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Captain Marvel: A nuanced tale of discovery

Ben Mendelsohn (left) in a scene from “Captain Marvel.” (Chuck Zlotnick/Disney-Marvel Studios/AP)

With over a month left before the movie “Avengers: Endgame” hits Philippine theaters, the Marvel Cinematic Universe ups the anticipation several notches with the release of the film “Captain Marvel.”

Yes. Anticipation is the key word here after the existence of the superhero Captain Marvel was teased at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War.”

In that teaser scene, Nick Fury was shown activating a pager-like device shortly before becoming one of the casualties of the infamous Thanos snap. The camera then revealed who Fury had called for in that moment of desperation. It was none other than Captain Marvel!

Now, the movie that will tell us who Captain Marvel really is and her relationship with Fury is finally here.

The movie is not a direct sequel to “Avengers: Infinity War.” Rather, it’s a prequel tale set in the 1990’s.

The film’s plot tells a tale when the world still had to rediscover the existence of superheroes after the first Avenger, Captain America, disappeared.

Brie Larson as “Captain Marvel.” (Chuck Zlotnick/Disney-Marvel Studios via AP)

According to the movie’s very short plot synopsis, “the story follows Carol Danvers as she chooses to become one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel is an all new-adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

It’s a synopsis devoid of details or clues. Even so, there’s some stuff that’s definite. The movie will be about the war between the Kree and the Skrulls, two alien races that have been each other’s throats ever since they made their first appearance in the Marvel comic books.

The movie will show Nick Fury when he still had both eyes and reveal how he came to know Captain Marvel. And it will mark the return of SHIELD agent Phil Coulson to the big screen.

The appearance of Coulson is a very nice touch because his character has been the recurring thread that bound every major Marvel Cinematic Universe film together from the first Iron Man movie to the first Avengers movie.

Now, with that out of the way, who is Carol Danvers? In the comic books, she’s a United States Air Force pilot who becomes allied with the Kree during the Kree-Skrull war.

Brie Larson in a scene from “Captain Marvel.” (Disney-Marvel Studios via AP)

She is the first superhero Fury encounters. And as the comic books have shown, she packs a very powerful punch because of her superhuman strength. She can fly and can shoot a massive energy burst from her hands, which I think is close but not exactly similar to Iron Man’s repulsor rays.

So, what exactly will Captain Marvel’s role be in “Avengers: Endgame”?

For that answer, you and I will have to wait for mid-April. That’s when fourth Avengers movie will be shown in Philippine theaters.

Now, the hard question: Is Captain Marvel up to par with the other Marvell Cinematic Universe movies?

Based on the website Rotten Tomatoes, 83% of 118 movie critics gave the Captain Marvel movie a favorable review. That’s not a bad rating at all.

One important point, though, especially since I did mention that the release of this movie had upped the anticipation factor several notches higher for the “Avengers: Endgame” movie.

Brie Larson (Disney-Marvel Studios via AP)

“Captain Marvel” is an origin movie focused on a particular superhero and is set at a time before Hulk, Iron Man or the Avengers even existed. So, don’t expect any Avengers stuff cropping up big time in “Captain Marvel.” The only concrete detail tying this movie to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe are the characters of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson.

As for action, there’s plenty, punctuated with a lot of computer-generated special effects.

For the twist and turns of the film, I won’t be a spoiler. Let’s just say that it’s a tale of a person who lost her memory and is trying to discover who she really is. That story unfolds in a carefully nuanced pace.

This film is a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which spans over a decade of interconnected stories told in over 20 movies.

“Captain Marvel” stars Brie Larson as Captain Marvel with Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as Nick Fury. Also in the cast is Ben Mendelsohn (Talos), Dimon Hounsou (Korath), Lee Pace (Ronan), Lashana Lynch (Maria Rambeau), Gemma Chan (Minn-Erva), Annette Benning (Supreme Intelligence), Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson), Jude Law (Yon-Rogg), Algenis Perez-Soto (Att-Lass) and Rune Temte (Bron-Char).

The 13-year-old Carol Danvers, who is Captain Marvel’s alter ego, is played by child actor Mckenna Grace.

The movie, produced by Marvel Studios and released by Walt Disney, was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck based on a screenplay written by Boden, Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworset.

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