Date Released: 8 March 2019
Genres: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Duration: 2 hours 03 minutes
Age Restriction: PG 13
Actors: Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
The latest addition to the Marvel Universe, Captain Marvel has all the elements of a typical superhero movie; a heart-warming origin story, plot twists, complex villains and great visual effects, yet it somehow falls flat.
The Oscar winning actress from Room, Brie Larson, plays a Kree warrior by the name of Vers (pronounced “Veers”). Her mission is to defend her people against shape-shifting Skrulls. Through some unforeseen circumstances, she finds herself on Earth, as Carol Danvers, a test pilot working under Dr. Wendy Lawson.
Vers lost her memory in a battle that also gave her superpowers and not knowing who she is, she goes on a self-discovery journey, trying to piece her identity together from fragmented recollections. The arbitrary and muddled storytelling in the movies reduces Vers to a half-human, half-Kree fighting machine, whose persona is limited to the flashes of struggle she deals with to ultimately become a warrior to be reckoned with.
In the movie, Vers is cautioned against her own temperament, she is told that “Nothing is more dangerous to a warrior than emotion.” The storyline then demonstrates the contrary, she realises that her emotions are what empower her, instead of wearing her down. The movie’s weakness comes when it fails to explore a range of emotions and instead immaculately places constructive and productive emotions that help to neatly deal with situations. It takes away from normal human experiences and glosses over what could have been an element of depth in what is otherwise a hollow character with limited expressions and feelings.
On her journey, Carol manages to uncover an unsettling truth; the Kree’s longtime battles were based on a false premise. The Skrulls, far from being evildoers (or, as one-character calls them, terrorists), have been displaced from their homelands by the Kree; they describe themselves as “refugees” and are merely seeking a home.
Carol comes to doubt the presumptive virtue of her own nation and to recognize the legitimate claims of its enemies; she decides to return to battle, not to win but to “end it”—to end “the wars, the lies.” Vers has powerful Kree abilities: super strength, physical endurance, and the ability to shoot blasts of energy from her fingertips.
Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who also co-wrote the script with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, tried to make the best showcase for the first solo Marvel girl-power narrative (aside of Elektra 2005). Captain Marvel is worth a watch if you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), otherwise it can be skipped over. In all fairness, it does transmit a positive message to young girls but is certainly not anything new.