Captain Marvel: an appetizer for Endgame

From Issue 8

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become perhaps Hollywood’s most popular film franchise over the last 11 years. Each new movie in the MCU is met with ardent anticipation, as fans are eager to learn the latest update in the overarching large narrative that connects all of the films. 

Captain Marvel, released on March 8, is the 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following the end of last year’s Avengers:  Infinity War, in which Nick Fury, as he and half of all life were killed by Thanos’ snap, frantically presses a pager with Captain Marvel’s logo on it during the post-credits scene, many were curious to see how Captain Marvel was going to fit into this year’s Avengers:  Endgame. Additionally, many others were excited about Captain Marvel due to it being the first MCU film focusing on a female hero. 

Captain Marvel is set in 1995, making it the second film chronologically of the MCU, after Captain America:  The First Avenger, which takes place during World War II. The film pays homage to its 90’s setting, playing 90’s music throughout the film and having Captain Marvel fall into a Blockbuster when she arrives on Earth.

The movie begins on the Kree planet Hala, where a soldier known only as Vers has recurring nightmares involving an old woman whom she cannot identify. She has been with the Kree for six years and cannot remember anything about her life before then. Yon-Rogg, Vers’ mentor and commander, trains her to control her abilities while the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence that rules the Kree, urges her to keep her emotions in check.During a mission to rescue an undercover operative infiltrating a group of Skrulls, alien shapeshifters with whom the Kree are at war, Vers is captured by Skrull commander Talos, taken aboard their Earth-bound vessel, and subjected to a memory probe. Vers escapes and crashlands in Los Angeles. 

On Earth, Vers begins to have memories rush back to her. She comes to realize she once had a life on Earth. The remainder of the movie follows Vers as she learns her true identity and what caused her to become a member of the Kree. 

Vers (aka Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel) is played by Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson. Also starring is Samuel L. Jackson, revising his role as Nick Fury from other MCU films. The filmmakers, through makeup and digital editing, were able to essentially de-age Jackson, making him look the age that Fury would have been in the 1990s. Unlike other MCU films, Fury has both of his eyes in Captain Marvel. 

In my opinion, the coolest part of the film was the way it set up and explained events of previous MCU films, particularly the first Avengers movie. Several nuggets and easter eggs were planted throughout the film to appease the most avid Marvel fans. Additionally, the movie provides several details that will almost certainly be relevant to upcoming megamovie Avengers:  Endgame, which will culminate the 22 movie story arc of the MCU. 

One special feature the movie has is in its opening when it plays tribute to Stan Lee, the legendary Marvel comic book writer who recently passed away. Instead of playing clips of the different heroes, different clips of Stan Lee in his cameos are played. 

  Overall, Captain Marvel, while certainly not the best MCU film released to date, will satisfy Marvel fans for its importance to the MCU and is an entertaining movie that everyone can enjoy. Larson and Jackson provide strong lead performances, and the movie has several surprises that make for an exciting time. The movie is funny while at the same time providing the superhero action sequences that people have to come to expect and love with Marvel movies. Additionally, the movie portrays an important message:  don’t let anyone tell you what you are capable of and place restraints on who you can be.