Captain Marvel photon-blasted into theaters this last weekend and broke records. As the first MCU release this year, and the last movie before the long awaited Avengers: End Game it was a release that many contributors at our site were waiting for and excited to talk about. Like other collaboration reviews before, we decided to ask some of our contributors about how they felt about the film.
Did you go into Captain Marvel with any expectations, what were they?
Charles: Yes. Between the emphasis on rising up/overcoming obstacles in the trailer I expected some big emotional moments, between sequences of humor, Carol blowing things up.
Lizzy: I think I had some expectations since I have seen so many Marvel movies and they tend to build hype with their marketing campaigns but I try to be realistic.
Ash: I went in with barely any expectations. I’ve never been a fan of character or her comics, so I just wanted to enjoy the movie and hopefully gain an appreciation of the character.
Nikko: I didn’t really go in with any expectations. There was so much promotional images and trailers that there wasn’t really any room for mystery. I just wanted Carol to be the badass superhero I knew she could be.
Drew: Medium high expectations, this is the movie before Endgame! I took a highly unusual 3rd act bathroom break just to make sure I wouldn’t have to get up during the credits. In terms of the movie itself, origin MCU movies aren’t my favorite so I wasn’t expecting anything mind blowing.
Matt: Not really, I have never really been a fan of the character and everything saw from the trailers did not excite me that much.
Kate: I had some pretty big expectations for Captain Marvel, mainly because of all the hype built around it and the fact that at this point, the MCU has a long line of great movies in the last two years alone. I expected it to have great action sequences and to walk away feeling Captain Marvel’s power.
Maia: Fairly low. It’s hard to trust that Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther were not anomalies when previous to them, Marvel has not had a great track record with developing female characters outside the “competent pragmatist who can beat you up but trusts no one except the one dude who gets to her heart” type. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
Did Captain Marvel meet your expectations?
Charles: to a degree. I think the movie succeeds well with what it was trying to do, but my interpretations of the preview materials had me expecting more than it was trying to deliver.
Lizzy: Yes and no. There were moments I loved and I did like the movie but it is not my favorite Marvel movie nor did it garner the feeling I wanted it to overall. I didn’t leave feeling like I did after Wonder Woman or even Tomb Raider. But I can’t speak for every woman.
Ash: Considering that I had very little expectations, yes it did. It’s not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination. It suffers from a weak script and the performances fell flat at times,but I really enjoyed it!
Nikko: Having no real expectations, I can’t really give a definitive answer. But I enjoyed the film overall, even though there were some obvious flaws.
Drew: Yeah pretty much. The flaws of this movie are the flaws of alot of MCU origin movies that only really Black Panther has transcended. I enjoyed the movie more than the lukewarm movie reviews would have had me believe and there really were very cool aspects of this film.
Matt: I had no real expectations, so can’t really say whether met them or not. However, the movie was very bland and didn’t really enjoy it. It had a few flashes in there that were good, but overall the movie wasn’t that good and came off as a total money grab and really unnecessary especially with Endgame coming.
Kate: Sadly, no. I could give passes for weak stories and dialogue if the film had great fight/action sequences, but that wasn’t the case. There were too many cuts in the fights and the up close shots during 1:1 sparring specifically made me think that one or both of the actors were unprepared for their physical roles.
Maia: Oh yes I went in hoping to not hate it and came out really emotional about professional disaster Carol Danvers and that’s all I could have wanted. There’s a lot the film squanders in terms of talent and the story is just fine but Brie Larson gave Carol Danvers life.
Who was your favorite character?
Charles: Fury, with Carol as a close second. I loved how we see the much more inexperienced Fury here. He serves as a great avatar for the viewer, who, if not a long time Marvel fan, is just as behind the eight ball as he is. Though I did really appreciate Carol.
Lizzy: Carol. Brie Larson was perfect. She understood the disaster Carol is. In the comics, at least in DeConnick’s run, Carol Danvers’ is reckless, brash, and needs therapy but instead just punches before she acts. It’s refreshing to see that in a female character. We don’t always get that.
Nikko: I would have to say that my favorite character is Carol. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve read an extensive amount of Captain Marvel comics, but she’s what I imagine Carol would be like if they ever brought her to the big screen. She wasn’t afraid to back down from any challenge, but also had moments where she struggled.
Ash: My favorite character was Maria Rambeau. Her overall attitude and willingness to go along with whatever crazy stuff was happening without questioning it was amazing. She also really reminded me of Monica Rambeau AKA Photon, from the comics which is fitting considering that she is the mother of what will hopefully be the MCU interpretation of the character.
Drew: Split decision for me because Talos the Skrull leader played by Ben Mendelson was really amazing in and out of that heavy makeup. Great acting and a surprising amount of humor from the character. My second runner up is the Kree Supreme Intelligence! It is such an iconic design in the comics, I love how they chose to interpret it in this film.
Matt: My favorite character was Goose and that was about it. Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t bad, and his parts with Goose were entertaining and rest of the cast wasn’t that great. Brie Lawson was uninspiring and for portraying that powerful of a character she just didn’t command the room and I just never got a sense that she was powerful for majority of the movie.
