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Captain Marvel Movie Review – True Power Requires Self-Confidence

Does alien warrior Vers have the courage to learn her true identity?

Reviewed by on Feb 07, 2019
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Captain Marvel. Is this most powerful superheroine’s story well worth the wait? Read our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

Circa 1995, Captain Marvel is about Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who is living as Vers, an alien warrior on an elite Kree military team. The Kree are an alien race fighting shapeshifting invaders known as the Skrull. When the Skrull head for Earth, Danvers will emerge as one of the galaxy’s most powerful superheroes. Can she control the massive power she acquired after a quantum drive accident or will her feelings and self-searching get in the way? What is her true identity?

Captain Marvel Trailer

At first Vers is a devoted Kree Starforce warriorAt first Vers is a devoted Kree Starforce warriorCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Early Training  

In the capitol of the Kree civilization, warrior Vers is trained to use special powers by her mentor Commander Yon Rogg (Jude Law) a devoted leader of the Kree Starforce. She’s been having nightmares, snipped from another life that disturb her. Rogg tells her to learn to control her emotions or she will never be a great warrior in the planet’s war against shapeshifting aliens the Skrull. Visiting the A.I. leader of the Kree, the Supreme Intelligence, who appears to Vers as a confident older woman (Annette Bening), Vers is told to master herself to accomplish her mission against the Skrull.

Rogg practice fights with VersRogg practice fights with VersCourtesy of Marvel Studios

The Mission

Rogg’s warrior team must fly to another planet to rescue their spy whose cover has been blown. On arriving, they seem to encounter only the scruffy local populace, but soon learn that they are Skrull shapeshifters and they’ve walked into a trap. Vers is captured and the Skrull probe her mind for memories which seem to place her as growing up on Earth, then, later, as a pilot with another pilot friend named Maria (Lashana Lynch) and an Air Force Commander and scientist boss named Lawson, the same older woman appearing to Vers on her planet earlier. The two women seem to be on a plane that crashes.

Vers remembers that she was a pilotVers remembers that she was a pilotCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Escape and Crash

Confused by these memories, Vers learns that the Skrull want to know about Lawson’s lightspeed engine. Vers has no memory of this. She escapes in a pod but crashes on Earth circa 1995. Several Skrull follow her and shapeshift into surfers one of whom follows her to her crash site on top of a Blockbuster Video store. She is a stranger in a strange land and encounters S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and rookie Coulson (Clark Gregg) who have been assigned to this crash/disturbance. Using Radio Shack parts, Vers contacts Rogg and tells him what the Skrull are after and that they too are on Earth now. When the Skrull attack, a chase results as Vers fights back atop a train and all about town with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents following. One of the Skrull is killed and Fury and agents examine it at a lab. Yep, it’s not human.

Vers searches for a Skrull on the trainVers searches for a Skrull on the trainCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Tracking Lawson

After stealing a motorcycle and some more earthly clothe, Vers uses some info from the Skrull to go to Pancho’s, a bar where pilots hang out. A picture of a plane on the wall seems familiar. Fury has tracked her there and admits, okay, there are aliens on Earth. She explains who she is (or thinks she is) and where she’s from, who the Skrull are and that she has to stop them from getting Lawson’s lightspeed drive. Fury senses she has a personal stake as well. He takes her to a government facility under a mountain where several high tech planes are housed.

Fury takes Vers to a hidden facilityFury takes Vers to a hidden facilityCourtesy of Marvel Studios

A Kitty and Research

In the facility, Fury and Vers again fight shapeshifting Skrull and find a friendly orange cat named Goose who follows them around. Records show that Lawson was Kree but died in a crash of her test plane back in 1989. Finding herself in a picture with Lawson, Vers reasons that she could have been the pilot of that plane. She tells Rogg what she has learned. He knows Lawson was a Kree named Mar-Velle and they could really use info on this lightspeed engine before the Skrull get it. Now S.H.I.E.L.D. is also after Fury for cooperating with Vers. They escape the facility in a plane flown by Vers.

Cat Goose who is really an alien FlerkenCat Goose who is really an alien FlerkenCourtesy of Marvel Studios

To Louisiana

Wanting to know more about the crash, Vers tracks down pilot Maria to her home in Louisiana where she lives with young daughter Monica (Akira Akbar). After their initial shock, Maria and Monica show Vers pictures of her past when she was Carol Danvers ace pilot and she and Maria were testing engines on planes for Dr. Lawson. They also show her pictures of their long BFF friendship. Skrull leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) is suddenly there and says the cat is an alien being. Vers/Carol remembers the crash. Rogg was there and shot Lawson! He wanted the core to the test plane’s engine. Carol blew it up, releasing massive quantum energy that went into her body!

Maria tries to make Vers remember that she is Carol DanversMaria tries to make Vers remember that she is Carol DanversCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Good Guys?

Vers/Carol realizes that Rogg is a bad guy. Talos tells her the Skrull are victims in this war. It is the Kree who invaded their world and are tracking down the last of the race. The Skrull only want peace and safety. They need a lightspeed ship to escape the Kree who don’t have that capability yet, and find a safe home. The core of the engine, the true power source is in Lawson’s lab which is orbiting Earth. Who will Carol believe? Will she help the Skrull get the power source or help the Kree? What is the power source really? Did Rogg give her her power or was it hers the minute the test plane engine exploded and she absorbed it? Can she ever truly control it?

Captain Marvel achieves her full powerCaptain Marvel achieves her full powerCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Stay in your seat for a mid-credits scene involving the Avengers and a cute post credits scene featuring kitty Goose.

Skrull leader Talos with his lieutenantSkrull leader Talos with his lieutenantCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Wrapping Up

Captain Marvel is an excellent origin story that is convoluted and wandering at times but does, finally all fit together with a few logic holes. The film contains humor, great relationships and a few surprises all put forward with effective visual effects and fight choreography.

Vers uses her powers to stop the SkrullsVers uses her powers to stop the SkrullsCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Brie Larson makes a believable, conflicted heroine playing vulnerability and great strength equally well. Personal growth and female empowerment are at the core of the film.  A great movie cat named Goose often steals the show whether as a real feline or CGI rendering. Samuel L. Jackson shows us his comedic side with warm, fuzzy, glee and Jude Law makes a charming but power-mad patriot “baddie”.

Vers and Fury exchange informationVers and Fury exchange informationCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Humorous touches like making fun of 1990’s computer “slowness” is a hoot as are many of the femme-centric 1990’s tunes played throughout. De-aging by computer works well for Jackson and Gregg as the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents circa 1995. It’s more effective than previous efforts we’ve seen.

Visiting Pedro's bar brings back more memoriesVisiting Pedro's bar brings back more memoriesCourtesy of Marvel Studios

The movie easily fits snugly into the giant Marvel puzzle of endless parts and we will see more of the Captain in the next Avengers film, Endgame (in theaters May 3rd). Captain Marvel is completely enjoyable despite a few flaws so we award four stars.

Captain Marvel Movie Rating: 4

Captain Marvel Movie PosterCourtesy of Marvel Studios

See Captain Marvel in theaters now.

What is Your Opinion?

Are you glad there is another stand-alone movie starring a strong, female superhero? Do you find yourself comparing Captain Marvel to Wonder Woman? Whose team are you on? Tell your fellow Kidzworld visitors in a comment below and/or on your profile page.