Title: Captain Marvel
Release Date: March 8th, 2019
Release Format: Theatrical
Captain Marvel opens up with the titular character (played by Brie Larson), who is never actually called Captain Marvel, dreaming of her past life. We quickly learn she has no memory of anything from her past. Through the course of her journey, we learn who she was and how she becomes the person she is now meant to be at the same time she does.
All in all, the journey was satisfying to watch but did draw parallels to Phase 1 Marvel films. While there is no need to reinvent the wheel, I do feel Marvel Studios has the capability to venture into unknown territory successfully. While the parallels are obvious, they aren’t enough to detract from the movie overall.
One of the films strongest suits was the use of music. If you’re like me when it comes to action movies, you expect an epic score to accompany the most intense or dramatic scenes. While Captain Marvel does make use of an epic score, the best scenes make use of 90s music.
Bouncing off of that. One of the most memorable fight scenes in the movie plays a very distinct and appropriate song. While this song may make some roll their eyes, it made me giggle. I loved how it added to the scene personally. Believe me when I tell you that you’ll know it when you see it. If you like 90s music then you’ll No Doubt (pun intended) enjoy the song choice and variety used in this movie.
When you think Marvel you think of CG that looks realistic and stands the test of time. Captain Marvel does not disappoint in that regard either. At no point in the film does the CG seem too intense or not very well done. Everything from a Skrull shapeshifting shape to Carol’s photon blasts looks great.
One CG element that deserves major praise, however, is the de-aging done on both Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). Neither of the actors looks as young as they did back in the 90s. The fantastic CG completely changed that.
One of Captain Marvel‘s strengths and pitfalls is its the story. Marvel has got their movie formula down to a science. Captain Marvel is no exception. The movie definitely follows the typical formula and even parallels earlier movies. While this isn’t inherently bad, it would still be nice to see a new approach every now and again. Perhaps the production staff didn’t want to venture in too much new territory. Since this is the first female lead MCU movie, it’s disappointing the story wasn’t a little more original.
As Captain Marvel takes place back in the 90s, we are treated to a new and inexperienced Nick Fury. With a softer Nick Fury than we are accustomed to and a very snarky Carol Danvers, I wasn’t sure what to expect. During the movie, we watch these two strangers go from completely not trusting each other to forming a bond Fury hasn’t formed with an Avenger in other movies. The two feed off each other and it’s a great relationship to see unfold throughout.
There has been no shortage of controversy surrounding Captain Marvel. Brie Larson has said that the movie has feminist undertones. I went into this movie expecting girl power moments and they definitely happened. However, they were never over the top or in your face.
With a focus on Mary Sues being an issue in modern films, I hoped that Marvel didn’t follow that trend. Carol Danvers wasn’t one and I truly felt that the reasons she grew as a character were real and valid, with some empowerment sprinkled in. Though, I do wonder if releasing the movie on International Women’s Day was an intentional act.
Okay, now forget everything I said about Nick Fury and Carol Danvers. The true star of Captain Marvel is Goose the cat. There wasn’t a single scene with Goose I didn’t like. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but trust me. He will not disappoint.
No spoilers, but there is a scene in the movie that sets up the future for another character. While it is funny, I couldn’t help thinking ‘really, that’s how we’re doing this?’
The big bad of this movie was a little on the underdeveloped side. While the character had motives, they weren’t really explained or elaborated on. Usually, we at least have an idea on the finer details of an antagonist, even if they’re a plot twist villain. I can’t say the same for Captain Marvel’s big bad.
As seems to be the trend in a lot of Disney acquired properties these days, Captain Marvel was filled with unnecessary humor. Not that the humor is bad perse, but it’s not a comedy. I don’t need to laugh every five minutes. In fact, I am fine with about half of the humor. Hopefully, this trend doesn’t continue in future Marvel movies.
One last thing. The Stan Lee tribute in the movie was more touching than I ever imagined it would be. A tribute for the books and one that will immortalize a man who is already a god.
Verdict: In recap, Captain Marvel is a fun, albeit unnecessarily campy, movie about the newest hero to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has its strong and weak moments, but what movie doesn’t? The adventure is fun and really sets both events and characters up for future movies. Brie Larson brings a new flavor of hero to the MCU and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
- The Relationship Between Nick and Carol
- The Music
- De-aging of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson
- Parallels to Phase 1 Movies
- A scene that shapes a character's future
- Underdeveloped villain
- Campy Humor