Review: Captain Marvel (with Spoilers)

Captain Marvel wasn’t a perfect movie, but it didn’t have to be for it to be considered a success.  In fact, a movie is more judged today by box office rather than the quality of the movie.

Now don’t take this as I didn’t like the movie; the movie was very good.  It wasn’t Captain America: The Winter Soldier (the bar for a great movie), but it wasn’t Thor: The Dark World either.  For me, it sits right in the middle of the MCU movies.

For those who haven’t seen it, SPOILERS…

The movie came off as 2 parts: a look at the Kree Vers on Earth and the human Carol Danvers discovering herself.

The first half shows our hero on Hala, the Kree homeworld, struggling to control her emotions as she attempts to become an agent in the Kree Starforce Military.  Yon-Rogg, played by Jude Law, is her mentor and confidant; he’s a fun character, but right off the bat you can tell something isn’t right with him. We learn they are trying to save an undercover agent on another planet from the evil Skrulls, an alien race trying to decimate the Kree and take over their empire.

Vers gets captured by the Skrulls in an ambush; we learn they are looking for technology for a light speed drive by searching Vers memories.  She escapes and lands on Earth, but starts to question whether these memories are real or implanted by the Skrulls.

On Earth, she is able to communicate with Yon-Rogg and explains where she is.  She is also discovered by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. We get to see car chases, fights with Skrulls, and a young agent Coulson.  

Vers is able to piece together enough of a memory that she goes to a bar, where she meets up with Fury and they start to piece together the location of Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Benning), who has ties to Vers’ memory and was rumors to be the one building the light speed drive.  The 2 end up finding out Lawson is dead from a plane crash and something is being covered up. Fury covertly calls in S.H.I.E.L.D. and discovers they’ve been infiltrated by the Skrulls.

This is where it shifts to the second part.  Vers discovers she’s from Earth and actually Carol Danvers; they go to meet her friend Maria Rambeau.  Rambeau was a pilot with Danvers prior to the “crash” and also knew Lawson. We also meet Rambeau’s daughter, Monica.

The Skrulls show up with the black box from the crash; they all listen to the recording and discover the truth.  As the recording starts, we get a flashback that Lawson was actually a Kree scientist Mar-Vell. She was working on the light speed drive as a way to help the Skrulls, a race on the brink of extinction by the Kree, and end the war between the 2 races.  Yon-Rogg shoots down the jet that Danvers and Lawson are flying to get the drive; Lawson dies in the crash, but Danvers decides to shoot the drive rather than give it to Yon-Rogg. The drive explodes and Danvers absorbs the power of it. Yon-Rogg takes Danvers back to Hala.

Danvers decides to help the Skrulls with the aide of Fury and Rambeau.  They fly up to Lawson’s hidden lab and discover that more Skrull refugees are hidden there, and that the light speed engine is powered by the Tesseract.  The Skrull are on the brink of extinction after being hunted by the Kree for not conforming to their Empire. Yon-Rogg and his team show up and a battle ensues; Rogg also calls for support from Ronan and the Accusers.

Danvers discovers that using her emotions actually fuels her powers and becomes more powerful than the Krees knew; so much so that she discovers she can fly.  She ends up defeating the Kree, sending Yon-Rogg back to the Kree with the message that she’s coming.

Danvers ends up leaving Earth to help the Skrull refugees find a new planet; she took Fury’s page (seen earlier in the movie), doctored it up, and says if she’s needed, to send a message.

I left out a lot, I know.  This is more than enough to show my points.

I liked the movie.  It did well to introduce the character, show a young Fury in SHIELD, and nailed the woman empowerment thing started in Wonder Woman.  What it didn’t do was connect the viewer to the character; half the movie she didn’t care about humanity and ignored what she learned.

The movie also didn’t help the future of the MCU.  The Skrulls were sympathetics here and it’ll be hard to morph them into villains, unless you go the route of a radical group are the bad guys.  It’s missed opportunity to set up Secret Invasion from this movie.

For the non-comic reader, the Skrulls spend years infiltrating Earth by replacing people, including some superheroes and people of power.  It was a big event in comics that would translate to the screen.

It also got me thinking about how Captain Marvel fits in for Endgame.  Yeah, she’s going to be a big part of the movie, but the post-credit scene made it seem like she didn’t know half the population was wiped out; she had been with the Skrulls and would have seen half of them disappear (unless they were spared because their number had been drastically reduced by the Kree).

I’m also guessing that while she got her powers from the Tesseract, she doesn’t have a connection to it.  She would have been able to feel it being used otherwise, both when Loki had it in Avengers and when Thanos snapped in Infinity War.

The movie does leave options for Carol in her own franchise.  We get the possibility of seeing large parts of the Kree/Skrull War and how the Kree end up signing a truce with the Nova Corp, seen in Guardians of the Galaxy.  We can see other races, like the Brood or the Spartax. We can also see Rogue of the X-Men get a powerup, since the Disney/Fox acquisition has gone through.

Like I said, I enjoyed the movie.  I was sucked in and the Skrull refugee swerve was unexpected and enjoyable.  More importantly, my kids loved it and one of my daughters has a new character she loves; she’s the type to believe she can do anything and will get up from a challenge, like they showed Danvers in flashbacks.  It’s nice reinforcement for her.

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