Captain Marvel is the MCU’s latest success as it continues to capture the hearts of fans everywhere and make box-office records worldwide. And for all the achievements the film continues to garner, there is something to be said about the things that make the film the success that it is and the weaknesses it has. Here are our picks for the best and worst parts of the film.
While there were a lot of things in Captain Marvel that I liked, one particular storyline that worked really well was the twist with the Skrulls. Having them be a losing band of freedom fighters is an incredibly unique take on the Kree-Skrull war. And if Marvel ever decide to adapt Secret Invasion, where the Skrulls silently replace our favorite heroes, this adds a wonderful layer of complexity. The Skrulls may be fighting for their own survival, but as we saw in Captain Marvel they’re not above resorting to extremely violent measures. Also, Ben Mendelsohn ’s performance was incredible and it’s entirely possible we’ll get to see him again in the sequel! – Alex Lurie, Feature Writer
I absolutely loved the costume designs for this film. Carol, Starforce, the Kree soldiers, and the Skrulls all look pretty great. As everybody else has been saying, mother-flerkin’ Goose the Cat is pretty dope. While he seemed like the Everett Ross of the movie at times (I love that character BTW), Sam Jackson gives another great performance as Fury. By far, the biggest standout to me was Talos. Ben Mendelsohn gives a brilliant performance here. He believably covers a lot of ground with the character, and his character takes the story in a direction I never expected and quite loved. When Carol shines, she shines. I just feel that her performance is great in some parts of the film, decent in some, and even bad in a few segments. I’m not sure why exactly this is. Stan Lee has one of his best cameos yet (in my opinion) and there are some major standout scenes. Overall, Captain Marvel was a really entertaining movie that I’m dying to see a second time, and while I understand why the film is a bit divisive amongst fans, we should all just get out there and try to have a good time watching our newest hero on the big screen after a long break from theatrical MCU releases. – Curtis Johnson, Feature Writer
To me, the biggest standout about Captain Marvel was the overall structure of the story. This truly felt like the most unique origin story in any superhero movie because they were able to throw you right into the action with a character that you know nothing about. While the middle of the movie was a bit slow, we didn’t have to suffer through watching of a character learning to control their powers. Instead, they were able to focus on world building while simultaneously teaching both us and Carol’s character pieces of her history. The movie got a lot of storytelling done without ever feeling like there was too much going on. I also loved Larson’s performance. I’ve always imagined Emily Blunt as Carol Danvers and wasn’t expecting Larson to be able to pull off Carol’s personality, but she totally nailed it. – KJ Callahan, Feature Writer
One of the highlights in Captain Marvel is Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos and the Skrulls. Marvel Studios has been putting a lot of work in developing their villains in the last few films and Talos is no exception. They decided to use the shape-shifting Skrulls as stand-ins for war refugees, which gave the film a lot of heart. The small touches to Talos’ character like his rather dry wit and the comments he makes in the third act are some highlights. It all comes together in a small scene at the end of the film when we just have our heroes sit down at a table and enjoying dinner with Talos’ family. Not too long ago we witnessed him kill a Kree guard to protect his family, he knows he has done terrible things to save his people but, in the end, he has a reason for what he is doing. It makes us question if he truly can even be considered a villain in the film. – Joseph Aberl, Editor
I was a huge fan of the supporting cast for this movie, who bounced off one another very well. It’s only exemplified further during the dinner table scene at the end of the movie as they’re all rejoicing at their victory. Talos joking about pretending to be Fury’s boss again, Monica telling Talos’ daughter to never change the color of her beautiful eyes, and Fury and Carol even just washing dishes together as they converse about their adventure. Captain Marvel probably has my favorite supporting cast of any of the recent stand-alone movies. Lashana Lynch and Ben Mendelsohn were especially the most enjoyable surprises, along with the seemingly natural chemistry between Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. – Pierre Chanliau, Editor
Skrulls, baby. I went into this film expecting a delightfully evil debut of a reptilian race of shapeshifters. I wasn’t expecting my heart to get tugged by the tenderness and empathy of their people. It’s easily one of the best curveballs thrown by the MCU as it continues the Phase 3 streak of interesting and refreshing takes on villains. – Charles Villanueva, Editor-in-Chief
For me, Maria Rambeau was the real MVP of Captain Marvel. The character of pivotal importance to Carol’s journey, and the performance delivered by Lashana Lynch is among the best for a supporting character in the MCU. Without her, Carol’s earth ties would feel a lot less believable, which would weaken the movie as a whole. Rambeau is for sure one of the finest pals an MCU hero has gotten. – Tiago Fizsbejn, News Writer