Kate: Fury, hands down. Even with a shaky script, Samuel L. Jackson can deliver. Although I found the aging down a little jarring in the beginning, it wasn’t bad at all and I appreciated the grounding he brought to the overall story. Goose is of course my second favorite. There were aspects of Carol that I liked, but even though it was her movie I walked away with no attachment to her.
Maia: Monica Rambeau. I want the world for this sweet caring smart as hell girl. Let her grow up to build space ships and befriend all sorts of aliens!
What was your favorite moment?
Charles: When Carol finally fully realizes what she can be. What so many have been trying to keep her from being and takes full control over her life.
Lizzy: My favorite moment was the montages of Carol trying to remember who she was. The scenes of Carol falling over and over again matter. I think because I was that kid. I always had to one-up the boys around me similar to how she did.
Ash: My favorite moment was the reveal that the Skrulls weren’t actually the bad guys and were instead just refugees trying to find a home. It was a fantastic twist and was one of the only times I’ve been genuinely surprised in The MCU!
Nikko: My favorite moment was when Carol manages to free herself from The Great Intelligence and finally lets her full power loose. It was incredible to just see her use her powers without others restraining her.
Drew: Carol letting loose after fully realizing her own power. The montage was well done and it was a good turning point in the film, it felt earned after what Carol had been through and what we had learned about her as a character.
Matt: If I had to choose a favorite moment it would be the Goose and Fury’s interactions overall. There really wasn’t anything that good or moment that stood out.
Kate: Carol going binary and fighting her way up to the Kree. However, it was in the trailer, so I knew I would love it, but it gave me hope for what she could be in End Game.
Maia: Carol fully realizing her powers was one of my favourite moments too but I was really delighted afterwards when Yon-Rogg was trying to gaslight her into thinking it was all him and Carol was like nah this is me and I don’t have to play your games anymore.
Could it have done something better?
Charles: Oddly, my favorite moment. I wanted that moment to be something even deeper. I wanted that moment to leave me in tears. It was still great though.
Lizzy: Yes. It felt rushed at times and the story was often half-baked at best but it wasn’t bad.
Ash: I felt that Brie Larson’s performance fell flat more often than not. She was great with the dramatic bits but she couldn’t quite pull off the comedy. I’m sure that with time she’ll grow more comfortable in the role and I can’t wait to see where she takes it!
Nikko: – Some of the fight scenes were horribly edited, but it does make sense given that the directors of the film have only done indie films. Some of the overall plot points were a bit lackluster. I expected more from some of the new and returning characters. The music selection was amazing but felt a bit out of place at times.
Drew: The sequence of events was a little confusing, I think they could have used the crash itself as more of a set piece and dropped a few more small pieces of information along the way. Instead we get a full on mystery reveal as the plot progresses. We could have moved faster through the story or at least re ordered some of the storytelling moves and it would have been a more effective story.
Matt: The entire movie? The come on Carol get up was so overplayed that lost value by the end and just turned into a joke. They were so extra with like the simplest of actions that it became laughable: “OMG Carol Danvers walked through a door!” Brie Larson’s performance overall just wasn’t that good. The fight scenes were poorly done and so many cuts, that I was wondering who couldn’t do the fight scenes. The plot itself was boring and confusing. The whole movie itself just came off as a money grab, since it doesn’t add much to the overall story of the MCU.
Kate: The movie suffers from over-direction. There are weird cuts throughout and they focus on making every single thing that Carol does a big moment that nothing feels like a big moment. Epic shot of Carol and this hanger, epic shot of this motorcycle and Carol, epic shot of her just walking. The end of the movie shows that she is powerful, but the directors focused so much on over directing that they didn’t just let her be. She should have been introduced like Black Panther or even Spider-Man first, allowed to just be powerful. Not to mention, I’m sadly questioning if this was just made to make money and save face after not having a female hero for 10 years.
Maia: Honestly I think they did a real disservice to the narrative of the Kree-Skrull War and its commentary on Imperialism. It was very rushed and felt like an afterthought that boom now the sides are switched. Also would have loved to see more of Carol and Maria in the past to really cement what both of them lost.
One sentence movie reviews:
Charles: A great story in the Marvel tradition, highlighting a great message, great cast, great moments, and a lot of fun. – 8/10
Ash: Good old fashion fun in space! – 7/10
Lizzy: Captain America: The First Avenger meets Memento. – 7/10
Nikko: Even though it was a different take on an origin story, Captain Marvel still managed to be an enjoyable movie. – 7/10
Drew: As good as any starter MCU movie, I liked it more than Dr. Strange. -7.5/10.
Matt: Middle to low tier MCU movie that gave us nothing new and overall wasn’t good. – 5/10 ‘Michael Caine’s “Why do we fall sir?“‘
Kate: By setting Captain Marvel in the 90s, the filmmakers did a disservice to the importance Captain Marvel can play in the larger MCU and instead gave us a forgettable origin movie-lite. – 6/10
Maia: Captain Marvel is emotionally satisfying and full of fun. – 8/10