It has not escaped my attention that I have failed to share my thought(s) on Captain Marvel, or as it revealed itself to be, “the backstory of the Infinity War post-credit pager.”
Note: I did see this film opening weekend, but with each passing week and with no plans to post in sight, I decided to hold off and wait until right before the highly-anticipated Avengers: Endgame.
It really is just one thought …
In looking at my notes on the film, the first phrase I wrote (meant to serve as an internal trigger) was “Rogue One of the MCU“*. I guess that lines up with my opening paragraph statement, but allow me to elaborate.
While I really enjoyed both of these films, I feel like they expose a fatigue point inherent in building any cinematic universe. Put another way, when you are telling a story, there are often references to events which take place prior to the action captured on screen. In the case of Rogue One, we got an entertaining and expansive two-hour treatment focused a plot detail previously seen in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Coming out of that viewing experience, it is not outside the realm of possibility that one would ask, Was that film really necessary to my understanding of the world I am immersed in? Ultimately, it is up to each individual viewer to decide for themselves, but as I said, not that crazy of a question to ask.
Similarly in Captain Marvel, the film “suffers from” or has to settle with the burden of (retro) fitting itself into an established narrative. In spite of this handicap, Captain Marvel is largely successful. However, there are moments (Nick Fury and his eye patch, I am looking at you), that feel like an odd and unnecessary retcon. To end on a more positive note, my storytelling senses tell me that there are a few points here and there that will have a payoff at some point in the future.
Which brings us back to the awesome pager we see at the end of Infinity War and again near the closing moments of this film. For the audience, this moment between Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) is definitely designed to serve as an “a ha!” moment, providing a clear link to Endgame. But I feel like the most ardent fans probably guessed that this is the direction we were headed in anyways.
And as if that were not enough, the film goes a step further. In the post credits we are again reminded of Captain Marvel’s connection to the current events which will find some resolution this weekend.
I recognize that these are a lot of words to express one fleeting thought in a film which, as I stated from the outset, I really did enjoy. I definitely recommend that if you not done so, you catch it, whether before or after you see Endgame.
*I use Rogue One as a singular example, but there are plenty of others that can be cited, including all of the Star Wars prequels, The Fantastic Beasts franchise as part of the Harry Potter universe – to name a few.