TOM TANGNEY

‘Captain Marvel’ isn’t ‘Infinity War’ but is still thoroughly enjoyable

Mar 8, 2019, 7:23 AM | Updated: 7:24 am

Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers in the latest Marvel movie based on a comic book character, Captain Marvel.

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She’s as a woman who doesn’t quite know who she is. But as it turns out, she’s discovers she is Captain Marvel herself. But that doesn’t happen without a whole movie’s worth of self-reflection, mixed in with lots of fistfights, firefights, and intergalactic dogfights, of course.

When we first meet Larson’s character, she’s called Vers and is in training as a Kree warrior. The Kree are an alien civilization in a galactic battle with the Skrulls, a shape-shifting alien race.

Since this is an origin story, there’s a lot of backstory to get through.

Vers ends up chasing Skrulls all the way to Earth, where she crosses paths with a human secret agent and spy, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who can’t quite get a handle on who he’s dealing with.

“Excuse me miss, why are you dressed for laser tag?” Fury asks Vers upon their initial meeting.

“Oh boy. You guys don’t have any clue, do you?” she fires back.

Vers and Fury team up somewhat reluctantly as she battles to save her own skin and track down her past. Vers has no sustained memories, only shards and flashes of random and uncontextualized images. Over the course of the film, these images begin to cohere and she slowly reconstructs her life, all the while fighting off her enemies in order to stay alive.

“Your life began the day it nearly ended,” one Kree leader tells her. “We found you with no memory. We made you one of us, so you live longer. Stronger. Superior.”

Captain Marvel eventually comes into her own as one of the most powerful superheroes ever, but not before having to revisit and overcome a lifetime of putdowns and dismissals.

Very much a self-empowerment movie for girls, the climactic moment is perhaps a little too reminiscent of the recent Serena Williams “Dream Crazier” ad. But at least, the message is received loud and clear.

“I’m kind of done with you telling me what I can’t do,” she proclaims.

That line may not rival “I am woman, hear me roar!” but I’m sure it will resonate all the same.

Captain Marvel matches the high entertainment standards of Marvel movies in general. While it’s not in the league of Avengers: Infinity War or Black Panther, it is nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable film.

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