The 21st movie for the MCU, the film follows Vers, a super-powered woman who was recruited by the Kree to fight the Skrulls, alien shapeshifters who the Kree are at war with. Her mentor Yon-Rogg as well as Supreme Intelligence, the AI Ruler of the Kree, trains her to control her abilities. Despite this, she still has visions of her past and problems with remembering how she got there. After a mission goes wrong and Vers is captured by the Skrulls, she breaks free, destroys there ship and escapes to earth to stop the Skrulls. Along the way, she meets a younger Nick Fury, who helps her uncover more about who she was and her higher purpose.
The following article contains spoilers from this point on.
I thought that this was a fine origin story movie. I don’t believe that this was a groundbreaking movie or character in any way, but a quick way to introduce a character and their powers before a significant film. It’s like when Captain America: The First Avenger came out before the Avengers movie. I can even draw parallels to both Captain America and Captain Marvel, as both could have had much better and felt rushed out to introduce characters of the Avengers team. Still, I found both pretty good and entertaining.
Brie Larson did a fine job with playing Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. I thought that she had a great look for Carol Danvers and acting skills to pull off that role. The rest of the actors were fine in their roles. Jude Law played Yon-Rogg commander of Starforce and Captain Marvel’s mentor. Anette Benning played a dual role of both Dr. Wendy Larson and Supreme Intelligence. They also had the Starforce team, and no one in the group really stood out to me except for Korath played by Djimon Hounsou. I think that was because I remember him from Guardians of the Galaxy in the same role as well. It was fun to see Clark Gregg and Samuel L Jackson reprises their roles of Phil Coulson and Nick Fury respectively. Though, they were de-aged to look like their younger selves.
Having Samuel L Jackson playing his younger self is fine. It’s is once again surreally strange to see his face CGI’d and de-aged to how he looked in the 1990s. It also isn’t the first time that Disney and Marvel had done this. Captain America: Civil War had done this with Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 did it with Kurt Russell. Ant-Man and the Wasp did this with Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer as well. While those were done for flashbacks, this was done for the whole movie. I used to find this freaky, but I’m starting to get used to this. It makes me wonder if this is a way to get some extra miles out of each actor to play their characters or if they will even be needed at all, just their likeness.
The other side characters are what makes this movie great later on in the film. Ben Mendelsohn as Talos was great. I’ve only known the Skrulls as villains from the comics, for the most part. While this does continue of the, swerve of “villains are really the good guys” they provided enough seriousness and comedic moments to make the comic book movie moments more authentic. I was even impressed with Maria Rambeau. She was Carol’s friend and a fellow Air Force Pilot. She is a single mother with a daughter who was all too accepting of her mother to join Captain Marvel on her space mission. She had a strength and charisma that seem to match another character that appeared in this movie, Agent Coulson. I don’t know if she was ever a character in the comic books, but I’d like to see what they do with her in future movies.
The visual effects of the Skrulls shapeshifting were good. The de-aged Samuel L Jackson and Clark Gregg was good and looked fine. That is really all I have to say about the films visual effects that stood out to me. I thought that the movie looked nice and cosmic, but I just was expecting more out of the movie. The fights in the film were fairly standard with the fight in the archives of the Project Pegasus installation the best part of the film for me.
Besides a Stan Lee Cameo in this movie, we also get a montage of all the cameos in the other MCU films Stan Lee made cameos as a tribute to him since his passing last year. I felt that this wasn’t the way to pay homage to him. However, I’ll hold off say anything else until I see Avengers: Endgame. I have a feeling that we will get something bigger and more deserving of him and his accomplishments. I complained about the Stan Lee Cameo’s in the past yes, but I can get behind this one. As Captain Marvel is passing through train cars looking for a Skrull that escaped her, he is seen reading his lines in the Mallrats movie script. That was a rather funny moment for me.
The Kree-Skrull war wasn’t much of a focus at all. They did fill in enough to give the audience enough to understand why they were at war with each other. Most of the center was on Carol and finding out who she was and stopping the Skulls. We do get the reveal that Dr. Larson was Mar-Vell, a Kree Scientist who rebels against the Kree to help the Skrulls. Carol, while a pilot for the Air Force is flying her and the Tesseract when attacked by the Kree. Their plane is shot down, and Mar-Vell was killed by Yon-Rogg. Danvers tried to destroy the engine housing the Tesseract or the energy of the Tesseract and gained her powers, but she lost her memories. It’s a reasonably good story, but one question I didn’t fully understand is why she trusts Yon-Rogg and not think twice that something might be up with him? He never would give her a straight answer and always told her to keep her power in check.
The plot twist that the Skrull’s were the victims was able to be seen from miles away. I get that Marvel, for whatever reason has stories with a sympathetic villain or a good guy who is really the bad guy the whole time. I’m not mad at this, I did enjoy the movie. But I want to ask, why not make both of these races wrong with no redeemable qualities? Have Carol regain her memories through the Skulls and she fights and attack Starforce and the Kree. Then, she realizes she was manipulated by the Skulls, only being seen as a weapon by both sides and attacks them all. It’s just a rough draft and could be possible in a sequel. Yes, Avengers Endgame is several weeks out as of the time of this article. But if it wasn’t, the Kree-Skrull war and Captain Marvel backstory could have been so much better.
I give credit to Marvel for finding a way to limit the power of a hero who is considered one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe. It was pointed out to me recently, it’s hard to write for an overpowered character like the Hulk and Superman. They pretty much have no weakness, and the only enemy that is shown is internal conflict whether or how they should use their power. In comics, you can spread this out in many issues and stories, but in movies, you have about 2-3 hours to do this and keep the interest of the audience. It was nice to see them thinking of a way to limit her ability throughout most of the movie.
Captain Marvel took place in 1995, the movie had 1990’s nostalgia, maybe a bit too much in our face at times. Anachronisms aside, I did enjoy the references of Blockbuster video, Captain Marvel somehow using a Game Boy and a payphone to contact Yon-Rogg, even the joke about a CD loading too slowly. Most of the soundtrack had 1990’s with Garbage, No Doubt, and other 90’s music artists.
Ronin, The Accuser, had no point to be in the movie. When it was announced, I thought that it would have been a significant role. He was a primary antagonist in Guardians of the Galaxy, in this movie he was reduced to a cameo. I understand that he wasn’t a significant focus of the film. But all he did was talk to Yon-Rogg and run when he saw the power and potential of Captain Marvel. I felt like this was a waste of an appearance of a marvel antagonist that could have been substituted with a generic Kree character. It was a weak way to tie the movie with Guardians of the Galaxy.
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