Captain Marvel

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Captain Marvel (2019)

Directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Story by Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch

Carol Danvers (Larson) unexpectedly becomes the most powerful hero in the universe when earth becomes the location of a galactic war between two alien races.

This comic book movie is the 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The story was put together by a team that included Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy), Meg LeFauve (Inside Out), Anna Boden (Mississippi Grind), Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson), and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider (2018)). In addition to directing the movie, Boden and Fleck also finished the screenplay alongside Robertson-Dworet. Brie Larson (Room), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Jude Law (Gattaca), Ben Mendelsohn (Darkest Hour), Annette Bening (American Beauty), and Lashan Lynch (Brotherhood) are just a handful of the stars.

The writers did a good job putting this story together. They had a lot of options since this was the first time Captain Marvel would be seen in the MCU. The writing jumps right into the action, opening up with a new setting and a number of new characters. From there, Captain Marvel is thrust into the strange world of 1995 on earth. The story has some great twists and turns, and keeps a good pace thanks to the action. The characters are great, and the dialogue works. Bringing the last superhero to the Marvel party couldn’t have been an easy task. The writers had to bring something fresh to the film, while maintaining the connection to the bigger universe. The weakness of this movie comes from the unavoidable comparisons to other “firsts” in the MCU. There are very few characters that feel memorable or endearing. While this isn’t a bad story, it doesn’t quite find the tone and quality of the previous origin films.

The acting in this one is solid from the majority of the cast. Playing the title role, Brie Larson did a good job giving her character a unique and entertaining personality. Her best moments in this one come with a mix of humor and curiosity. Larson also handles the action sequences nicely. Jude Law joins her with a solid performance of his own. He was given a complex character, and he does a great job making it work opposite his co-stars. One of the few familiar faces in this one is Samuel L. Jackson. This time he does a good job bringing 1995’s Nick Fury to life. He establishes a good chemistry with Larson that helps carry much of the film. Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, and Lashan Lynch are just a few of the other actors who add solid performances to this one. Despite some story weaknesses, this cast did great work with the material.

This movie looks very good. The cinematography, sets, costumes, and other visual elements all come together wonderfully. The movie also features a great soundtrack that helps to bring the era of the movie back to life. While it doesn’t break the mold, this one doesn’t leave much room for criticism of the production work.

This is a very good movie, but there’s something missing in the end result. Some of this comes from the way it fits into the MCU. Some of it also comes from a story that doesn’t have the same punch as the previous introductory films. Instead of the humor and fun of Ant-Man or the drama of Captain America: The First Avenger, this one lands in the middle. I would still recommend this one to fans of the Marvel franchise. It has some fun moments and a lot of action. I give this one 3.3 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 123 Minutes

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