‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer Breakdown: Longer, Stronger, Superior

Here we go, folks: 'Captain Marvel' in full faux-hawk mode, blasting chumps with her energy blasts.
Captain Marvel Hang Loose

In this series…

Welp, just two months after the first Captain Marvel trailer hit, Marvel Studios slaps us with another look at Brie Larson’s highly anticipated Avenger. Those looking for a bevy of revelations might be disappointed. This second peek mostly circles around the same scenes seen in the last trailer but focuses on the mystery of Carol Danvers, and the poisonous friendship that could ignite a galactic war.

Set in the 1990s, the film reaches into the past as a means of setting up the next great battle of the MCU. The post-credits sequence of Avengers: Infinity War promised that Captain Marvel would sweep into rescue after the cataclysmic snap that balanced the universe, but such hope requires a kickass standalone to establish Larson as a true, genuine champion. Have no fear on that front, this new trailer packs a wallop of stern-faced costumed bravado.

Huh. Ok. Not much new there, right? Well, yeah, we saw a lot of those moments in the last go-around. That being said, if we really dig into this second trailer, we start to understand that there is an even greater threat besides those bumpy-chinned, shape-shifting Skrulls. Who is Jude Law, and what gives him the right to jab his digits into Brie Larson’s forehead? Baby Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is out of his element here, but the lessons he learns from Carol Danvers will shape him into the necessary action spy to lead/manipulate The Avengers.

The trailer opens with Captain Marvel stalking through the L.A. transit system, hunting down the little old lady we first caught a glimpse of in the first teaser. Sweet granny flashes a bright smile as Nick Fury attempts to understand the intergalactic grudge match in voice-over, “So, Skrulls are the bad guys?”

Captain Marvel answers his query by clocking granny across the jaw, shocking (probably terrifying) her fellow metro passengers. If I’ve learned anything from movies like this one and Predator 2, it’s that the L.A. subway is just as precarious as the one Charles Bronson rode in NYC of the 1980s. Keep your head down, nothing to see here but a total badass owning an alien stooge.

“And you’re a Kree, a race of noble warriors?” continues Fury. Captain Marvel identifying as non-human is significant and sets up the mystery of her creation. More importantly, though, I appreciate the addition she offers to Fury’s labeling, “Heroes. Noble warrior heroes.” Marvel Studios is not being subtle. They’re positioning Brie Larson as a true savior, and a hero that won’t simply stand next to The Avengers, but one who will inevitably come to their dusty salvation.

Just before the studio logo flips into sight, we catch another glimpse of Captain Marvel’s Starforce team marching to receive orders from Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and the unidentified Jude Law. IMDb still has him listed as Mar-Vell/Walter Lawson, but leaked Funko Pop toy designs have him pegged as the untrustworthy Yon-Rogg. Based on what we see later on in this trailer, I’m betting on the later. Let’s put a pin in that for now.

After a quick shot of a downed aircraft, we hear Annette Bening explain to Captain Marvel, “Your life began the day it nearly ended.” We see Carol Danvers, beaten and bloody on the ground. She’s not oozing red but an alien green. The hips of a similarly costumed soldier step into the frame before cutting to –

– Hala, the Kree homeworld. Bening continues, “We found you with no memory.” A spaceship flies towards the center tower, preparing to dock.

Then we get our first proper shot of Bening. A lot of speculation has surrounded her character. Is she the techno-organic Supreme Intelligence that guides the policy and military of Hala? She certainly doesn’t look like the many-eyed glob of goo that we know from the comics, but Marvel Studios has never shied away from altering the source material. Is she Carol’s alien mother? Is she both? Whatever the case, the Bening we see here appears to have Captain Marvel’s best interests at heart.

Bening reveals to Captain Marvel, “We made you one of us.”  Danvers partakes in a Kree blood transfusion. This could be a simple, run-of-the-mill lifesaving procedure after a skirmish or a total Kree replacement of Human bodily fluids, and a transformation on par with what happened to Steve Rogers back in WWII.

Another flashback to Carol Danvers’ Airforce pilot past. This is the moment where she is initially exposed to Kree energy. The blast either awakens her long-dormant super genetics a la Jack Kirby’s The Eternals or radically alters her human DNA to match that of the Kree. Either way, she goes from normal military badass to supreme alien badass in the blink of an eye. Bening is still underscoring the gift of Kree science, “So you could live longer, stronger…

“…Superior.” Yaaaaasssssss. Here we go, folks: Captain Marvel in full faux-hawk mode, blasting chumps with her energy blasts. Give me this image all day, every day until I die.

“You were reborn.” This upside-down mind-suck device was seen in the previous trailer, but now we can see that Captain Marvel is in the custody of those devilish Skrulls. She opens her eyes, and we catch a barrage of awakenings from her human past. With total knowledge of who and what she is, Captain Marvel is ready to take on any adversary.

