Captain Marvel will go down as a middle-of-the-pack Marvel film but it did its job in introducing us to Carol Danvers, and to her power. It’s easy to see why they saved her for Avengers: Endgame.
I’m late to the party but I want to get my Captain Marvel thoughts out. Rather than being a prisoner of the moment, I’ve allowed them to marinate and I’m ready to speak.
To me, Captain Marvel felt like 3 movies mashed into one. The story of her finding her way as a Kree soldier, reuniting with an old friend back on Earth and learning the story of her past, then the unleashing of her real power. Marvel was playing catch-up and they did a decent job.
Captain Marvel tells the story of Vers, as she’s known at the start of the film, a Kree warrior who is helping the army in their battle against the Skrulls. After an encounter with them goes south, she escapes and ends up crash landing on Earth. There she runs into a younger Nick Fury and Agent Coulson, who is a rookie at the time (1995).
She’s been having flashbacks to a former life and returning to Earth leads her to seek answers for these memories. Along the way she reconnects with people from her former life and begins to remember who she is, then how she came to be a Kree soldier. There is a twist at the end that could be perceived as a political message and a female empowerment moment that could be compared to the “No Man’s Land” scene from Wonder Woman.
While the job was to catch us up on Captain Marvel in one movie, where every other character has had years and multiple films to be fleshed out, I can’t say the film felt rushed. There was a ton of information though and at times it was hard to keep up with, even as someone somewhat familiar with the story they were looking to tell.
There were two alien races. One was able change their physical appearance at will and the other seemed to come in many different shapes/sizes/colors as well. New terms were introduced as well. Casual viewers or fans that aren’t necessarily comic book people might have lost track of some of this. If I had to pick a weakness in the movie it was this.
Marvel did a great job with young Monica Rambeau. The actress, Akira Akbar, was perfect as a precocious pre-teen who missed her Aunt Carol. Marvel has had a good string of young loved ones lately between she and Ant Man’s daughter. Both characters have potential to show up as heroes in later films. (Monica as Captain Marvel and Ant Man’s daughter as Stinger.) Since this film was set in 1995, Monica would be an adult in the modern-day so if she does show up it’ll be interesting to see how she appears.
The last thing I want to address about this movie is how powerful Captain Marvel is. Early in the film she’s downplayed but there is a reason for that. Near the end of the film she unleashes her full power to the point that she scares off *Spoiler alert* Ronan the Accuser. This is significant because Ronan later went on to face the Guardians of the Galaxy solo, and they were only able to beat him with the use of an Infinity Stone.
Seeing the full extent of her power reminded me of how powerful Thor was looking at the end of Infinity War. It works for Marvel that the two most powerful (3 if you want to include Dr. Strange I guess) heroes are only joining the game when they are going to be most needed. It should make the fight against Thanos interesting at the very least though it won’t be their power alone that allows them to win in the end.
With all of this said, Captain Marvel as a whole will not be a candidate for the MCU top 5. It wasn’t a bottom tier entry but will likely land somewhere in the middle of the pack. There was just too much to take in so you spent the entire film learning so it played out as an information session until you got to the final 20 minutes or so. The twist, the hero moment, and the unleashing of her power all take place at the very end of the movie and that’s the part that does match up to the other MCU entries.
It did what it had to do to get people excited for Captain Marvel to join the rest of the MCU family in Avengers: Endgame. And in the end credits we got our teaser for that first interaction.
I’ll see you guys at the end of the month.