by ERIN CLARK and THOMAS PUGH
WESTFIELD, Ind. (Mar. 2019) - On March 8, Captain Marvel blasted into theaters, raising $455 million globally in the box office opening weekend alone, holding a solid 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie proved engaging for fans and critics alike, but numbers aside, how well did it live up to Marvel standards? Our movie review will include spoilers, so please do not read if you still plan on seeing the movie.
Captain Marvel itself is a thrilling and fascinating take on the comics, following the journey of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) attempt to separate friend from foe in the battle between the Kree, led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), and the Skrulls, led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). The movie itself is intense and emotional, all while keeping tender moments within. It offers an amazing story of remembrance, love, friendship and trust.
While all of these sound generic, they are key parts to an engaging story. Captain Marvel provides this and more, embracing these themes while also ensuring that the reader was emotionally attached to every single character as the story unfolded.
The movie starts off strong with a heartfelt tribute and cameo in honor of Stan Lee, the famous Marvel comic writer who passed away last November, and ends just as strongly with Danvers’s return to Earth after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, with several amusing answers to very important questions (How did Fury lose his eye? There may have been a Goose involved.). Captain Marvel is a thoroughly enjoyable experience for both die-hard fans and newcomers who have yet to see a Marvel movie.
However, while it is an astounding movie, it does have its flaws. Captain Marvel is a filler movie to say the least. It provides backstory so that fans know who the heroine is before Avengers: Endgame, where she is predicted to be a key player in the defeat of Thanos. And, not only is it a filler, but the humor was often lacking. Most of it felt misplaced, and at points even random, in the sentimental theme of genocide and deception. At points, it is actually wit or relief, such as Nick Fury losing an eye to Goose the “cat” towards the end, but throwing in random jokes during an alien genocide seems a little, well, insensitive? Overall, as a movie, Captain Marvel is serious and determined with attempts at comedy (both successful and not) thrown in, something that both helped and hindered the development of the movie.
On a more mixed opinion side, while the movie does a decent job of upholding the comic storyline, there are some surprises; for many of the more dedicated fans, this is a strange adaptation of Carol Danvers’s origin story as Captain Marvel. In the comics, the original Captain Marvel was, in fact, the male Mar-Vell: the Kree we see in this movie as the female Dr. Lawson. Carol Danvers was initially known as Ms. Marvel after being exposed to Kree radiation. However, she was one of the few who took up the Captain Marvel mantle after the passing of Mar-Vell. In addition, while the Kree are also major antagonists in the comics, so are the Skrulls, whereas in the movie they are portrayed as persecuted; however, in the sense of creating an effective plotline for the movie, the changes are well-justified and produce a new and entertaining take on the origin story of Captain Marvel.
Overall, there’s no denying that innumerable hours of work from countless people went into crafting such an amazing film. Some plot points and misplaced humor stir up a bit of distaste, but it pales in comparison to all the amazing features that came along with it. From witty Easter eggs to progressive casting, Captain Marvel succeeds in being everything it should be. None of the minor discrepancies ruin the powerful aspects and themes played throughout. Captain Marvel certainly lives up to and surpassed expectations, and for anyone questioning if they should watch it, we’d have to say, “Absolutely!”