'Captain Marvel' (Film Review w/ Spoilers)
The MCU has hit a huge point in their history… their 20th film, as well as their first female-lead film. A film that has to keep us interested enough to go see it, even though we all just want to see if the Avengers will bring their friends back. So why should we care about Captain Marvel when there are bigger things to worry about (*cough cough* Thanos)? Well, according to Marvel and Disney, Captain Marvel is the strongest hero to be introduced to the MCU so far. If this is the case, does this film do her justice? Does this movie entertain enough to let all of the MCU fanatics (me included) stop crying and just have a good time, while also introducing a character and villains that could be very important to the MCU in the near future? The verdict is… mostly yes.
Why mostly? Well, as with most movies I watch, there I things I like and things I dislike. When it comes to Marvel movies, however, I am almost always entertained. I grew up reading comic books, and seeing my favorite heroes and all of the explosive comic book action on screen is what I live for. So, it’s very hard for me to critique movies like this. But, I do have some small issues with the film.
First, however, I want to talk about what I liked about the film. Say what you want about Brie Larson, but I liked her in this role (for the most part). I really don’t think she deserves all of the hate that she is getting, and the complaints that I have, I believe, are due to the writing. But I will get to that later. Samuel L. Jackson is great as always, and the de-aging effects they use on both him and Clark Gregg are groundbreaking. I honestly could not notice the CGI whatsoever. The relationship and interactions between Carol and Fury were some of the best parts of the movie. Goose the cat was a fun character who of course turned out to be a flerken… so that’s nice. The Kree characters were also fun to watch, yet I feel all of them were just a little underdeveloped, including Jude Law’s character.
And Mar-Vell is...
In fact, Jude Law doesn’t play Mar-Vell as everyone had speculated. Instead, Annette Bening played the character. I can already hear many Marvel fanatics freaking out over this. A male character that is super powerful and plays an integral role in the back story of Captain Marvel is portrayed on screen by a woman as an underdeveloped and underpowered Kree rebel? As much as I love comics, I really don’t have a problem with her being a woman. Comic book movies, after all, are BASED off comic books, not exact recreations of them. However, what I said about underdeveloped and underpowered isn’t wrong. She is, however, the one who helped Carol Danvers gain her powers, as well as the one who protected the tesseract in a cloaked ship just outside of Earth’s orbit. The whole tesseract idea was smart, I think, because it gives us more information on where it was between when Howard Stark found it and when it first appeared in the first Avengers film.
The Real Enemy
Let’s go back to Jude Law, who’s character Yon-Rogg, along with the rest of the Kree warriors, were the real villains of the movie. This includes Bron-Char, Minn-Erva, Att-Lass, Soh-Larr, and Korath, once again played by Djimon Hounsou. Korath had first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain Marvel gives us a little bit more information about his backstory. The group also includes Guardians of the Galaxy’s big bad Ronan, once again portrayed by Lee Pace. It’s too bad we know that he goes on to die during a dance-off. What a shame. A hilarious shame.
But yes, the Kree were the villains all along, and Mar-Vell had realized this, fleeing to Earth where she was then hunted down and killed, giving Carol her powers. It turns out the Skrulls, who even I thought were going to be the true villains, were innocent all along. Speaking of Skrulls, Ben Mendelsohn did a great job in this movie, but I never doubted that he wouldn’t. He adds so much to every movie he's in.
So what are the negatives of this movie? Well, as much as I was okay with Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, I do feel that her character was plagued with bad writing. Her emotional connection to Maria Rambeau was something I just couldn’t buy. I never felt that she was in any danger, because her powers are so… powerful. It's almost like watching Superman fight Lex Luthor with no kryptonite around. At some points in the film, there is little emotion in what she is saying. I feel the writers could have done better with her. I was perfectly fine with the Skrulls ending up as the good guys, but it just leads me to question… why? They felt a tad bit underused, and I am wondering if they will ever be used again. Everyone assumed this would lead into a “Secret Invasion” story arch where our favorite heroes would turn out to not be who we thought they were. By the looks of it, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and I have no clue if the Skrulls will ever show up again. One other thing I found a little disappointing was how Nick Fury lost his eye. We’ve seen it and wondered, and everyone was hoping that Captain Marvel would be the film to finally show us how the unstoppable badass epically lost his eye. But… it wasn’t epic at all. Goose the flerken did it in probably the most nonepic way possible. Fury picks him up and… *scratch*. There it goes. It kind of takes away the intensity of the scene from The Winter Soldier, but canon is canon. I wonder if he’s ever told anyone the truth…
What Do the Credits Have in Store?
As all MCU movies do, Captain Marvel has a mid-credit scene, as well as an end-credit scene. The end-credit scene is less important and just shows Goose throwing up the Tesseract after he had eaten it in the movie. The mid-credit scene, however, is very important, and almost clarifies that Carol Danvers is the character that seems to have been digitally removed from the “Big Game” TV spot for Avengers: Endgame. In it, we see that the remaining Avengers somehow got their hands on Fury’s pager from the end-credit scene of Infinity War, which has now stopped beeping, indicating that the message has stopped sending. As they look upon the number of missing people intensely climbing, they are informed by Rhode about this information. As they ask whether they should try to reboot it and resend the message, Carol Danvers appears (looking significantly different than how she did in the film that we had just watched). She asks, “Where is Fury?”, and the scene ends. Whether this is a scene in Endgame or a scene meant to lead into the events of Endgame, I am even more excited to see how the Avengers and Captain Marvel save the universe and defeat the mad titan.
Overall, Captain Marvel is a fun film with some flaws (but what movie doesn’t have flaws). It is not the best MCU, but it is definitely not the worst. There is a lot to love, especially if you are a fan of the MCU and/or comic books. If you have been on the fence of whether or not to see this movie, I say that you totally should go see it. It isn’t integral to understanding what’s going to happen in Endgame, but it does help (or at least helped me) forget about Thanos for just a little bit and focus on a hero that will most likely take over the MCU in the very near future. I give Captain Marvel an 8/10.
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© 2019 Benjamin Wollmuth