Review by J.T. Johnson
The 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not a perfect ride, but it is still a worthy entry thanks to its brilliant lead and her de-aged sidekick. The movie starts off with Vers (Brie Larson), a Kree warrior with vague memories of a past she can’t remember. In the meantime, the Kree Empire is engaged in a deadly war with the Skrulls, a race of shape-shifting aliens that seem hellbent on taking over the galaxy.
Vers, and eventually her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), track the Skrulls to Earth in 1995 and Vers realizes that she has a connection to this planet. She then teams up with a younger Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) from S.H.I.E.L.D. Together, they set out not only to deal with the Skrull menace but also help Vers rediscover her past.
The movie does try to shake up the traditional origin story for Vers by giving her a script that is reminiscent of “The Bourne Identity” but with a galactic superhero flavor. This works well for the most part even though it does make the film slightly uneven. The pacing is slightly off in a couple of places and there are moments where I wished they had punched up the script’s sometimes mundane dialogue.
Beyond that, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie because Larson definitely kicks butt as Captain Marvel. She can be humorous at times but she also knows how to play the drama without taking anything too seriously. Producer Kevin Feige has said that they plan on making Captain Marvel the new leader of the franchise after “Avengers: Endgame” and they have definitely picked the right actor for the job.
Every great main character should have a great supporting cast as well and this movie is no exception. It was great to finally see Jackson in a slightly bigger role as Fury and to see the agent in his early days when he had a little more hope in the world. Jackson also has great chemistry with Larson and I would really like to see these two together again in a future MCU film.
Then there is Goose the cat. I can’t say too much about Goose without spoilers, but I can definitely say that there are moments where Goose steals the show from his human counterparts. You’re just going to have to trust me on that for the time being.
The setting of the film in 1995 is pretty fun as well as they reference everything from Nirvana to slower dialup internet connections and computers in general. In many ways, this film gives us the origin story of all the wonderful background elements that we’ve seen in other MCU films. For example, it was fun to see Vers and Fury fly off in a prototype Quinjet and to see younger versions of other characters such as Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).
I was surprised to see that this movie had more detractors than what is usual for a Marvel film. Yes, the script could have been a little more polished, but I felt that there were enough new elements here to justify the film’s existence. The biggest new addition being a badass new superhero that will help elevate the MCU to the next level in future installments.