I'm drawing my way through the Marvel movies. Now, I know I'm literally 4 years late to the game of critiquing this movie. But I have thoughts. So here we go.
There was definitely potential in this movie. So much potential! But...do I think they completely hit the nail on the head? No.
1. Introduction of Vers/Carol Danvers & The Kree
Starting right at the beginning, there could have been so much more done with the introduction of Carol. I understand the "amnesia trope," and there's a lot you can do with it. The conflict is figuring out their past or accepting they never will. And there were underlying things that kind of did this. But it could've been used throughout the movie in ways that linked everything together so much better.
We also don't get connected to any of her fellow Kree. Maybe we're not supposed to, but she certainly is, especially to her commander. But honestly, I just keep referring to him as Jude Law's character, because I can't remember his name. That's how not really connected I am to him. (Even when Carol shoots him at the end and tells him she has nothing to prove to him, I really just felt proud because she stood up for herself, not necessarily because I had grudge against him.)
2. Carol and Maria’s Relationship
This is something that I think was well-written, even though we don't get a whole lot of it and Carol doesn't know who Maria is at first. But we see how, even with the amnesia, they click, they have chemistry. My only complaint is that we don't get a lot of screen time with just the two of them.
3. Young Coulson
This is mostly a shoutout, because I love Coulson in this movie. He's very much comic relief, and it works.
4. Young Fury
Fury and Carol have such a fun banter-y relationship, and we see a lot of Easter eggs and backstory being told for him that connects with other movies. He also gets to be the sort of flabbergasted, confused character that so many other people are in movies where he's the one who's not fazed by anything anymore. It's a fun role reversal.
5. The Skrulls
I love the Skrulls. They're super interesting beings. Funny. Witty. Sarcastic. But they could've been used to up the suspense.
Throughout the whole movie, we - and Carol - are under the impression that the Skrulls are evil and out to kill her. That's the whole mission of the Kree: to protect planets from Skrull invasion. We, of course, later learn that that is all a lie, and the Skrull are the ones under attack and fearing for their lives. They're trying to find the energy core to find their people, not to destroy the entire universe (or whatever lie the Kree have been telling).
Up until the truth is revealed, aside from the scene where they're poking around in Carol's memories and one quippy line on the beach, the Skrull are characterized as scary, mean fighters, who will kill literally anyone. And in the scenes where Carol is present, that makes sense. But what about the scenes where only the audience is present to see the Skrulls doing things - like when they land on Earth, come out of the ocean, and camouflage as humans? Those would have been fantastic times to let the audience know what their actual goal is and create even more suspense, because we know something that Carol doesn't!
It's like when we flash to a villain doing something somewhere else in a movie, and we get worried because we know what's coming but the characters don't! It would have made it much more suspenseful and interesting to watch.
This brings back the Kree as well! If we had more connection to them, we would feel more betrayed when we found out they've been lying to Carol for the whole movie. But we're not that connected. At all.
6. Maria and Monica
Another shoutout to Maria. And a shoutout to Monica. They're relationship and their relationship with Carol are sweet.
7. The Uniform Reveal
The scene where Carol asks Monica to choose her uniform colors is truly adorable. And a very sweet yet epic way to show this transition. I'm always fascinated by how a superhero gets their stripes, so to speak - how they choose or are given their uniform. It's an iconic moment for sure. And the costuming department did an AMAZING job with Carol's uniform. It is spectacular.
8. The Stand Up Moment
This scene is near the end when Carol is communing with the Supreme Intelligence, and she has all of these flashbacks of her life on Earth getting knocked down. And the Supreme Intelligence uses those memories to make the point: "Without us, you're only human." And then they flash what happens after the knocking down - she gets back up. And there's a really powerful montage of Carol standing up over and over and over, not allowing anyone to keep her down or tell her what to do. It's a really impactful moment.
I think it could have been worked up to so much better! I mentioned earlier that her introduction/internal conflict could have been more well explained and portrayed. It is, but it's lost a little here and there. And her internal conflict of figuring out who she is culminates in this moment - this realization that she is human, she was powerful before her superpowers, and she doesn't need to let anyone tell her who she is or what she can do. That's powerful! But it's lost a little. The journey to this moment is disjointed.
(Still love this scene, and it gives me chills.)
9. Carol “Avenger” Danvers
This scene feels a bit tacked onto the end, almost like it was an afterthought. And, of course, it's kind of supposed to be. It's supposed to be this Easter egg realization moment for us, as the audience of "Ohhhhh! That's where the name for the Avengers came from!" But it's not talked about in any other movie. Captain Marvel is not mentioned in any other movie, even though she, the Kree, and the Skrulls are the first extra-terrestrial beings that Fury encounters. And he has a direct line to her in case of major disaster. Not talked about? At all? Not part of the backstory for the Avengers forming?
And you could argue that because Captain Marvel was made after many of the early Marvel movies, they wouldn't have had the foresight to put it in. However, I would argue that the creators and writers of the MCU are so detailed in the way that they connect, foreshadow, and plan every movie and show that they probably knew. And if they didn't, it really is a tack on that feels a little like a last minute edition. Just my opinion.
10. Flerken and tesseract
This is also just a shoutout, because I absolutely adored this scene. I also just adored the Flerken in general. A great comedic piece. Whatever happened to the Flerken? Does Fury still have it? Is it dead? I need these answers.
What are your thoughts on Captain Marvel?
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