“Captain Marvel” is the story of Carol Danvers, a former United States Air Force fighter pilot who is now part of an elite Kree military fighting force known as Starforce. She finds herself in the middle of a war between the technologically advanced, blue-skinned Kree, and the Skrull, a green-skinned elf-like race who can disguise themselves as anyone that they see. It also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening and Lashana Lynch. The film deals with themes of loyalty, choice, good and evil and the idea of helping those less powerful than yourself.
“Captain Marvel” starts off fairly interesting, as it introduces the audience to the Kree homeworld of Hala. Almost immediately after they are told the Kree are in a violent war with the Skrull, who, as mentioned before, can disguise themselves as any other person they come into contact with. The movie world-building largely ends here, and it does a less than adequate job at describing any more than it has to. Compared to a film like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain Marvel” falls short of creating any memorable planets, new alien species or spaceship design.
Brie Larson's performance as Carol Danvers is average at best. She looks bored in some scenes and has a chip on her shoulder throughout much of the movie. This should be attributed to bad directing, as she is not the only actor to appear like this. However, since she is the main actor, she received most of the criticism. That being said, while her acting is decent in this movie, she really feels as though she is a dedicated part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hopefully, this inconsistency won’t flow over into the next “Avengers” movie.
One thing “Captain Marvel” fails at is establishing the rules of its own universe, and in particular, Captain Marvel’s powers. It is never made clear as to what her powers are, only that she is supposed to be incredibly powerful. Her powers will probably be expanded on in “Avengers: Endgame,” but as of right now, she only seems like a ripoff of Thor. This can be contrasted with the movie “Wonder Woman,” where the character’s powers are shown throughout the movie. The audience has a clear understanding of what “Wonder Woman’s” Diana is capable of, but also shows the main character struggling at times despite her power. This draws the audience in more. “Captain Marvel” rarely did that.
Yet again, another disappointing aspect of “Captain Marvel” is its inconsistencies with other Marvel movies. Without going into spoilers, this movie contains a massive amount of contradictions and inconsistencies with the previous Marvel movies that can only be attributed to bad writing. It's very possible that the writers were not dedicated Marvel fans and didn't understand the lore of the previous films well enough as they were writing this one. It's understandable to a degree because that happens in many series, but as these franchises go on longer and become larger, it becomes even more imperative for these films to be directed by people who are not only familiar with the lore, but who understand it as well.
One of the most interesting aspects of “Captain Marvel” is being able to see Nick Fury as a young agent in S.H.I.E.L.D. Samuel L. Jackson carries a special sort of charisma with him throughout the entire movie. He remains the shining light through all of the movie’s issues. Despite his mere presence, the movie basically demotes him to comic relief, something that Nick Fury is not. The filmmakers may have had the intention of showing Fury before he was the cynical head of S.H.I.E.L.D., but Fury even statesthat he has been a soldier and a spy for many years. Would his cynicism have come from that?
While “Captain Marvel” had many average aspects to it, the morally gray plot started off fairly enjoyable and interesting. However, as with much of this movie, subplots that were introduced later on fell flat,, left unexplained, or were subverted for a quick joke. One the other hand, just like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain Marvel” did help to expand the cosmic universe within the MCU, and hopefully more of will be shown in future films.
“Captain Marvel” was not a bad movie, but it wasn't a particularly great one either. Most of the problems in “Captain Marvel” appear as though they can be traced back to the directors. The acting is mediocre, the tone is inconsistent and the morally gray aspects of the movie contain little explanation. If you are a diehard Marvel fan, then you should see “Captain Marvel” to introduce yourself with the character that will likely be taking center stage in “Avengers: Endgame”. By itself, this average movie can be missed in favor of a more fleshed-out movie like “Wonder Woman.”