Marvel’s latest movie is the first to have a solo female lead, released on International Women’s Day. How is it?

Cast and Crew Information

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers /
Vers / Captain Marvel
Samuel L. Jackson as Nicholas Joseph Fury
Ben Mendelsohn as Talos / Keller
Jude Law as Yon-Rogg
Annette Bening as Supreme Intelligence / Dr. Wendy Lawson
Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau
Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson
Rune Temte as Bron-Char
Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva
Algenis Perez Soto as Att-Lass
Djimon Hounsou as Korath
Lee Pace as Ronan
Chuku Modu as Soh-Larr
Stan Lee as himself
Reggie, Gonzo, Archie, and Rizzo as Goose

Story by Nicole Perlman, & Meg LeFauve and Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Screenplay by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

Premise

The militaristic Kree are at war with the Skrulls, and the soldier Vers follows them to Earth where she learns things about her past and the Kree/Skrull conflict that her Kree superiors would prefer she didn’t know.

High Point

Of the entire presentation, my high point would be the Marvel logo, which was made in tribute to Stan Lee. Of the actual story itself, it’s a tough call, but I think I’ll have to go with the childhood montage near the end.

Low Point

The comic fan in me objects to this version of Talos. This character is not remotely like the one seen in the comics. They should have used a different Skrull.

The Review

We are now about 20 movies into the franchise, so originality is getting harder and harder to accomplish. Still, it’s nice to see a movie start with a highly capable hero, complete with powers, and subvert a few tropes, even if this deviates significantly from the source material along the way. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects are great. Sure, there are times when the lower part of Carol’s face looks CG when she’s flying, but this achieves something far greater: Samuel L. Jackson consistently looks just like he did in 1995. The de-aging technology has finally matured to the point where it’s flawless, at least when applied to an actor with this much footage available from the time frame in question. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is coherent and logical, and told in a non-linear fashion. There’s only one point I questioned, but it’s fairly easy to “no prize” that moment away if I choose. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting is solid. Samuel L. Jackson and Annette Bening never disappoint, so it helps to have them in the cast. Brie Larson works very well in the lead, and it’s nice to see the big screen returns of Clark Gregg, Djimon Hounsou, and Lee Pace. I found Jude Law to be surprisingly stiff, given his track record, but that may be his take on a character who insists that emotions are the enemy. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is up to the usual Marvel cinematic standard, with a soundtrack of a comparable calibre to Guardians of the Galaxy, but where the pop songs are used diageticly and with more subtlety. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is very good, even if I don’t count tearing up at the logo before the movie even really got started. I also quite like the message of female empowerment this sends. Ignore those of my white male brethren who claim it is about tearing down men: it isn’t. This is feminism on the order of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where good men are surrounded with amazing women, as opposed to, say, the 1984 Supergirl movie where capable women were surrounded by incompetent men. This message is positive for all. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a worthwhile chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one that is easy to recommend, particularly before Avengers: Endgame hits late next month. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Captain Marvel receives 38 out of 42.