Sunday, October 17, 2021

EUR Film Review: ‘Captain Marvel’ is Mesmerizing!

captain marvel
“Captain Marvel” premiere (Brie Larson, via Twitter)

*In introducing the character that Marvel Studios is banking on leading their franchise into the future, they go to the past. Back to the ’90s, to be precise.

It turns out to be a brilliant decision.

One very important reason is that it allows “Captain Marvel” (Brie Larson) to be the first superhero Earth has seen. More accurately, that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) have seen. With the film being set back 25 years in the past, Fury is not the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet, but a low-level bureaucrat – with two functioning eyes. Coulson, meanwhile is a rookie agent instead of the jaded veteran Marvel fans have come to love through the years.

Speaking of years, the people responsible for de-aging both Jackson and  Gregg 25 years worked some real magic, as it is so flawless you forget the actors are now a quarter-century older. Playing younger versions of themselves seems to have invigorated both actors, especially Jackson, who finally shows acts like the agent who will someday run S.H.I.E.L.D. and not the Jackson with a spare tire around his middle back in 2010’s “Iron Man 2” that didn’t look like he had enough conditioning to READ a training manual.

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The nostalgic setting also helps set up Captain Marvel and Fury as partners in what is, for a while, a buddy cop movie, which both Larson and Jackson pull off to great effect.

What brings Captain Marvel to Earth?  Well, we see her at the beginning as part of Starforce, an elite military team of a race called the Kree, joined by comrades like Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) before accidentally returning to Earth with questions about her past and identity as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot.

But is she a Kree with implanted memories of a past that never was or is she a human who somehow has joined the Kree? As Carol slowly realizes her true self in “Logan” like fashion, she also has to deal with the fact that she is a fugitive on Earth and hunted by both her allies the Kree and their mortal enemies, the shape-shifting Skrulls, one of whom is played magnificently by Ben Mendelsohn, who as the Skrull Talos, who we find has usurped Fury’s boss, a Donald Rumsfeld-like character.

She simply has to stop two alien races from an alien conflict that could destroy Earth.

As the movie progresses, stuff that was cloudy becomes clear, things that seemed transparent and obvious become opaque and Carol Danvers reaches her true potential.

That potential is breathtaking to behold, as perhaps not even Thor and Superman have been presented as powerful on the big screen as she is. It’s definitely close.

While this may seem risky, the payoff is worth it. Also, no matter how hard she hits or fast she can fly, the film is grounded by Danvers’ relationships with Fury, Yon-Rogg, and her best friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and her daughter Monica (Akira Akbar) – or were they just implanted memories too?

The there is Annette Bening who plays…ah, that would be telling.

With fine acting all around, a fresh script (various writers contributed) and suspenseful chases out of the ’70s, jet scenes out of the ’80s, train scenes from the ’90s and nods to films like “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, brings a fresh vitality to its stew of nostalgia and, in so doing, created a tale that is both modern and timeless.

As Carol Danvers regains her memory, Brie Larson slowly makes the character her own.

The result is a mesmerizing “Captain Marvel” that is truly out of this world!

“Captain Marvel” hits theaters nationwide March 8.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.



  1. Mr. Maida,
    I’ve been reading your insights to this world for years. I just saw the movie and you’ve outlined it brilliantly. Let’s hope the good Captain gets to test herself against Superman or Thor on film down the road.


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