Movie Review: Captain Marvel

I watched “Captain Marvel” and it was… OK. I realize the lead actress does not want me reviewing it, because I am a white dude. Too bad. Here are my thoughts anyway. I will try to keep this free of spoilers.

It was certainly not a bad movie. It was entertaining. Captain Marvel is overpowered, though, when she reaches her full cosmic power. She is more like Binary, when the character had immense cosmic power and was a recurring character in the X-Men books. (That is not a spoiler. It was in the trailer.) One could believe that she could take on Thanos by herself while the rest of the Avengers sit on the bench in the next movie. Also, where was she before? She has been flying through space for 20 years, so one would think she had heard of Thanos before now. Why did she not take him out before he assembled the Infinity Gauntlet?

Having bad guys chasing after an artifact that appears in movies that take place after this one is the definition of anti-climactic. Well, obviously SHIELD is going to either keep it out of the hands of the bad guys or get it back if it is stolen, because they were still fighting over it fifteen years later on Earth. It is never explained why some of the Kree are white, and some are black, but most of them are blue. It is almost like some of the actors either did not want to wear blue makeup or they did not have enough left in the special effects budget to complete the look. We can assume that the whites and blacks “joined” the Kree Empire the same way Danvers did.

The movie was “rah rah girl power” in the marketing of it, but Marvel seemed scared to pull the trigger all the way on that, especially with Carol Danvers’ backstory. So that element winds up being lame. If you are going to introduce that, then go for it. Otherwise, leave it be. There are a couple teases for Monica Rambeau to become a superhero later, and I hope they pull the trigger on that one. Rambeau is a more interesting character than Carol Danvers, and she is not a female photocopy of a male character like Danvers (originally) was of Mar-Vell. She was his girlfriend, got powers, and then became a superhero.

The way the Skrulls were treated was unexpected, but it is cool to finally see the Skrulls in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They were caught with the Fantastic Four movie rights, so Marvel could not use them in their own movies. Hopefully we will see the Fantastic Four in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There is no deep love for the 2005 and 2015 films, so a reboot would be welcome. Maybe we could see The Thing fight The Hulk. Interestingly enough, the Chitauri are basically the Skrulls in the Marvel Ultimate Universe, but are a distinct species in the mainline Marvel Universe.

Other than Captain Marvel crashing into a Blockbuster and visiting a cyber cafe later, there is not much indication that this takes place in the 1990’s. Just having a website that looks like it was built in 1998 was not good enough. Marvel Studios did an amazing job de-aging Samuel L. Jackson with special effects, but Agent Coulson looked fake and stiff. Speaking of Jackson, the origin of Nick Fury losing his eye was absolutely hilarious. Best scene in the movie and Jackson sells it perfectly.

Overall, this is a standard, entertaining superhero movie that fills in some backstory. The first after-credits scene is great and as always sets up future movies. You should get out of the theater before the second after-credits scene, because it is nasty and gross.

Final Grade: B+

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