Even though we are officially oversaturated with superhero movies, Marvel is giving us some spandex-clad saviors that at least look different than all the other ones out there.
In fact, it’s kind of amazing even though we can’t go five minutes without a new superhero movie coming out, you can count on one hand the live-action entries into the genre that don’t primarily feature a white dude (and you’ll still have some fingers leftover).
At least now “Wonder Woman” and “Black Panther” have some company.
Captain Marvel has burst onto the scene and proves herself to be a pivotal character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She’s so pivotal, in fact, “Captain Marvel” is actually a prequel to all of the CGI carnage Marvel has dropped on us over the past decade.
Before Iron Man built his first suit or the Hulk was even the lightest shade of green, Captain Marvel (as played by Academy Award winner Brie Larson) was uncovering the extent of her powers circa the mid-1990s in the middle of a galactic war.
Our Captain has a fuzzy memory and fights with an alien race called the Kree (who we’ve met before in “Guardians of the Galaxy”) against a species of shape-shifting aliens called the Skrulls.
What she does know is she’s a brave warrior with a biting sense of humor and the ability to shoot proton blasts from her hands. Her Kree mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) wants her to be less of a loose cannon, but that doesn’t stop her from charging in headfirst and winding up stranded on Earth all on her own.
It’s not long after she crashes down in a Blockbuster Video she meets a pre-eye patch Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who isn’t quite yet ready to buy into the whole idea of superpowers and alien threats.
The computer-generated anti-aging technology is so seamless at this point I almost didn’t even register how incredible it is to be watching “Pulp Fiction”-era Sam Jackson strolling around on the screen in 2019.
While there’s plenty of action and intrigue to be had in “Captain Marvel,” it’s the chemistry between Jackson and Larson that makes up the heart of this movie. I almost wish they had a TV show where they could be buddy cops solving crimes every week, but I digress.
The movie leans into the ’90s nostalgia without going too over the top and the soundtrack featuring the era’s butt-kicking female rockers is a nice touch.
Captain Marvel looks to feature heavily in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but here in the present, she more than delivers the goods holding down her own film. And, hopefully, it won’t take another 20 years before she feels like less and less of an outlier.
“Captain Marvel” is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.