Review: CAPTAIN MARVEL is a Good Entry into the MCU That Feels More Like a Phase 1 Release


CAPTAIN MARVEL is your typical Marvel twist on an origin movie that feels like it belongs more in Phase 1 than toward the end of Phase 3 of the studios' long-form inter-connected story arc. It is needed for those who do not know who Carol Danvers is, but it feels more like the sole purpose of this origin film is to introduce why she is coming for Thanos after the events of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. This is part Infinity War epilogue and part Endgame prologue as it leads into AVENGERS: ENDGAME.

Brie Larson is a fine on-screen comic book representation as Danvers. All the online complaints how she is a bit flat or bored in her performance, as shown in trailers and television spots, is on purpose because she has lost her memories of her past life and for most of the movie she is trying to find herself and her past. Now a Kree solider with Starforce, Danvers (who is called Vers by her fellow Kree) is like a special forces military solider whose purpose is to kick ass of the Kree's rivals, the Skrulls. By the end of the movie, Larson's Danvers has room for character growth in future movie appearances and sequels which will be interesting to see how Marvel Studios further develops the character. (Think of how Thor has evolved as a character from his first movie to now.)

While Larson fits the role of a leading hero, Samuel L. Jackson is along for the ride for the majority of the movie and not once do you notice the de-aging technology used to CG years off of the actor's appearance. The de-aging tech is by far the most impressive CG in the film for Nick Fury as well as for actor Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson. Both look as if they were filming this movie back in the 90s and not in modern times. Fury is a true joy throughout as his character development takes a huge leap, yet the story of him losing his eye is quite the disappointment.

Coulson is a callback role to his short (and endearing) cameos in Marvel Studios' early Phase 1 movies which helped Coulson become the fan-favorite MCU character everyone has loved for so long.

As many who have also seen this movie early have reacted on social media, Goose the cat is a fun addition but is also somewhat of an issue for me. The issue is with the CG version of the cat which look very fake and not realistic. It almost feels like some parts that are a CG cat were rushed or real cats were not studied enough to get Goose's movements to look natural. Personally, I have two cats and have had cats for almost 15 years now and I know how they move as I see them everyday. Goose had a few moments that made me kind of cringe. But please do not take this as being a huge issue because if you're not as familiar with cats then you might not even notice the few awkward CG scenes.

There is also issue with the CG in the end of the movie when Danvers has gone full binary in space, as seen in the trailers and TV spots. This is not the first time Marvel Studios has had issue with CG in a Third Act of a film as it was also an issue most recently in BLACK PANTHER. Just as in BLACK PANTHER, there are quick flashes of questionable CG, but not quick enough for me to not see it. Maybe I'm just being picky but if it is bad enough to take me out of that movie's moment for a second to think it, then it is definitely there. Maybe the studio releasing three films per year is a cause for recent CG issues and stepping back to two films per year could remedy it. Just a guess on my part since seeing bad CG is never a good thing for any big budget movie.

I have to call it out as there is a really cheesy moment when Danvers' suit gets its traditional comic book red and blue coloring. I cannot give it away but I'm sure you'll agree when you see it happen.

Despite these issues, there is plenty of fun and nostalgia being that this takes places in the 90s. If you were around in that era then you'll enjoy all the throwbacks from locations to logos to songs chosen to play throughout the movie.

CAPTAIN MARVEL is still a good addition to the MCU, although it feels like it will be one of the less memorable ones for me. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. Inherently, this movie is more about it being a set-up for Endgame than anything else. However, if she is a big badass in Endgame then taking this approach was a necessary one and Thanos definitely needs to be afraid of what is coming for him now. Fingers crossed we get to see an even better Captain Marvel character in AVENGERS: ENDGAME.

Finally, there are your standard Marvel humorous moments, a few twists in the story that may hit you by surprise (I myself was surprised by a few of the story twists), and two end credits scenes. The first is a delight, the second is funny based on events that occur in the movie.

Written by Daniel Wolf, Founder & Publisher