‘Captain Marvel’ (Film)

‘CAPTAIN MARVEL’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Kree, Skrulls and Captain Marvel

After seeing this movie a second time on Blu-ray, I still find it a fascinating Marvel superhero movie!

It was after attending the ‘Film & Comic Con Cardiff’ in March 2019 that I saw the movie ‘Captain Marvel’ at the cinema. I have fond memories of attending that comic con in Cardiff and seeing many stars, including ‘Doctor Who’ ones! It was nice to round it off with seeing a Marvel superhero movie.

I had a great time seeing ‘Captain Marvel’ at the cinema. I didn’t know what to expect. Yet, I greatly enjoyed the cast’s performances; some of the storytelling and found it a good entry in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. I was pretty blissfully unaware of the controversy that this movie had caused. 😀

I knew nothing about Captain Marvel as a superhero from the Marvel comics. The character debuted in ‘Marvel Super-Heroes’ #12 in January 1967 and was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. There is another Captain Marvel in Carol Danvers. She was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan in 1968. 🙂

That was in ‘Marvel Super-Heroes’ #13 in March 1968 as Carol Danvers. She was later Ms. Marvel in January 1977; Binary in December 1982; Warbird in May 1998 and finally Captain Marvel in July 2012. Like I said, I knew nothing about her, so I went into this film blind, hoping to have a good time.

I didn’t purchase ‘Captain Marvel’ when it came out on DVD/Blu-ray at around July time in 2019 after it was shown at the cinemas in March that year. I had it given to me by my parents as a part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Three: Part Two’ Blu-ray box set for Christmas 2019.

‘Captain Marvel’ stars Brie Larson as the main character. The film was co-directed and co-written by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. It also featured Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg and Jude Law who are so good.

There are a few issues with the storytelling featured in the film, even as I re-watched it on Blu-ray. This is especially with some scenes featured in the first act. Some of the first act I’d forgotten about re-watching it. But by the time we got to the movie’s 1990s Earth segment, I was greatly enjoying it.

Hopefully in this review I write, I’ll be able to highlight the film’s positives and negatives throughout. I wouldn’t consider ‘Captain Marvel’ to be a great superhero movie. But there are more positives to be gained than negatives. Hopefully the negatives should be intriguing to point out in the review. 😀

First of all, I really like the tribute made to Stan Lee in the Marvel Studios title card before the film began. It was nice to acknowledge the man who created many memorable superheroes in the Marvel comics in the 1960s. Stan Lee even made an amusing cameo in the film that I enjoyed seeing.

Anyway, the film focuses on Brie Larson as Vers who we first see as a member of the alien Kree. The Kree have been at war with the equally alien, shape-shifting and green Skrulls. But as the film progresses and as Vers journeys to Earth in 1995, she learns that not all is as it seems with her life. 😐

I was taken by surprise with some of the twists featured in the film. I assumed Vers was a member of the Kree and that she was alien. But as it turns out, she’s actually human with extraordinary powers given to her by a massive explosion. Vers was then used and manipulated by the Kree who stole her.

It turns out that Vers’ real identity is Carol Danvers. She was originally an air-pilot taken by the Kree six years ago. It also turns out the Skrulls aren’t the bad guys as they were assumed to be. Carol soon becomes the superhero called Captain Marvel and takes on the Kree forces in order to save Earth. 🙂

I did know about the Skrulls before I watched this film. I’d seen them as enemies of the ‘Fantastic Four’ from the 1960s comics and the 1990s TV show. It was interesting to see them as they were in this movie and turning out not to be evil bad guys as I’d assumed them to be. It was a very nice twist.

It was also interesting to hear about their backstory in the big war they had with the Kree. I can’t claim to know much about the Kree-Skrull war that occurred in the comics, although the Kree have appeared before in the ‘MCU’ in films like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ where characters reappear here.

I liked how this film set up certain events that would occur later on in the ‘MCU’ film series. This includes the Tesseract that contains one of the Infinity Stones and would feature prominently in ‘Avengers Assemble’. There is also Nick Fury who sets up the Avengers Initiative at the film’s end. 😀

Some might consider this movie to be bland and not being dynamic enough. But then again, this is an origins film for a female superhero and it’s actually quite fascinating that this happens to be the first Marvel superhero movie in the ‘MCU’ which features a solo female superhero as its main star. 🙂

There’s a nice comedic-drama balance featured in this film and it was nice to see an air-pilot theme, especially as our main hero started off being an air-pilot with going in air-planes. Since its release though, ‘Captain Marvel’ is considered to be a divisive movie and it might be down to the main star.

