as Nick Fury, the bad mutha-clucka of S.H.I.E.L.D., with a younger look. If Marvel can CGI Jackson that good, why don’t they make a Nick Fury origin movie with him as the lead and please make it rated R, so he can say all the inappropriate language that he says in films like Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and others. Speaking of Jackie Brown, Jackson says his iconic line, “That’s a yes or no question” to Danvers as they get on a plane and he asks if she can fly it. She says, “we’ll see,” but later gives a confident yes.
Jude Law also gives a great performance as the impatient mentor, similar to his role of Natalie Portman’s manager in last year’s Vox Lox.
Captain Marvel, like Black Panther, is another milestone for Marvel. Its first female-led film teaches girls it’s ok to fall down and get back up in what seems like a man’s only world. Girls and boys can also learn that it’s crucial to listen to your emotions as well as your brain when making the right decisions–and the true enemy isn’t always the one who looks different from us.
Studio: Marvel (2hr. 3 mins)
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Lashana Lynch, Annette Bening, Djimon Hounsou
Director: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Story: Carol Danvers, after landing on Earth, must find the remnants of her past in order to save mankind and the galaxy
Final Score: A+