Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2019. Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios, Animal Logic. Story by Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Screenplay by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Cinematography by Ben Davis. Produced by Kevin Feige. Music by Pinar Toprak. Production Design by Andy Nicholson. Costume Design by Sanja Milkovic Hays. Film Editing by Debbie Berman, Elliot Graham.
Vers (Brie Larson) lives on the planet Hala as an elite member of the intergalactic police force, protecting the Kree people from their sworn enemies, the shape-shifting Skrulls. On a mission to save a planet from Skrull terrorism, Vers is taken prisoner and, upon her escape, crash lands on the planet we call Earth in the mid-nineties, which means that on top of the fish out of water jokes that always happen in this genre we also have nostalgia for the era that provides some kickass tunes from the likes of Garbage and Hole on the soundtrack. Looking to track down her Skrull enemies while her mentor (Jude Law) is making his way across the galaxy to help her, Vers is suddenly having haunting flashbacks to a human life that she doesn’t remember leading; after teaming up with human special law enforcement officer Samuel L. Jackson, she makes her way to the Skrulls’ target, a scientist (Annette Bening) who created a technology that can be used to destroy the Kree, and the search brings her closer to her own past. Ignore the silly plot holes (aliens hurtling through the atmosphere always crash land in America, in her case in exactly the spot she needs to be) and have a great time with this beautifully designed, easily enjoyable adventure that emphasizes a sense of fun and an engaging plot in place of endless explosions and battle sequences. Directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden treat the emotional stakes with respect but not undue reverence, we get a sense of Larson’s entire character without being bogged down by boring scenes of pompous woe. The overabundance of sci-fi jargon is not as easily processed, but after you get through the top-heavy beginning, the narrative lightens up and stays diverting until the simple but satisfying end.