The Dove Take:
Beware of heavy language, overlook the complex storytelling, and enjoy this origin story as an imaginative epic message to dig deeper. Or not.
Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.
The Dove Review:
For any Dove reviewer, it’s difficult to count these superhero movies along with a typical drama or comedy. The audience for the Marvel and DC films are well-trained and intimately involved in the character storylines and superhero battles of good vs. evil. Captain Marvel, as a few of the others, is lazier about language and uses lots of expletives. But we imagine that if you consider yourself part of this audience, then you’re aware of the context and you’ve decided that the experience is worth the zingers.
This much-awaited origin story is successful in its empowering, inclusive, boundary-breaking mission. Captain Marvel–Carol Danvers in her “real life”–is clearly the most powerful Marvel hero. When we left Avengers: Infinity War, in the devastating finale of that film Nick Fury sends the distress message to Captain Marvel and our hearts were set a-flutter.
We meet Captain Marvel in the middle of an intergalactic battle and, through a storyline that bounces through memories from inside Carol’s mind, we become as confused as she is about her past and who she really is. She bleeds blue and we see she’s a Kree, trained by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). But we know there’s more, and the core of the film is to dig deep enough to find not only truth, but the inner strength she needs to become who she’s meant to be.
The packed theater on opening night was geared up with enthusiastic applause at each nostalgic reference and character that escorts us to our happy place–hanging out with familiar MCU friends and seeing them in an earlier time. We are drawn together as we meet a young Nick Fury and Agent Colson in the beginning of their relationship. These moments are fun. My 13-year-old and his pal loved it; my husband and I thought it was boring and unfortunately droll, and sometimes ridiculous. So I don’t feel all that emotional one way or another, truthfully. I wish they’d have written a better story for this crowd of terrific actors and talented filmmakers.
Expect the standard levels of superhero battles and explosions and rocket-powered excitement, and in the end, there are excellent conversations about the power of friendship and seeking our inner purpose.
It’s been interesting to watch the progression of the crowd ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. Some say it’s an intentional bombing of the ratings, which is believable since they’re remarkably low. But my hunch is, the viewers will show up and want to judge for themselves. Mostly, I’ll hope for a better story in the next movie, where we get to see Captain Marvel with her Avenger army.
Captain Marvel is Dove-Approved for Ages 12+.