WARNING WITHIN THIS REVIEW ARE SPOILERS THAT PERTAIN TO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE. NONE FOR CAPTAIN MARVEL JUST THE MCU UP TO THIS POINT.
It goes without saying that it’s hard to talk about the MCU if anyone hasn’t seen the other 20 films that make up the world. So that’s why the spoiler warning is there. So let’s start with the end of Avenger’s Infinity War aka the post-snap world. As billions of people are turning into ash, and Spider-man is telling “Mr. Stark I don’t feel so good,” Nick Fury pulls out a strange device to send a signal as he joins the half of the universe that no longer exists. The device drops and the audience sees the logo for Captain Marvel. Less than a year later Captain Marvel opens to the reception of an audience that some questions answered prior to Endgame.
Captain Marvel is an origin story similar to Captain America. In fact, I would say it’s Captain America meets Guardians of the Galaxy. The purpose of this movie is not to answer questions of Endgame, but to establish to the audience the character of Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers. This is where the film succeeds.
The trailers establish that Carol used to be an Air Force pilot, but now fights a shapeshifting alien race called the Skrull as a Kree warrior. The story in this film goes more into depth by setting this story in the mid-’90s, thus giving us a younger Nick Fury. This also gives the soundtrack a very 90’s nostalgia trip like Guardians did for the ’80s.
Now as someone who didn’t read Captain Marvel comics I felt that this was a good introduction to the character. However, it did leave me with some new questions with what her role might be in Endgame. But it did feel like a good enclosed story that can be watched by anyone who isn’t up to date on all the plot points of the MCU while giving more lore into the galactic stories of the MCU.
Now I’ve heard some criticism around Brie Larson as Carol Danvers. Personally, I think it’s too early to call. For me, Chris Evans wasn’t Captain America until Winter Soldier, so I look forward to her continuing her character in Endgame. I did feel the chemistry with everyone she shared a scene with was natural. Especially Samuel Jackson, who looked to be having a lot of fun playing Nick Fury in this film.
So where does this film rank among its fellow superhero movies? Well, let’s start with the key comparison, Wonder Woman. Both of these superhero films were lead by a female character and when I look at these two films they are almost the exact opposite. Wonder Woman is a character who is created by the Gods to save man, whereas Captain Marvel was a human who became greater to save others. This is also a common argument when comparing Marvel and DC. Personally, I enjoyed Captain Marvel more than Wonder Woman. The story felt more original, the characters added more to the universe and gave a more pleasurable viewing experience.
But when compared to its fellow Marvel movies, however, it’s very middle of the pack. I’m not saying that it’s bad, it didn’t have me wanting to see it immediately afterward or having me reflect on what I just saw. There were moments in the film that seemed to move a little slow or were a little confusing. Along with those were moments that seemed very “girl power” but didn’t add value to the story. I did feel like I saw a good movie that built more into the lore that is the MCU.
One of the biggest takeaways for me, however, was the tribute to Stan Lee at the start of the film as well as his cameo. While the tribute was simple it was also very powerful and I hope to see it again at the start of Endgame. The cameo maybe one of the funniest Stan Lee cameo outside of Deadpool and Teen Titans Go To the Movies.
Overall I say that Captian Marvel is 3.5 out of 5. It’s a fun movie but it’s not perfect. It does as act a great hold over while we count down for Endgame. And I have no doubt that Captain Marvel will build more in Endgame.