Thank you to Marvel Studios for the invitation to the advanced media screening to facilitate our Captain Marvel movie review.
Captain Marvel is the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the final movie before Avengers: End Game. What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than a movie release featuring the first female superhero to land her own movie, showing that a woman can handle aliens, strange events, and a chaotic world all on her own without the need to be rescued by a man. If you watched the trailer then you already have a good idea of who Captain Marvel is even if she has no idea who she truly is herself.
Captain Marvel kicks ass and she does not apologize for it nor does she have anything to prove to anyone.
This movie takes place after Captain America and is set in 1995, which is 13 years before Nick Fury introduces himself to Iron Man. References to the 90’s are everywhere from the moment Captain Marvel falls through the roof of a Blockbuster and picks up a VHS tape to the movie poster she destroys and other companies mentioned that take us back in time.
Remember dial up for the internet and those “high speed” internet cafes? Yes, they also make a return which provides a humorous look at life close to a quarter century ago and how technology has changed for the better. Pagers even make a comeback, which might have to be explained to younger audiences raised purely in a world of cell phones and instant access to high speed internet from your pocket.
Brie Larson plays Captain Marvel, but sadly she is never directly called this in the movie. Instead, she is called Carol Danvers or Vers, pronounced “Veers.” While Brie Larson has won many awards for her performances, this is a brand new type of role for her, leaving many wondering if she can be a convincing superhero.
Brie Larson takes on the persona of Captain Marvel perfectly and delivers a stellar performance, showing off all her hard work for the nine months she spent preparing for the role. She proved that a superhero can be beautiful, capable, and skilled without relying upon sex appeal to make it happen. She was an absolute joy to watch in the movie as her hard work and determination radiated through the screen and we look forward to seeing Captain Marvel again in Avengers: End Game.
We first meet Carol Danvers on the Kree home planet of Hala where she is called Vers. As a member of Starforce, which are the Kree’s elite military operatives, she is the best of the best. The Skrulls and the Kree are at war and just when you think you know how it is going to go, plot twists happen.
Since Captain Marvel is the first female to have her own movie, this is a profound moment for women and the Marvel Universe. From the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other Marvel shows we have been blessed with fierce females like Black Widow, The Wasp, Nakia, Shuri, Maria Hill, Okoye, Scarlet Witch, Daisy Johnson, Gamora, Nebula, Jean Grey, Melinda May, Storm, Rogue, and Jemma Simmons. Just to name a few. Captain Marvel joins this elite group of women who help round out the Marvel Universe but we hope this movie is the first of future movies showcasing women.
The best friend of Carol Danvers is Maria Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch. They are both female pilots flying F-16s in a world dominated by men, so their friendship and support of each other becomes critical and something to celebrate as women supporting other women is rarely seen. She is a single mother balancing the demands of the Air Force and living in a man’s world. Maria’s young daughter already embodies the strength and wisdom of a much older person and will inspire other little girls too. Hopefully we see more of her.
Larson and Lynch both spent quite a bit of time with the Air Force, including influential female leaders to help prepare them for the role. Lynch even spent time here in Arizona with our own Luke Air Force Base pilots. They both flew in F-16s and their preparation showed in their convincing performances.
Some questions on the back story of Agent Phil Coulson and Agent Nick Fury do get answered in this movie as we see both of them nearly 25 years before present day. The computer animated effects to de-age both of them were phenomenal, just like they did with Michael Douglas in Ant-Man. It is slightly weird to see Fury with two eyes and a head full of hair since it is a departure from his signature style.
Samuel L. Jackson delivers another stellar performance, before the iconic Director Fury time period we have always seen him portraying. The softer and gentler side of Fury is shown long before he becomes hardened from years of betrayal. We see a hopeful and dreamy state about him and his desire for the future of S.H.I.E.L.D. when he was just an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg, has a minor role but provides much needed humor and plays a pivotal role for the future of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Goose is an adorable feline who makes Agent Fury melt and expose his softer side when he meets Goose for the first time. This is the first time we have seen a cat enter into the Marvel Universe as a character and we can only hope this is not the last we see of Goose. It took a total of four taby cats, a stuffed cat puppet, and CGI to make him appear with an amazing result.
You will see other characters you are familiar with and it does help fill in some of the missing information but gives us even more questions.
This movie is a melding of references to other major movies. From the team work aspect of misfits like Guardians of the Galaxy to the Top Gun feel, there are some delightful pop culture references, including a flying scene that feels right out of Star Wars. Men in Black also comes to mind but sharing the reason would spoil the movie.
One also cannot forget the iconic line from Star Wars: The Force Awakens where Kylo Ren says “I will finish what you started.” This line is delivered almost exactly in this movie by Ben Mendelsohn, who plays Talos in this movie. You might remember him from Ready Player One and Director Orson Krennic from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There is some humor in this since a Star Wars character is delivering another Star Wars character’s line in a Marvel movie.
With the recent passing of Stan Lee, I was curious if Marvel would address his death directly. They did. Marvel gave Stan Lee an amazing tribute that brought unexpected tears to my eyes even before the movie began. If you go to see this movie for nothing else, the few seconds were very emotional to watch as they celebrated the life and legacy of the father of Marvel with a fitting gift for Marvel fans in a way few giants are celebrated.