First of all though, in my humble opinion, I find Brie Larson to be brilliant as Vers/Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in the film. In seeing her both at the cinema and at home on Blu-ray, I feel she can balance both the serious sides of Carol Danvers’ character as well as her sense of humour. 😀

It was interesting to see Carol’s journey in discovering who she is; how she was lied to by the Kree and how she eventually uses her powers in order to save the world. The way it’s told in story terms is out of order, but it’s interesting how this sense of mystery is provided for us to find out who she is.

However, Brie Larson has been the subject of controversy as she made comments to the press that upset people, including how films were made in a political atmosphere. I didn’t know about this with Brie Larson, but that didn’t worry me as I still enjoyed the film and far more than ‘Doctor Strange’. 🙂

It was great to see Samuel L. Jackson as a younger version of Nick Fury in the film. Apparently, Samuel L. Jackson had been digitally made-up to look younger in the film. I thought that hair and make-up was real. 😀 Okay, maybe the wig he wore was real, but still, I was totally fooled by that. 😀

I really enjoyed how Nick Fury’s origins as a character somewhat begin here in this film. It was also good to see how Captain Marvel and Nick Fury worked together as allies and how they uncovered more about what occurred with a certain Dr. Wendy Lawson in connection to the Kree-Skrull War. 🙂

I liked that Nick Fury wasn’t sceptical all the time and that he was willing to believe the outlandish things that were happening when meeting Captain Marvel in the film. At the movie’s end, Captain Marvel gives something to Nick Fury to summon her help in case of an emergency. I wonder now… 🙂

The film also features Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, one of the Skrull leaders. Ben Mendelsohn played Orson Krennic in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ and I’ve seen him ‘Ready Player One’. In the film, Talos also goes undercover as Keller, Fury’s boss. I was completely fooled by that in this movie here.

Talos is an interesting Skrull character. At first, yeah, you’re led to believe he’s the bad guy considering the Kree and the Skrulls are at war with each other. But once Talos is revealed to be a good guy, you can see his motivations in what he’s trying to do in rescuing his people and his family.

It was amusing when Talos got scared by a cat when it came to him and Vers/Carols presented it to him. Talos also has this sense of humour, which can come across as sarcastic at times. I do wonder though if aliens like the Skrulls do sound more human in the ‘MCU’ and not as alien as led to believe.

Djimon Hounsou stars as Korath, a Kree swordsman and second-in-command of Starforce, which is what Vers/Carol is in when on Kree. Korath was in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Now this is tricky to talk about as I can’t really say much about Korath. Because, he’s criminally underused in this movie here!

It’s the same in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ where he only had a brief appearance. I get that he’s carried over from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but should that make him a main character to be in the top billing? He doesn’t have much interaction with Vers/Carol when they’re on a Kree ship together.

The only thing I can think about him is that he doesn’t have much of a sense of humour, apart from being good swordsman. I think it would be better to have him interact with Vers/Carol more and allow us as an audience to find out why he would be against her once she’s turned against the Kree.

There’s also Lee Pace as Ronan the Destroyer, who was also in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. I still remember Lee Pace fondly for playing Thranduil the Elvenking in ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy. His appearance here in this film however…is rather limited. Not like his ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ role. 😐

Okay, I get it, he’s not meant to doing anything active that would prevent him from doing his active role that would happen later on in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. But like Korath, why have him in the film’s top billing of the cast list? He doesn’t do a lot apart from standing on the bridge of a spaceship.

I mean, he has a conversation with Yon-Rogg via little hologram, but that’s about it. He doesn’t even put up much of a fight when Captain Marvel destroys most of the Kree fleet about to attack the Earth. He and his ship sort-of run away. Honestly, Captain Marvel should’ve blown them up in space.

Lashana Lynch stars as Maria Rambeau, Carol Danver’s best friend. It was interesting to see how Maria was unveiled in the film, being Carol’s best friend when they’re air-pilots together. Maria also has a daughter called Monica and both share Carol in their family life when they were together then.

Carol’s return to Maria and Monica after six years’ disappearance comes as a surprise, especially when Maria presumed her dead. I liked that scene where Carol discovered the truth and she doubts herself in who she is. Maria encourages Carol not to give her and she reminds her who she once was.

