Review: Captain Marvel

Brie Larson in Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel was a delight. It was fun and funny. The visual effects were stunning. It’s wonderful entertainment. Go see it.

Looking for a woman reviewer’s opinion of this film? You just found one.

Brie Larson in Captain Marvel
The Earthling

We learned the origin of Captain Marvel in this film. Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) was just a regular earthly human. Maybe she was a bit on the clumsy side, but she never quit, never gave up. She never let a man keep her down or outshine her. She became a fighter jet pilot. She was a hero even before she was a superhero.

The next thing she knew she was on some other planet being trained by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) to control her powers. She didn’t remember her previous life except in odd flashes. She didn’t remember where her powers came from, but we find out during the movie.

And it wasn’t just the powers she had while working with Yon-Rogg. She became even more powerful before the film ended. YOWZA, did she ever. Captain Marvel is the most powerful of all the Marvel superheroes!

She was caught in the middle of a war between two alien races. She didn’t want to be. She commandeered a ship in a effort to escape. She crash landed on Earth in 1995. She slowly gained her memory back. But the war followed her to Earth. Spoiler – the battle between the two alien races ends with her being super powered and part alien herself.

Earthly Memories

Brie Larson and Lashana Lynch in Captain Marvel

Vers, as she was known, recovered her full name, Carol Danvers. She also rediscovered her best friend Maria (Lashana Lynch). They grew up together and became fighter pilots together. When Carol vanished from Earth, Maria saved all Carol’s things for her, including her jacket. Maria’s daughter called her Auntie Carol.

Maria Rambeau was Carol’s loyal and steadfast friend. And she was a helluva pilot, just like Carol. It’s exciting that a Black woman has a role as a heroic character in this Marvel world. Maria’s daughter, Monica (Akira Akbar), is the age of girls in the film’s target demographic. Monica is awesome, too.

Annette Bening in Captain Marvel

Carol realized the woman she’d projected as the Supreme Intelligence on that other world was actually her old earthly mentor Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening). Dr. Lawson created the energy core/tesseract that provided the power everyone wanted, but Carol Danvers ultimately got.

Dr. Lawson had something to do with how the name Marvel originated. The name now identifies a superhero plus an entire universe of entertainment. May I point out that it was an elder who played this key role?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg in Captain Marvel

When Vers crash landed on earth, two smooth-faced young Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. named Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Coulson (Clark Gregg) investigated at the Blockbuster Video Store where she’d crashed. Definitely a meet cute for a long-lasting relationship.


A cat named Goose befriends Nick Fury. I’d say the cat was there for comic relief, but the cat was important in several plot points, so it deserves credit as a major character.

The Number One Feminist

I think Captain Marvel is the most feminist of all the superhero films we have. Look at her relationships.

  • Her best friend and the person she loved most was Maria Rambeau
  • The person she most admired was Dr. Lawson
  • She let Maria’s daughter design her superhero costume

As for Carol Danvers personality – she was outspoken, never took any BS from anyone, and had a sharply-honed sense of humor. Brie Larson gave her just the right attitude, warmth, and confidence.

It’s that self-confidence and that ability to speak up for herself that will make her admirable to young girls looking for a superhero to emulate. A leader who does the right thing and supports other women – she’s inspiring.

Carol Danvers wants to use her powers to end wars, not start them. This is why we need more female superheroes.

What the Audience Loved

The crowded theater I was in on opening night reacted noisily to some of the scenes. Whenever Stan Lee’s face showed up there were awws and applause. Bleeding Cool has an interesting post about how something in the film changed slightly after Lee’s death.

The crowd loved the cat. Goose stole the show and earned cheers. Plus, the cat had a primo spot in the film’s credits and gave an authentic and heartfelt performance there.

Captain Marvel was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, both of whom worked on the screenplay. It’s delightful entertainment. I recommend it 100%.

Spoiler Free Fun

Thanks to @SLEEPlNTHEGRDN for a perfect tweet.

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