Thanos doesn’t stand a chance.
If you have not seen the film yet, I recommend first reading our spoiler free review!
Still here? Okay. Let’s get started.
The MCU began in 2008 with the critically acclaimed film, Iron Man. At the end of that film, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D, stressed to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) that the universe he was apart of was bigger than he realized, and that he wasn’t the first superhero to walk among us.
He wasn’t lying. Captain Marvel, Marvel’s next headlining hero, came onto the scene in 1995. Nick Fury was just a young, deskbound agent at S.H.I.E.L.D. when he met the hero.
The film opens on Hala, the homeworld of the Kree. There, we meet Vers (Brie Larson), a Kree special forces soldier.
We are introduced to Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), the leader of Vers’ team, and mentor to Vers.
We are shown them training together, and throwing quips at one another. The film establishes that these two are very close, and care for eachother more than others.
Their relationship is interesting, but it quickly set to the side.
We don’t get to see much of Hala, buit we do get a glimpse of the world. We get to see training facilities, mission rooms, and The Supreme Intelligence. Within the first ten minutes, Vers’ team leaves for a Kree border world, to find a missing spy. On the mission, it is revealed that the Skrulls have taken over, and the spy himself is even a Skrull. The team fights, and Vers is taken by the Skrulls.
Through the use of their technology, we are handed the backstory of Vers, showing that she was once a human on Earth. Vers escapes, and crash lands on Earth.
This is where she meets agent Nick Fury.
Their relationship is so fun, and is one of the best parts of the film. Together they are funny, and incredibly entertaining to watch. They turn this film into a buddy-cop style film, and that makes it even better. They are written so well, and Larson and Jackson absolutely kill the roles, so seeing them on screen together is just fun, and it works. This causes the audience to care about these two, and desire to see them develop.
As the film progresses, we get to see more and more about the world revealed, and what makes it very fun is how Vers, better known as Carol Danvers, discovers the world of Earth. I tip my hat to trhe directors for this move. We get to learn about Earth, with Carol. The more she learns, the more we learn. It makes for a fun, and interesting ride.
One of the biggest positive aspects of the film is the Skrulls.
The film develops them so well. When we are introduced to Talos, they are handed a personality. The film makes you realize that they are not just mindless monsters, but they are smart, tactical, and strategic. They have personal lives too. They are even religious. There is a moment where Fury and Coulson (Clark Gregg) are in a car together, chasing Carol down. We are shown that Coulson is actually a Skrull, and Fury had forgotten the real Coulson before the chase. Fury quickly kills the Skrull, and takes the dead body to S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters. There, we meet Keller (Ben Mendlesohn), Fury’s boss. When the room is empty, Keller leans down, and sort of ‘prays’ over the dead body, revealing him to be an undercover Skrull. This humanizes the Skrulls, and gives them a personality.
Later on in the film, we meet Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), Carol’s best friend from her past life. Lynch kills it in this role. She is someone who cares about Carol and her daughter Monica (Akira Akbar). She is an absolute force to be reckoned with. It is at her house we discover a huge twist in the film: the Skrulls are the good guys.
Talos reveals through a black box recording from Carol’s crash landing six years ago, that it wasn’t a Skrull who attacked Danvers, but it was Yon-Rogg. A big plot device in the film is a lightspeed engine, developed by Dr. Lawson, a scientist working for Pegasus. The Skrulls need it, and the Kree explain that the Skrulls intend to use it for evil purposes, but Talos claims thet intend to use it to escape the Kree opression. Yon-Rogg killed Dr. Lawson, because she wasn’t actually a human, but instead she was a Kree. Her name? Mar-Vell. It is revealed here that Mar-Vell left Hala to help the Skrulls build the Lightspeed engine. Carol betrays the Kree, and helps Talos find his lost people, and fights off the Kree attacking Earth to kill the Skrulls. The film ends with Carol sending Yon-Rogg back to Hala, and telling him that she is coming to fight off the Kree. She leaves with Skrulls, to help them find a new home.