It was also good to see Maria not being in an inactive role in the movie as she gets to go up in a plane with Carol, Nick Fury and Talos when rescuing Skrulls from Dr. Lawson’s outer-space laboratory. Maria can come across as a very sharp talker, even in the midst of danger in outer space.

Gemma Chan stars as Minn-Erva, a Kree sniper and member of the Kree Starforce. Again, like Korath, she has a limited amount to do in the film. I get the impression that Minn-Erva doesn’t like Vers/Carol very much. She didn’t even like it when the Kree stole Carol because of her new powers.

But aside from that and being a sharp fighter, there’s not much to say about her. I would’ve liked it if there were scenes where Vers/Carol wanted to hang out with Minn-Erva but she didn’t want anything to do with her. It would not be much, but it’d be interesting to see character development.

Actually, now I come to think of it, the Kree are an unusual alien race. Sometimes there are ones who look human in appearance but then there are Kree that are blue-skinned. Maybe this is to reflect diversity as in Earth society. Perhaps that’s what it is. It’s not established in watching the film.

Annette Bening stars as Dr. Wendy Lawson…also known as Mar-Vell, who, as I understand it, was the original Captain Marvel in the comics. Actually as I did more research, Captain Marvel was originally a guy called Walter Lawson. Interesting how they changed the gender of the character in the movie.

Also in the film, Annette Bening plays the Supreme Intelligence, which is an artificial intelligence on Kree that is the collective embodiment of the greatest minds of the Kree people as well as the ruler of the Kree Empire. It sounds complicated but it appears in the forms of a person one most admires.

In Vers/Carol’s case, the Supreme Intelligence appears as Dr. Wendy Lawson/Mar-Vell. Wendy Lawson was Carol’s boss during her time as an air-pilot and she was involved in the explosion that created Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel. And in case you didn’t realise it, Mar-Vell is a pun on Marvel.

There’s also Clark Gregg as rookie S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson. This was before Coulson became involved in the Avengers programme in the ‘MCU’s first phase from ‘Iron Man’ to ‘Avengers Assemble’. It was interesting to see how Coulson began as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and worked with Fury.

Coulson does come across as very loyal, which is how we expect him to be. I’m surprised Coulson didn’t start as a reckless type, although he can make mistakes. Thankfully, he guesses that Fury and Carol are on the run for a certain good cause and he lets them go without arresting them in the film.

It was nice to see at the film’s end where Coulson and Nick Fury talked about recruiting future superheroes that would take place in the first ‘Avengers’ film. Like Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg was digitally de-aged by 25 years. Mind you, I wouldn’t have noticed as Clark Gregg looks the same. 😀

And there’s of course Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, the Kree commander of Starforce and Vers/Carol’s mentor. I’ve seen Jude Law in ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ and he’s done two ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movies with Robert Downey Jr. And he never got to meet Tony Stark in this film. 😦

It was interesting to see how the mentor-student relationship between Yon-Rogg and Vers/Carol played out in the film. Sometimes, Yon-Rogg can be belittling on Vers, trying to tell her to control her emotions and not to use her powers. Mind you, this is all before the truth got revealed in this movie.

It became tense when Vers/Carol discovered the truth and she as Captain Marvel confronted Yon-Rogg. Watching the film again though, I was disappointed there wasn’t a big fight between Captain Marvel and Yon-Rogg again. It did remind me of a lacklustre ending featured in ‘The Last Jedi’ movie.

But ‘Captain Marvel’ is still better than ‘Last Jedi’. No doubt about that. 😀 And of course, I have to mention one of the biggest stars in the film – Goose the cat. Or rather Goose the alien in the shape of a cat. Actually, did you know in the comics, he was originally called Chewie? Quite amusing that! 🙂

I did think though that the cat got more attention than she should’ve had. I did freak out when there were tentacles coming out from the cat’s mouth. I was like, WHAT THE HECK?!! There was no warning about that! The cat even swallowed the Tesseract before fighting off Kree with its tentacles.

Also, Samuel L. Jackson sucking up to the cat earlier on the film was a bit too much. The revelation that Nick Fury got blinded in his right eye because of the cat scratching it was pretty weak. I was hoping for something better than that. In summary, the cat is cute, but it did get too much attention.

Aren’t I right about that, Cuddles?

Cuddles: “There should be more dogs in these Marvel superhero movies than cats!”

Right you are! 🙂

Just in case you want to know, Goose is played by four cats including Reggie, Archie, Rizzo and Gonzo. No, not ‘Muppets’ Gonzo! 😀 The film also features other members of Starforce such as Algenis Pérez Soto as Att-Lass and Rune Temte as Bron-Char. There’s also Sharon Blynn as Soren, Talos’ wife.

