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Fan Effect: Review of Captain Marvel

This image released by Disney-Marvel Studios shows Brie Larson in a scene from "Captain Marvel." (Disney-Marvel Studios via AP)

MOVIE REVIEW

Captain Marvel came out this week. This is the first movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature a woman as the lead. So this had some expectations coming into it and Fan Effect breaks it down.

The newest chapter in the Marvel pantheon tells the story of a powerful superhero caught in the middle of a war between two alien races. The movie is anticipated to easily win the box office crown this weekend. Some analysts are projecting it to earn more than 100-million dollars in its first few days.

But the movie was also the subject of an online campaign by some Rotten Tomatoes users to try and sink the movie’s score on the website before it even came out.  That effort actually led Rotten Tomatoes to ban user reviews on its site before a movie is released in theaters.  Fan Effect host Andy Farnsworth actually went to see the movie and gives his review.

Andy Farnsworth shares his thoughts on Captain Marvel

This movie has made a lot of waves among people who are both for and against it.  I guess it can’t be that surprising since the Marvel superhero movies are just box office gold.  We’ve had over 20 of them already, but this is the first one with a woman as the main character.

Not only is it Marvel’s first female-led superhero movie, it’s also the first one with a female co-writer and co-director. In this case, Anna Boden who worked alongside Ryan Clark.  So there is plenty of girl power in “Captain Marvel”, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Now because this is a superhero movie and fans are wary of spoilers, I will try to be careful with what I say.  But at the same time, Captain Marvel is a character I would say not very many people are familiar with, kind of like Ant-Man was before his movies came out.  So I’m going to give a little bit of plot away, which I actually think will help you not feel so confused.

Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers, a former Air Force pilot who has some kind of power inside her that allows her to shoot energy blasts from her hands.

Because of this, she’s left her earthly life behind to join an elite alien military team commanded by Jude Law’s character.

But eventually Carol finds herself back on Earth, struggling to understand questions about her own past while also trying to deal with the invasion of another alien race called the Skrulls… shape-shifters who can take the form of any living being they see.

I have to say, first of all, that Brie Larson is the highlight of this movie.  She plays this character so naturally and is so relaxed in the role that I just bought into it immediately.

She’s strong, both with her powers and her personality, she’s funny, she’s sincere.  She just INHABITS the role and it’s easy to tell why they cast her.  I also liked the setting.

The movie takes place in the mid-1990’s so there are nods to music and clothing from that era… but also some funny moments too, including Captain Marvel crashing into a Blockbuster Video store at one point or when she has to get her alien communicator to work with a pay phone.

Plus, by being set 20+ years ago, we get to see de-aged Samuel L. Jackson playing a younger version of Nick Fury, a guy who’s been a pretty important character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but who until now we’ve only seen in cameos or small portions of other movies.  And, as you might expect, the visuals in “Captain Marvel” are quite impressive, both the parts that take place in space and on alien planets, as well as the de-aging process for Jackson and Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson.

As far as warnings go, it is rated PG-13, mostly for fantasy violence and a bit of language.  But the way they’ve chosen to tell the story could make the movie a bit complicated for your younger kids to follow.

It’s not told as a typical superhero origin story: meet the character, watch them get powers, learn about them, figure things out, fight and defeat the bad guy.  Instead, it pretty much drops you right into the action and then you kind of have to piece things together yourself as you go along.

While that was kind of fun for a while, I ended up a little disappointed once everything came together and honestly, it’s the story that was the weakest point of the movie for me.

So, my final thoughts:  “Captain Marvel” was a decent superhero movie with a great actress playing a character I enjoyed watching.  I give the movie TWO AND A HALF out of FOUR stars and I feel like I should answer the two questions I’ve been asked most often by people since I saw the movie.

1) Did you like it as much as the best Marvel movies?  No, not quite.  Right now, I’d rank it somewhere in the middle.

2) Was it as good as Wonder Woman?  No, definitely not.  But “Captain Marvel” is something I think both my daughters – and sons – can enjoy and take something good out of it.

THINGS ANDY LIKED:

-Brie Larson

-Setting

-Visuals

WARNINGS:

-Rated PG-13

-Most just for fantasy violence

-It is a complicated story

ANDY’S FINAL RATING:

TWO & A HALF out of FOUR STARS

Overall: This was fun, but not one of the best Marvel Movies; Wonder Woman from DC Comics was better as well.