The film has a lot of positive aspects. The Skrulls are amazing, Larson, Lynch, Jackson, Mendlesohn, and Law are such an amazing lead cast. They crush it in their respective roles. The easter eggs are wonderful. The Lightspeed drive is revealed to be powered by the Tesseract, and a funny gag is how Carol and Fury treat it. We are watching it with the knowledge that it is an Infinity Stone, but they treat is as a little cube that means nothing. The nineties soundtrack is fun and light hearted. The story is interesting, and the characters are very well developed. The action is fun to watch, and the final battle is very entertaining. The film does a wonderful job at displaying a powerful message for women, and even shows moments that defines what it means to overcome what others say. Carol is STRONG, and I mean STRONG. Once she gains complete control of her powers, she cannot be stopped. She blows through a Kree ship like it is paper, and scares Ronan away quickly. Also, Carol’s cat Goose steals the show.
With all that in mind, there are negative aspects of this film. First of all, the pacing. It is terrible. The first act is okay, it holds a consistent speed. The second act flip flops so much, and drags on in places it really shouldn’t. The third act feels lifeless, and is incredibly underwhelming for a MCU third act. I left the theater comparing it to the likeness of Iron Man 3, Ant-Man and The Wasp, and The Incredible Hulk. The final showdown between Rogg and Danvers is boring, and stupid, in my opinion. It completely throws away the relationship established early on in the film. It ends with her simply punching him into a mountain, and sending him back to Hala. Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) feels useless, and his presence in the film isn’t really needed, but is there to connect this film to the cosmic side of the MCU. The film canonizes a few things. First, it shows how Carol changed her suit’s colors from the Kree colors to the classic Red, Blue, and Gold. It is done by a little device on her wrist, that allows the user to change it to whatever they desire. It just seems boring, and underwhelming. It shows how Fury loses his eye. Goose claws it while Fury is holding him to his face. A huge question since Captain America: The Winter Soldier is how Fury lost his eye, considering he said “The last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye.” Again, it feels boring, and very underwhelming. The CGI is great, but there are moments where it is very unpolished, and cringeworthy.
I did however enjoy how Dr. Lawson turned out to be Mar-Vell. I felt that it was interesting and very surprising. There is a moment at the end of the film where Fury is sitting at his desk, typing out a plan for the ‘Protector Initiative.’ He looks at a picture of Carol, and sees that her callsign is ‘Avenger.’ It is then implied that he changes the name, as Alan Silvestri’s epic Avengers theme plays. That, at first, was very odd to me, butas I thought about it, it quickly became really cool, and a fun nod to Carol’s importance in the MCU.
There are two post credit scenes
One is a mid-credits scene where we see Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) obeserving the overall death around the world due to the snap, as seen in Avengers: Infinity War. It is revealed that they have the pager given to Fury by Danvers so he was able to contact her. It shows the signal has been shut off, and it is shut off. Carol then quickly arrives, and says “Where’s Fury?” This is likely a scene from Avengers: Endgame, and shows that Carol likely be in the film early on, and will play a huge role.
The second is after the credits. It shows Goose coughing up the Tessaract as a hairball onto Fury’s desk.
At the beginning of the film, the Marvel intro is changed. Instead of scenes from other films, we are shown a montage of Stan Lee’s cameos in all of the different MCU films. The intro ends with the words ‘Thank You Stan’ appearing on screen. It was a wonderful moment to honor such a wonderful man, who would be proud to see all the progress being made in these films.
Captain Marvel was good. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. The characters are amazing, the story is fun, but the film is plagued with odd choices, terrible pacing, a lackluster third act, and not so memorable moments. The film is a wonderful origin story, and with a little work, can turn into the greatest franchise the MCU has ever seen. I am beyond excited to see Carol Danvers return in next month’s Avengers: Endgame.
My rating: 7.5/10
What did you think? Did you like Captain Marvel? Are you excited for her future in the MCU? Let us know down below. For all things Marvel, DC, and cinema in general, follow us @thecinemaspot!
Written by Tyler Siedell.