The flashbacks within the prequel are key to the Captain Marvel narrative. Danvers flashes a hang loose gesture to her aviator partner Maria “Photon” Rambeau, mother of a Captain Marvel yet-to-be. Curious to see how much screentime Lashana Lynch will actually have in the final film, but hopefully her character will amount to more than just an easter egg for fans.

Nick Fury is living The French Connection, chasing behind the L.A. metro in his car. Although, he’s more Buddy Russo than Popeye Doyle. The know-it-all Fury we’ve seen in past Marvel phases rarely cracks a smile, and it is a delight to see his super spy play second fiddle to Carol Danvers.

Nick Fury and Captain Marvel hijack what looks to be a prototype S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet, and rocket out of a mountain base straight from an episode of a G.I. Joe cartoon.

Who does that look like to you? We hear Ben Mendelsohn ask “Would you like to know who you are?” but that Skrull right above doesn’t look like his villainous Talos to me. Could that be Jude Law under the latex? Is his Kree soldier actually a dirty, treacherous secret invading Skrull? Maybe. This, of course, could also just be the Skrull equivalent of a Star Trek redshirt.

Fury and Danvers flick on a light switch and enter a warehouse of Top Secret records. Captain Marvel is struggling to remember who she was, and ultimately, who she is. “I think I had a life here.” No doubt. The constant youthful flashbacks are proof of it.

As is this blurry photo of herself as a fearless test pilot.

Cut to a fighter jet chasing down what looks like the plummeting escape pod that introduced the first teaser trailer. Who is inside? Skrull? Mar-Vell? Yon-Rogg?

Captain Marvel is piecing the life of Carol Danvers together. She is more than what she has been told. That Kree energy exposure sure did some damage to her old dog tags. She ponders, “What aren’t you telling me?”

Here is Jude Law looking very unfriendly. The trees behind him appear similar to the ones that surround Captain Marvel’s crash site origin. In the comics, Yon-Rogg was a jealous Kree soldier similar to Kree superhero Mar-Vell but overcome with hatred towards weak-willed peacekeepers. He also made a pact with Ronan the Accuser to dispatch Mar-Vell, and we’ve already spotted Law’s character getting pretty chummy with the religious zealot that will eventually plague the Guardians of the Galaxy.

After a series of collapsing Carol Danvers from various stages of life, we hear Law callously state, “You’ve come a long way.” He rams two fingers into her forehead, “But you’re not as strong as you think.” Naw. This guy is a total a-hole jerk that needs to have his butt handed to him by movie end. He’s the big bad, I’m sure of it.

A great close-up of Talos snarling,  “This war is just the beginning.” He’s a nasty dude, but I’m betting he’s merely a distraction from the true emotional horror that Yon-Rogg has perpetrated on Carol Danvers’ psyche. Whatever villainy the Skrulls get up to in this film will merely be a precursor for the true havoc they unleash post-Avengers 4.

Ronan the Accuser looks out from his spaceship at the battle above the glowing blue orb. He’s loving every second of the conflict. I’m sure if we zoomed closer in on that glass we’d see a great big frown-smile reflecting right back at us.

Talos disguised in human form. As a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, he has the potential to throw a mighty big wrench in young Nick Fury’s plans. Talos’ goons swarm the mountain hanger in pursuit of the two fugitives.

The hero rises. Knock her down all you want; Captain Marvel will always get back on her feet and return your brute force a hundredfold. Here is a superbeing with total control of her past, present, and future. She’s no one’s puppet, and she happily defies her enemy, “I am not going to fight your war. I’m going to end it.”

Captain Marvel upgraded to her red, blue, and gold costume, blasting through space and eradicating those targets that are foolish enough to get in her way. But who’s war will she not fight? I’m telling you, Yon-Rogg and Ronan the Accuser are manipulating a galactic battle between the races, sparking the racial tensions that we’ll later see on Xandar.

Back at the Top Secret library, Fury is distracted by the most adorable feline. This here is Goose, and if he’s anything like his counterpart Chewie from the comic books, he’s a member of the cantankerous Flerken species that hide pocket dimensions inside their mouths. He also better stay away from Rocket Raccoon, or he’ll end up murderized. Comics are weird.

Not content to end on a laugh, the trailer concludes with a killer punctuation mark in the form of an all-powerful Captain Marvel propelling herself from Earth and heading to deep space. Having slain all Earth-based Skrulls, and after vanquishing the treachery of Yon-Rogg, she can go play space-cop until Thanos demands her attention. Of course, we’ll have to wait until next March to see if I’m on the money with this diabolical Jude Law plot.

Brad Gullickson: Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)