Captain Marvel, the latest entry in the Marvel Universe, is a fast, fun sci-fi adventure. It doesn’t rank among their best, but it is far from their worst.
I am unfamiliar with the comics, but the plot in the film concerns an intergalactic war between the Kree (who look more or less human apart from blue blood) and the Skrulls (who look like lizard Vulcans). “Vers” (Brie Larson) is part of an elite Kree fighting unit led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). When a mission goes wrong, Vers ends up a Skrull captive, having her memory searched. In this process, she discovers she might have had an unremembered life on Earth prior to her life with the Kree. An escape attempt leaves her stranded on Earth in the 1990s, where she is promptly investigated by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson, made to look younger via nifty CGI).
The first act feels a bit generic-Star Trek-episode, but things get interesting once the action switches to Earth, with plenty of banter between Fury and Vers. It’s nice to see a younger Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) as well. Performances are all fairly good, with other big names cropping up in the supporting cast, including Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Benning and Djimon Hounsou. There’s also a scene-stealing cat called Goose (a deliberate Top Gun reference I suspect). Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck helm some fine action set pieces, visual effects are good, and the 1990s pop songs will appeal to those of a certain age.
Having said all that, a certain superhero fatigue is beginning to kick-in with these Marvel films, especially in anticipation of the upcoming Avengers: Endgame. This certainly has its heart in the right place, but it didn’t have the same level of playfulness or dramatic heft as the best entries in the series. I suppose it barely matters, as it is certainly a solidly mid-table film, and doubtless the audience will lap it up.