Warning: This post contains spoilers that readers might find spoil key portions of Captain Marvel, so if you have yet to see it and plan to, you may want to hold off from reading this entry.
First and foremost, for anyone wondering if there are extra scenes after the movie ends, the answer is yes, there are in fact two extra scenes—one occurs a few minutes into the credits, and the other occurs once the entire credits have finished rolling. The first one adds a little more plot, while the other is more for comic relief.
I have mixed feelings about this movie. On the one hand, this movie will, I think, appeal to audiences who seek a more strong, female lead and a movie where there is no romance plot of any kind. I also don’t recall having seen any seemingly out of place, gratuitous objectification of women (like the one scene from one of the Star Trek reboot movies where Chris Pine happens to take a peek at Alice Eve’s character randomly undressing comes to mind), which was nice.
On the other hand, I found myself cringing a little at certain scenes where the movie seems to be a little too forceful in projecting its message that a woman can be a powerful heroine that can also be looked up to. (Specifically, I found a little awkward the montage where Carol Danvers/Vers is shown facing some challenge and then getting back up and staring at the camera. I think I was hoping for something more like she falls down, but gets back up and is shown being able to accomplish whatever it is no one believes she can.) In that regard, I think I much preferred Wonder Woman (2017), where I feel like Diana’s backstory and character development was a lot more fleshed out. Sure there was a little romance sprinkled in there, but I think that movie did a great job establishing a balance of sorts. Diana was still a very strong, self-sufficient female lead that didn’t necessarily need a man, but she also did not close herself off to experiencing love either. And despite losing that love, she didn’t fall into disrepair. I still saw her as strong as ever by the movie’s end. (I think the only quip I really had about that movie was that I hadn’t found the antagonist all that compelling.) However, I realize that’s a matter of personal preference. I just personally don’t like movies where anything feels forced or overdone, in general. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but I find myself appreciating most the movies where the underlying messages or themes just creep up on you in a way where you can’t help but think about or consider them them, and you also can’t really knock them for being too blatant either. Not to mention the message still clearly gets across.
On a plot level, I think I was a little disappointed. I think I have been spoiled by the likes of Black Panther (2018), which is still one of my favorite Marvel movies to date. For that movie, I enjoyed everything from the story to character development, the strong supporting cast, to the well-timed humor. I only wish that Killmonger could have surprised us by coming to the light side, however, I acknowledge that wouldn’t have been all that realistic and I appreciate that he stuck to his guns in the end. But I digress. I think for the plot, I was expecting something that felt deeper, perhaps. Maybe it was because I went into the movie looking for a little less origin story and more perhaps what she was doing leading up to and/or tying into Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
As a sort of side note, I have heard some criticisms about music choice and placement in this movie (of which I do agree to some extent and will explain that further in a minute), and the fact that Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of a young Nick Fury was too comedic (to which I disagree).
Regarding the music choice, I did find that at times the selection (and sometimes timing of when the songs were played) was a little jarring compared to the scene. For example, there’s a part towards the end where Captain Marvel is facing off against one of the antagonists to No Doubt’s “Just a Girl,” but the action didn’t seem to really match the tempo of the song in the way the music does in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Another example would be the choice of “Celebrity Skin” by the alternative rock band Hole as one of the songs playing during the end credits. I can see why people might find that choice confusing. Though the woman in the song eventually seems to gain control and rise above her circumstances, the rest of the lyrics may not seem like the most obvious choice as an anthem for women empowerment.
As for the critics of the way young Nick Fury is portrayed, I tend to disagree. I think Jackson’s portray of Fury has always been with a healthy dose of sarcasm and wit, and I think it makes sense that perhaps a young Fury has not yet developed the thick layer of sarcasm he carries when he’s older. After all, young Fury has yet to have a serious encounter with aliens and also has yet to lose his eye prior to his Captain Marvel experience. (Also, if I recall correctly, the same kind of thing happened in Men in Black III (2012), where Pierce Brosnan had portrayed a less cranky, younger version of Agent K).
All in all—I would say that this movie is enjoyable to watch in its own right. I didn’t find myself regretting having spent the money on a ticket or concessions, and I definitely enjoyed watching this with a group of friends. At the same time, in terms of whether I would own the movie or watch it again, however, I wouldn’t say that this movie would go to the top of my list. Again, for me personally, I think it might be because I was looking for less of an origin story and more something that would flow more into the Avengers: Endgame plot. After all, Marvel has only been dangling that carrot in front of fan’s faces for a little over a decade, at this point.
On a different note, I’ve seen a lot of movies recently that I hope to get around to reviewing at some point, but as always, I seem to be a thousand entries behind where I’d like to be. Until next time!