Captain Marvel is not as bad as the haters are saying it is, but it’s also not as good as its fans are gushing it is.
It’s somewhere in the middle, and that is totally okay with me.
In fact, I think it’s marvelous.
Side note: MARVEL-ous? Get it?
I went to see Captain Marvel with low-ish expectations. Color me fatigued, but I’m just sick and tired of being blatantly spoon-fed “strong female characters.” Give me strong characters who just so happen to be female. You get me? And Captain Marvel’s marketing campaign seemed to just want to shove that whole message down our throats
Imagine my surprise when the movie gave me what I wanted: a Captain Marvel who was a bag of snark and action. just like your average, ordinary Marvel super hero. Freaking made my day.
Anyway, let’s start this review off with a brief summary.
Vers is a Kree warrior-in-training with no memories of her past. She’s part of a team that performs covert operations against the Skrulls, an alien race that is waging war against the Kree. Skrulls come across as vicious mother-flubbers, and they have this nasty ability to shape-shift into any form they want. After a rough encounter with some Skrulls, Vers gets separated from her team and crash-lands on Earth. Apparently, there is a person of interest to the Skrulls on Earth, and Vers is determined to get to them before the Skrulls do. However, Vers is immensely surprised to discover that she had a life on Earth. This revelation changes everything Vers thought she knew about herself (including her real name, which is Carol Danvers) and the war around her. She teams up with Agent Nick Fury (pre-eye patch), her old friend Maria Rambeau, and some unexpected alien allies in order to save an entire alien race and her very own sense of self.
Not a bad premise, huh?
I’m going to start with the things I liked about Captain Marvel, then I’ll go into things that didn’t please me as much.
- The Skrulls: I swear, those guys are the best part of the movie. I first read about Skrulls in comic books. I was extremely delighted to learn they were going to play a major role in Captain Marvel. I was even more delighted when I saw the movie itself. At first you think the Skrulls are going to be the ultimate bad guys of the films. Their ability to shape-shift seems to add to their lack of trustworthiness. But that is a total misconception, and the movie handles it perfectly. The Skrulls are on the losing side of the war against the Kree, and they are five hundred times more likable. The lead Skrull, Talos, is by far the most moving character in the whole film.
- The humor: Ever since Thor: Ragnarok, I’ve been a little bit worried that Marvel movies might throw out moving stories in favor of the ever-present joke. Thor: Ragnarok was in no way a bad movie. In fact, it’s definitely the best Thor movie out there (so far). But I have to admit, I did get tired of all the jokes that were tossed around like party favors. Captain Marvel reached that sweet spot where there were the right amount of jokes. Not too much, not too little.
- The action: Sometimes in action movies, you have no clue what’s going on. Marvel movies have usually been spot-on in their action scenes. Whereas films like those from the Transformers series end up looking like a mess, leaving audiences extremely confused about the blur of motion on the screen. Captain Marvel included crisp and clear action. It was easy to follow what was happening, and it looked good.
- Captain Marvel’s reactions: I was wildly pleased with the fact that the movie focused on the indomitable nature of the human spirit more than the indomitable nature of the female spirit. (I don’t mean to offend anyone by that. As a member of the female portion of humanity, I think females are pretty awesome. However, I get annoyed when people keep pushing this strong female message because it feels like another form of sexism to keep mentioning it. No one ever makes a big deal about strong male characters. Strong male characters just are. True equality would mean that strong female characters just are, too.) However, despite the movie hitting this nail on the head, there is something a little too shallow about some of Carol’s reactions to what is going on around her. If I had found out a person I trusted had lied to me and stolen six years from my life, I would be thoroughly pissed and outraged. And I would be hurt. And lost. Brie Larson as Carol never seems to convey that kind of depth of emotion when this happens to her.
- The soundtrack: Marvel continues to be a disappoint for me with every passing soundtrack that does not include a memorable theme song. DC reigns supreme on this count. After you see Captain Marvel in theaters, I dare you to try humming her theme. You can’t, because it’s not memorable.
- Plot conveniences: This is a flaw that a lot of science fiction and action movies can have. It’s when certain circumstances are glossed over in order for certain other circumstances to occur. For instance, in Captain Marvel, Nick Fury figures out what bar Carol is travelling to based on…a store she stole some normal clothes from that was miles away? Captain Marvel has these flaws just as much as the next movie. They’re irritating, but they were not too huge.
So overall, the movie was not bad. I’m not going to say it’s the best Marvel movie, but it is definitely way better than some of Marvel’s other movies. (Anybody else remember The Incredible Hulk?)
I rate Captain Marvel a take-the-plunge-and-see-the-movie-so-you-can-judge-for-yourself-whether-or-not-you-like-it-because-it-is-becoming-impossible-to-get-impartial-reviews.