Where next with a long running series? My least favourite answer is “prequel!” Captain Marvel isn’t exactly in that position for the Marvel Cinematic Universe but it often strays into explaining inconsequential matters of the earlier films. There are nods to plenty of them but if you aren’t interested in where Avpx Shel tbg uvf rlrcngu you can still enjoy this quasi-addition to the canon of Superman* movies.
Brie Larson is Vers, a Kree warrior in a special forces unit led by Jude Law in the eternal war of the Kree against the shape shifting Skrull. But Vers (yes, yes put your hand down at the back, we know its Carol Danvers) has strange memories of a past on Earth and weird visions of Annette Bening. Sure, who hasn’t had weird visions of Annette Bening but Vers also can shoot energy blasts from her hands.
So we get a bit of a Thor structure to the movie: an initial plot line on an alien world before the story takes us to Earth. 1990’s Earth to be specific which means a soundtrack with Nirvana, No Doubt and Garbage. There we meet Nick Fury (a de-aged Samuel L Jackson) and Agent Coulson, just starting out on their superhero wrangling adventures. While not exactly a Nick Fury origin story, he plays a bigger role than usual, even if relegated to Captain Marvel’s sidekick.
Witty dialogue, some nice visual jokes at the expense of the gone-but-not-forgotten Blockbuster Video and Radio Shack, nice soundtrack and some excellent space action keep the film going. There are some decent twists, perhaps guessable but enough to prevent the film feeling obvious.
Three years ago, I’d have said this was a particularly good entry in the Marvel film series but Captain Marvel has the tough act of following up Thor Ragnarok, Infinity War and the frankly deliciously good Black Panther. There’s certainly enough feminism in the film to wind up the worst sections of society but I sometimes feel they pulled some of those punches and maybe dialled things back a notch when turning it up to 11 might have been smarter.
I was entertained and pleased with the film and Goose the cat. There’s two bonus scenes in the credits, one connects to the events in Infinity War and the final one (after all the credits) is a bonus cat scene.
*[as in Kree as a kind of Krypton and Captain Marvel as essentially limitlessly powered cosmic being who is both alien and human]