It’s almost criminal how underused Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou were in this film. They were both somewhat underused in Guardian’s of the Galaxy so when it was announced they were going to be in Captain Marvel I was looking forward to getting a quasi-origin for Korath and Ronan The Accuser. But in an already crowded film, neither character felt necessary to the story they were trying to tell. I would have preferred both characters to be reduced to a memorable cameo and not get in the way of the rest of the film or play a much larger role. But what we got was a rather unsatisfying compromise. However, I have hope that this will be rectified in the sequel! – Alex Lurie, Feature Writer
It’s hard to pick the worst element of such a good movie, but Carol’s (or Vers’) relationship with the Starforce could have been developed a lot more than it was. It’s a true shame that a fantastic actor like Jude Law ended up being underused in the film, and a few more minutes of footage showing his ties to Vers and deepening their master/student relationship would have made the third act a lot more emotionally engaging than it was. The rest of the team could have gotten more screentime as well, making Carol’s decision to separate from them, change her colors and fight for the opposing side look even more badass than it already was. – Tiago Fiszbejn, News Writer
As a true blue 90’s kid myself, going to into this movie knowing that the era would be the backdrop of a cosmic superhero film was more than exciting. So imagine my disappointment realizing that the 90’s element barely has weight to it. It’s not ingrained in any meaningful way to the film. The song choices feel superficial and make no sense given how Carol left Earth in 1989 and has not heard a lick of Nirvana’s Nevermind in her life. The 90’s setting felt like a prop to simply do gags about dated technology. You could have set this film in any other era predating Iron Man without any major change to the story. Compare that to Guardians, whose use of music was at the heart of the film, this felt very lazy. – Charles Villanueva, Editor-in-Chief
There were a lot of things in Captain Marvel that worked quite well for me, and quite a bit that didn’t. The 90s setting felt really useless, almost as if they just wanted to carve out a small section of the MCU, but it raises several continuity questions in doing so, and the 90s references just weren’t as important and on-point as, say, Guardians of the Galaxy. Many elements in the film were wasted, such as Ronan the Accuser, many of the Starforce members, and the opportunity to go more in-depth with Hala and Kree civilization. Agent Coulson and the talent of Brie Larson herself were also underutilized in the movie. While the movie was entertaining, I just didn’t find it to be quite as impactful as most other MCU films. Maybe the time setting does this, as it doesn’t feel quite as important or relevant and I felt that the story structure was pretty messy. Another minor complaint I have is that Carol is never fully referred to as Captain Marvel, or even as a captain if I’m not mistaken. – Curtis Johnson, Feature Writer
Personally, I do have to say that we should’ve spent more time learning about the Kree. I am a huge fan of Jude Law but Yon-Rogg felt a bit underdeveloped throughout the film. We got some great moments that teased his role as her leader in the training montage and the rather clever finally confrontation but we know so little about him. The Kree kind of turned into the villains of the film once the twist happened but we do not know why Yon was involved with killing Mar-Vell. It seemed to have just been a mission he was given but there were no personal stakes. He seemed to deeply care about Vers yet we never get to see him act on that. Personally, would have wished for more time being spent between these two characters on Hala to also show a more human-side to the Kree. We only get a glimpse of their every day life in a short train sequence but that is sadly it. Luckily, the ending of the film still gives us the opportunity to explore his character in a later film and maybe find out how it connects to the Peace treaty mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy. – Joseph Aberl, Editor
I think this movie had the worst humor of all of the MCU movies short of Incredible Hulk. It wasn’t terrible, but not up to the lofty standards of the most recent MCU films. Most of the punchlines felt extremely predictable, and, although his acting performance was great, I felt like some of Talos’s comedy felt extremely forced and cheapened his character. I also wanted to see more of Ronan, but wasn’t expecting much since he was hardly in any of the trailers. It would have been a great opportunity to retroactively develop some of his character’s history and see how he became so radicalized; however, I wouldn’t have wanted to sacrifice any of Captain Marvel’s subplots to do so, so it may have been for the best. – KJ Callahan, Feature Writer
Man, Carol sure quipped a lot in this movie, huh? I can hardly blame Brie Larson for that, but it seems like the writers tried to make her as funny as possible by making half her dialogue funny one-liners. It felt really weird, since no other character felt like this in the movie and it really bogged down the character and Brie Larson’s performance. When she’s not quipping, she’s great and has a lot of good acting shines through like her contemplating her identity, her lingering doubts of Yon-Rogg throughout the movie, and when she genuinely looks like she’s having fun punching Kree and Skrulls alike. Really hope they ease off this kinda dialogue for her in future appearances. – Pierre Chanliau, Editor
What are the worst and best parts of Captain Marvel to you? Let us know in the comments below!