Marvel’s done it again. I mean, it’s not their best by a long shot, but Captain Marvel is a fun foray for femme fatales.
For those in the know or followed along this past month, I can say that this movie does a beautiful job of stirring up a boiling pot of all things Captain Marvel. My assumption going in was correct in that they basically took Carol Danvers and dipped her in the original Mar-Vell stories. That’s not to say that Mar-Vell isn’t in this movie, and what they did with HER was both faithful and fresh. It didn’t really come as a surprise since this isn’t the first time during Phase 3 that Marvel has done a gender swap on a mentor character, and it worked just as well here.
Carol has fluctuating memory loss, as per norm, and serves the Kree under the command of Yon-Rogg. The Supreme Intelligence also plays a decent role in the film, though we never see its “true form.” It’s probably my only nitpick, but as long as we someday see a giant head all wired up I won’t be disappointed. There’s a nice blend of old and new characters that serves the universe building well (note Ronan, who doesn’t overstep his boundaries in the movie). On that note-
The Tesseract plays a vital part in the movie as well. It doesn’t appear until the final act and it’s a genuine surprise, though it does raise the question of how it went from Howard Stark to Mar-Vell. Honestly, there’s enough mystery around Mar-Vell that the imagination can string several ideas together, so I’d argue that it works out. Furthermore, as a pre-Avengers movie, having the Tesseract in there works for watching these movies chronologically. On THAT note
The final reveal of Carol’s call sign being “Avenger” and why Fury named it the “Avengers Protocol” was kind of lame in my opinion. I’ll let it slide, but that was the only prequel-itis that genuinely annoyed me.
The movie as a whole was good though, and a lot of fun, and served well in introducing Carol Danvers to the MCU. She emoted a lot more than the trailers reveal, and the way she turns a world catastrophe into another day at the office is perfect. We need that kind of hope going into Endgame.
I was also surprised how the Skrulls turned out to be the victims and aided Carol through the second half of the movie. Mendelsohn really lit up the screen and won me over with the Skrulls. When and if they get around to doing Secret Invasion, I’m sure it’ll be a lot more complex as a result of this movie.
Also, Stan’s cameo was sheer genius, and the tribute they concocted for the Marvel logo was beautiful. Both tear-jerkers.
In the end Captain Marvel is nowhere near the greatest be all end all MCU movie, but it’s a good one that I’ll gladly watch again and again. The biggest take away for me is that we got a female superhero movie that wasn’t leaning on female equality. It was a movie about a character who deals with problems the way anybody else would. If more movies can just follow suit, that’d be great.
TL;DR Score: It was an origin movie without being an origin movie, which is also pretty spectacular… because I’m kind of done with origin movies.