Written By: Evan Kern

Feeling a tad rusty, here…

I guess the best way to start off (if you couldn’t tell by the title) is to say…I liked this film. Yea, usually that’s something one says at the end of a text, but you’re here for the meat of the matter—the why, the what.

From the trailers, Captain Marvel seemed the bog-standard superhero origin story we’re used to in the MCU. I also got the sense that the title character, herself, would be very dull, over-powered, generally-uninteresting. But this statement above all else, folks, is why we must see movies for ourselves; if we went by trailers, or what other critics have to say, the film industry would have gone belly-up a long time ago.

Is Captain Marvel our last light in a stale, uninspired cinema landscape? No, but it’s a helluva ride.

First and foremost, this is a great sci-fi piece. The first hour is all world-building—the Kree-Skrull conflict, establishing primary characters, and C.M. in action with her Star Force mates. CGI (especially where the de-aging of Sam Jackson and Clark Gregg are involved) gets off to a rocky start, but it becomes a non-issue as the film progresses. Colorful and varied set-pieces act as our backdrops in this furthest-flung MCU world, to date. Some lines and the deliveries thereof are a tad heavy-handed and hammy, but never preachy or without placement; there is genuine emotion, and especially where C.M. is concerned.

Speaking of whom…

Brie Larson nails the role. I thought, going into this, Jackson’s Fury would be the favorite…but, myself and the twenty-odd other cinema-goers were right there, cheering for every C.M. sucker punch. Carol Danvers, as a character, doesn’t deserve the powers she accidentally receives, but, her inner, veiled humanity shines through; she makes the best of a bad situation, and we root for her every time she gets back up from falling down. Stone-faced and ruthless when she needs to be, but increasingly-warm-hearted and a kind soul when others need her to be. And, with her and Fury, there’s a nostalgic, ‘90s “buddy cop” backbone to the story. As she tracks down her true origins, and he seeks the truth behind this hitherto-unknown internecine war, they establish a strong kinship. It’s that I hope to see carry forward into Avengers: Endgame, next month. Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player One, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) also stars, in his finest—and most dynamic—performance, as the Skrull leader, Talos. Jude Law is also great, as always, but his strength as a character, here, serves as a contrasting element to Danvers’s arc, and that dichotomy benefits the story as a whole.

The score and soundtrack are the best I’ve heard since the Guardians of the Galaxy films. The backdrop of orchestral and synth stuff (by the mind behind Fortnite’s score, no less…) is very ethereal, and sets us in the frame of this space-centric adventure romp.

Score: 9 out of 10.