For our son Josh’s 14th birthday, we invited a bunch of his friends to go see Captain Marvel on the Friday of the film’s opening weekend. We had to purchase and reserve the tickets a month in advance as the seats were rapidly filling up. We saw in at an AMC theater here in NJ, with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. I think this is our 2nd film with Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos. I couldn’t tell you specifically how it’s an improvement over regular….. whatever, but Atmos appears to be consistently loud and makes your theater seat vibrate. For someone like me who finds audio and video quality to be important, I don’t find Dolby Atmos especially memorable. I do like going to AMC theaters, as I noticed a huge difference in picture quality and overall brightness when I saw Ant-Man & The Wasp last summer at two different theaters within the span of a week. Maybe it’s the Dolby Vision?
Anyway, this post is not about Dolby products — it’s supposed to be about Captain Marvel. This is the 21st MCU film, the 2nd-to-last film in Disney/Marvel’s Phase 3, and the first featuring a female superhero… Carol Danvers. Formerly known as Ms. Marvel for most of her superhero career, Carol is the most recent to hold the mantle of “Captain Marvel” since 2012. The film skips all of the other Marvels, and jumps straight to Carol.
The film was written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (two indie filmmakers), and features a large cast of stars — Brie Larsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and even Jude Law. Crazy, no? With Pace and Hounsou, we have small roles / cameos with characters we first met in Guardians of the Galaxy five years earlier, which is interesting.
I won’t go into too many spoiler details. The film itself starts off Carol on Hala (the Kree homeworld), and she’s a member of StarForce. She’s fighting to help the Kree defeat the evil Skrull Empire. She will eventually “land” on Earth circa mid-1990s, and try to defeat the Skrulls there, and solve a mystery of how a human pilot like her ended up working with the Kree.
I thought it was a solid film. The kids all appeared to like it, including Josh and Lily. My wife still has problems with how Brie Larsen’s character Carol didn’t demonstrate enough personality. She compares it to how Gal Gadot did such an amazing job in Wonder Woman two years prior. While I would agree that Carol seemed slightly like a blank slate to me, I attributed it more to a soldier’s stoicism, as well as Carol’s character trying to remember and make sense of her past. I personally thought I saw enough of her personality come through to see her as interesting character.
I wouldn’t say this film was as though-provoking as Black Panther or Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Those are both in my top two favorite MCU films. But I thought Captain Marvel is a sold superhero film with lots of interesting moments, characters, plot twists, and decent action.