Watching: CAPTAIN MARVEL

I haven’t followed the Marvel versions of Captain Marvel, so I had no preconceptions of what to expect from the plot of this film. It begins more like a Star Wars film; in space, with the heroine part of a Kree team trying to rescue one of their agents on a world under attack by the Skrull. These two alien species have been at war for a long time in the Marvel universe, and the Skrulls go right back to the earliest issues of FANTASTIC FOUR, where they were tricky and evil alien shape-shifters. “Veers,” as the character is known, can’t remember her past before finding herself with the Kree, except for occasional moments and images. As the Kree group’s mission goes wrong, the story eventually takes us to Earth about twenty years in the past, where Veers crash-lands in a mall and is soon confronted by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury. Veers is after the Skrull that have followed her to Earth, and Fury is soon dragged into that battle, even while the powerful young woman is gradually getting her memories back and finding out that her past is actually much different than what she’s been told by the Kree.

This was fun and well-written. I liked the way the origin story was woven gradually into the film a little at a time. I thought Brie Larson was terrific in the title role: a strong person, confused on occasion but never at a loss and always ready to fight for what she wants. My second favorite character was played by Annette Bening in a dual role as a mentor and enemy. Much has been made of the de-aging of Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg as Nick Fury and Agent Coulson, but I hardly gave it a thought as I watched the film, it did not call any attention to itself. My only negative impression was the Skrulls, they seemed very much in a rubber suit, and hard to understand at times. Some action sequences were a bit too reminiscent of Star Wars, too, but most of the action worked well and was not as hard to follow as in some effects-laden films.

In all, this was a fine viewing experience and recommended.

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