Brie Larson Flies Onto The Screen As The New “Captain Marvel”

Gabriel Anton, Staff Writer

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Ever since audiences saw Captain Marvel’s insignia appear on Nick Fury’s intergalactic pager in the last ditch attempt to call for aid after the universe’s devastating ordeal at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War,” anticipation levels peaked, and everyone began asking the question “Who is Captain Marvel?”

Following the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s immense cultural and box office success in their release of “Avengers: Infinity War” in March of 2018, the studio continues to add to their impressive 20 movie roster with their next release in “Captain Marvel.” The movie stars Brie Larson as the eponymous main character, Annette Bening, sees Samuel L. Jackson reprise his role as the charismatic S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury, and is helmed by the directing duo of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

The film was already set up for big success, poised perfectly between two of Hollywood’s biggest movie releases of the past decade in “Infinity War” and “Endgame,” serving as connective tissue between them. The film is set in the ’90s, providing some insight into how some aspects of the MCU came to be.

No doubt a lot is riding on this film, given that it’s supposed to introduce Captain Marvel, give her a good character arc and solidify her role as a saving grace while giving proper explanations why she hasn’t been around until the last possible second of “Infinity War.”

So does it? Well yes, but actually no.

The storyline follows the familiar Jason Bourne formula of the main character having no memory of their identity and the progression of the events in the film also allows for them to remember who they were. There are flashback dreams throughout the film that tell audiences that Carol Danvers (her human identity) is a powerful woman, who has stood up against many hardships and tests on her way to becoming an Air Force pilot.

This is essentially the heart of her story, and it’s a profound, inspiring message, but it isn’t exactly an explicit part of her character arc in the actual film. She didn’t have a character arc in the main story of the film at all. By the end, the only real obstacle that Carol had overcome was her amnesia, and there was no change to her personality or any real test alleviated by her incredible assortment of powers.

Through the flashbacks, we also find out that she had a solid friendship with her fellow pilot Maria Rambeau and has pursued a skillful enterprise as a part of the Air Force. Being an origin story, this film was supposed to show us the journey towards attaining those relationships and skills, but instead, it reduced her real character arc to a muddled backstory told through fleeting and shallow flashbacks. All in all, the film does successfully introduce audiences to Captain Marvel but doesn’t let them see her grow into the character they are told she is.

Most of “Captain Marvel’s” supporting cast glows and gives the film some much-needed moments of levity and humor, while reintroductions to some characters will disappoint given the brevity of their appearance and usefulness. Carol eventually meets with Nick Fury, who is a lot younger than when we first met him. Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson have terrific chemistry, and some of the funnier moments in the film derive from their interactions with each other and their converging universes.

The reverse aging effects are done to Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg, or Agent Phil Coulson was pretty close to perfect.

The main villain Talos, leader of the Skrulls, played by Ben Mendelsohn, has excellent dialogue, a great role and his demeaning and intimidating personality translate well by staying consistent with what is revealed about his character in the end. Other than that, the seemingly critical Kree characters that are introduced with Carol from the beginning like Carol’s mentor Yon-Rogg, played by Jude Law, end up being quite forgettable and shallow by the end.

Once you find out why Captain Marvel is gone in the other films, you need to stretch your imagination a little bit to have it make sense in the universe, which is something you also have to do with a couple of other story points.

Not to harp on the MCU, but this film makes it feel like she was shoehorned in at the last second and given a massive franchise-altering role to give the Avengers a strong way to clap back at Thanos. Her origin story didn’t really introduce her as a well-rounded character, and in the end, you feel as if you are cheated, given that all of the other Avengers started off somewhere and ended in a completely different place in all of their early films. Granted, this film had a lot of things to explain and set up, and the action and humor were pretty spot-on.

Depending on her role in “Endgame,” audiences could be slightly annoyed at her insane power-level compared to the other Avengers. They need to see her in a life or death situation, where a weakness of hers is exposed because right now, she is essentially a flawless person and unbeatable superhero. The film is out in theaters right now and is soon to be followed by the highly anticipated “Avengers: Endgame” on April 26.