The action sequences featured during the climax where Maria’s fighter-plane is being chased by a Kree ship were exciting to watch. Despite my disgruntlement of there being a lack of fight between Captain Marvel and Yon-Rogg, I found her high-flying sequences with her helmet on really exciting. 🙂

I liked that scene where Carol Danvers has help from Monica, Maria’s daughter on choosing her Captain Marvel outfit. It’s based on the green Starforce uniform she wore, but she changes it into red and blue in order to signify she’s rejected her Kree identity and becomes a superhero at the end.

There is a sense Captain Marvel can be too powerful with the powers she has, especially when she goes high-flying and is all fiery once she flares up, so to speak. But I think Captain Marvel is able to control her powers and despite her Kree training, she does learn how to control her emotions in this.

Going back to the controversial comments made by Brie Larson before and during the film’s release, I don’t really look for that when it comes to watching a Marvel superhero movie. I tend to keep the political arguments in the background and look for the entertainment value in anything film or TV-related.

And as far as I’m concerned, this Marvel superhero movie had the entertainment value required. Yeah, as I said before, there are issues with the storytelling and the characters, but I found this to be a decent superhero flick and it was intriguing to watch, despite not knowing much about Captain Marvel.

The Blu-ray special features of ‘Captain Marvel’ are as follows. There’s the director’s intro by co-writers/co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. There are making-of featurettes including ‘Becoming a Superhero’; ‘Big Hero Moment’; ‘The Origin of Nick Fury’; ‘The Dream Team’; ‘The Skrulls and the Kree’ and ‘Hiss-Sterical Cat-Titude’. There are deleted scenes; a gag reel and an audio commentary with co-writers/co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Overall, ‘Captain Marvel’ is a pretty enjoyable instalment in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ film series. Brie Larson is great as the main character and I enjoyed most of the story; the characters; the plot twists and the surprises throughout. It isn’t a perfect movie, but I had a great time watching it. 🙂

I didn’t see or read any negative reviews concerning the film, despite the controversy going on. But in the end, the entertainment value has to be there. It was certainly there when I saw the film on the big screen and when I saw it again on Blu-ray. Back then, I looked forward to ‘Avengers: Endgame’ next. 😀

Speaking of which, there’s an exciting mid-credits sequence that continues from ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and leads right into ‘Avengers: Endgame’. It features Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and Don Cheadle as ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes where they meet Captain Marvel. There’s also a post-credits scene where Goose the cat coughs up the Tesseract. I’m not sure if these scenes were meant to be the other way around at the film’s end.

‘CAPTAIN MARVEL will return in ‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’. As I’m sure Captain America, Black Widow, Bruce Banner and War Machine will also return. As well as Iron Man, Thor and many other superheroes that were still alive by the end of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. As well as those that were killed off. 😀

‘Captain Marvel’ rating – 8/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Captain Marvel’ (Film)

  1. Timelord 007

    Excellent review Tim, while I’m not a fan of Brie Larson I’ll give her credit that she’s very good in this role, nice to see Coulson in this & Nick Fury play a bigger role although I’d like him to have done more action & show what a bad ass Nick is.

    Yeah the cat creature which caused Nick’s eye injury was lame, very poor explanation, i noticed with Marvel they like to add goofy humour to scenes in their movies which felt tonally off here as for the most part this film has a more serious tone.

    Good action scenes but i agree we needed that final fight between Captain Marvel & Yon-Rogg…….erm did you really have to compare this to that abomination of a movie, i only have hear those three words & I’m hulking out lol.

    Brilliantly reviewed, spot on with the positive/negatives & 8/10 perfect rating.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Captain Marvel’. Yeah, Brie Larson is very good as Captain Marvel despite the controversy that followed her since then. I enjoyed seeing Agent Coulson in this movie and yes it would’ve been good to have seen more action scenes with Nick Fury’s character.

      I get the impression that Marvel likes to keep adding humour to their movies where it’s not often necessary. Maybe that’s the Disney effect more than the Marvel effect. I’m not sure. The humour for some of these Marvel movies is often tonally off-putting including ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ – the last two are for another time.

      I actually forgot I mentioned making a reference to that movie. 😀 Ah well, it’s not like I’m going to mention that movie again in another review, is it? (knowing what’s going to happen in our ‘Endgame’ review 😀 ).

      Many thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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