Both my boys attended the media screening and as a teen and tween, they both loved the film which is not surprising. They love to see an awesome superhero and are Marvel super fans. You can watch their review below.
Young girls will fall in love with Captain Marvel, as they should. It is safe to say there could be a huge surge of little girls and grown women who will undoubtedly wear her costume for Comicon and Halloween. While she may not have the Elsa and Anna effect of entire classrooms dressed from Frozen, Captain Marvel will inspire many little girls to become fierce and find their inner strength.
While there are many aspects of Captain Marvel that make it incredible, there are some features that do not. There are far too many disjointed scenes that needed more time to develop or more explanation for the audience as the extended use of flashbacks and fragments of Carol’s memory are never fully brought to a successful conclusion. She spends much of the movie not really knowing who she is and is trying to pull the pieces together to make sense of it all.
This movie definitely takes a different path than the traditional Marvel script by allowing us to see the superhero learn who they are; however, the first moments of the film we are brought directly into a fight scene where she already has Kree blood inside her. Later we learn how it happens but the series of continuous flashbacks make the movie feel disjointed and not complete, leaving you glancing at your watch to figure out how much more of the film you need to sit through to get to the end as you give your eyes a much needed break from all the flashes. Eventually everything is explained but it is a painful process to go through to get there. If there was a way to tell these parts of the story a different way this would have made the film more enjoyable.
As amazing as Brie Larson was as Captain Marvel even her superhero abilities could not save aspects of the script. Her character was never fully developed emotionally yet we are continually reminded that she must not give in to her emotions during her training sessions. Learning more about her back story is needed. Glimpses of her father and a kid’s car race seemed to lead somewhere but it feels like the rest was left on the cutting room floor.
While Captain Marvel is a good film, it is not excellent and sadly falls far behind many other Marvel movies ranking second from last for this Marvel fan. Perhaps another viewing or two of the film would change my mind, but one thing is for sure. While you definitely need the amazing Captain Marvel’s character this movie could certainly be skipped when viewing the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you really would not miss much. This hurts to even write it, especially as a woman who so wanted this film to be amazing. Marvelous it definitely was not but Captain Marvel is still a bad ass.
Parental Advisory (SPOILER ALERT)
If you have taken your child to see Ant-Man, Captain America, or Avengers: Infinity War, then this movie is on par. If you have seen any of the other Marvel movies, this one has less violence and definitely less humor. Personally we saw no objectionable material for our family, but yours may be different.
Three or four uses of foul language and one reference as to why a fighter pilot calls it a cockpit are used. The hardest part for younger children may be the long, slow moments building the storyline causing it to feel a bit slow.
There is an autopsy scene with a Kree on the exam table with the chest cavity completely open. This may be disturbing to some people and younger viewers.
Stan Lee does make his expected cameo appearance, which is a beautiful gift to the fans after his recent death.
There are two bonus scenes, with the second one after all of the credits have rolled. The first bonus scene plays right into Avengers: End Game and the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The second one is an absolutely funny scene but also has a gross factor to it that kids will absolutely love and make almost everyone in the theatre laugh. Are you a diehard Marvel fan who watches all of the bonus scenes and stays to the very end like our family?
Our media screening was in 2D but not sure how IMAX or 3D would be for watching this movie. Thankfully there are no cheap 3D tricks but the action scenes would perhaps be a bit more intense in 3D. Totally up to you on this one, as far as our recommendation, but we do not see it is necessary to enjoy the film.
Captain Marvel is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.
Captain Marvel Movie Review by Kids
Be sure to watch the movie review by our Plugged In Kids below.
[quote]Marvel Studios presents “Captain Marvel,” an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that introduces the MCU’s first stand-alone, female-franchise title character—Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel.
Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” sidesteps the traditional origin-story template, with Carol Danvers already possessing her superhero powers. Leaving her earthly life behind, she joins an intergalactic elite Kree military team called Starforce, led by their enigmatic commander, Yon-Rogg. But after Danvers has trained and worked with the Starforce team, and become a valued member¬, she finds herself back on Earth with new questions about her past. While on Earth she quickly lands on the radar of Nick Fury, and they must work together against a formidable enemy in the form of the Skrulls—the notorious Marvel bad guys made even more dangerous by their shape-shifting abilities—and their leader, Talos, who is spearheading a Skrull invasion of Earth.
Based on the beloved Marvel comic-book series, first published in 1967, “Captain Marvel” stars Academy Award® winner Brie Larson (“Room,” “Kong: Skull Island”) as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “The Hateful Eight”) as Nick Fury, Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Mississippi Grind”) as Talos, with Annette Bening (“American Beauty,” “20th Century Women”) as Supreme Intelligence, with Clark Gregg (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) as Agent Coulson and Jude Law (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”) as Yon-Rogg.[/quote]
- Release Date: March 8, 2019
- Format: IMAX, 3D, and 2D
- Rating: PG-13
- Run Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
- Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace, Akira Akbar
- Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
- Producer: Kevin Feige
- Executive Producers: Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Patricia Whitcher, Stan Lee
- Screenplay: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet
- Studio: Marvel Studios
Photos provided by Marvel Studios. Used with permission.