The biggest film in the world right now has to be Marvel’s latest hit, Captain Marvel. The origin story and first female-led superhero film for the MCU, the film tells the story of Carol Danvers, a young woman with no memory of her past who works as a warrior hero for the alien civilization known as The Kree. The Kree are at war with the shapeshifting alien race known as the Skrulls, and the war comes to Earth as Captain Marvel must find the secrets of her past and discover the truth that will end the war once and for all. After having seen this film, I can honestly say that I loved it. It was fun, exhilarating, and a truly fun origin story that leads perfectly into her role in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, all the while creating an all-powerful female hero in the MCU that shines just as brightly as Thor or Iron Man. Yet even the best films aren’t without their flaws, and there were some moments that were either missed or lacking in the film.
While we explore the film in its entirety, we are going to be looking at both the worst things to happen (or not happen) in the latest MCU film, while also taking a look at the best and brightest moments that shone out like a star. So come along as we take a look at the 15 Worst Moments from Captain Marvel (and the 15 Best), and be warned, there might be some spoilers from the film included, so proceed at your own risk…
30 Worst: There Is A Destinct Lack Of Coulson
One of the biggest things fans will notice is that the highly anticipated return of everyone’s favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Phil Coulson, wasn’t as extensive as fans were first led to believe. Considering Coulson was with the MCU since day 1 and hadn't appeared in the films since The Avengers, fans were naturally excited to see him back. While I myself thoroughly enjoyed seeing Clark Gregg show off his first days in the field, the fan favorite MCU character only appears in a handful of scenes, making his return fun yet brief in the grand scheme of things.
29 Best: '90s Music Is Dope — And So Is This Soundtrack
One thing that the cosmic side of the MCU has become known for is the stellar soundtracks.
In the films, music plays a key role in the stories of the characters, including Peter Quill’s mixtapes that were left by his mother before she passed away.
In this film, the origin story of Larson’s Carol Danvers takes place in the ’90s, and we get an equally fun dose of music from that era, including groups like TLC, No Doubt and of course the essential 90s band, Nirvana.
28 Worst: No "Hydra To Hail" Is A Missed Opportunity
A huge presence in the film was, of course, Nick Fury, who served as the younger agent version of what MCU fans will come to know and love as the master spy of the universe. As a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, he is the key to tying Captain Marvel’s story to the larger Avengers narrative the MCU established. One thing this includes is the secret history of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury discovered in The Winter Soldier.
This history showed that their mortal enemies, HYDRA, had infiltrated the organization and corrupted it. Yet in the ’90s Fury wouldn’t have known that. The film could have made a brief Easter egg or cameo appearance of HYDRA in the film, or even a brief HAIL HYDRA between two undercover agents. Yet the film never got there.
27 Best: Monica Rambeau Is Here (And We're So Excited)
One of the newer twists in the origin story of the MCU’s version of Captain Marvel came in the form of Carol’s best friend on Earth, Maria Rambeau. Coming up together in the Air Force and hoping to break the barrier that banned women from flying fighter jets in the ’90s, Maria had a daughter she named Monica. This is a huge nod to the Marvel Comics universe, as Monica Rambeau was one of the first heroes to don the mantle of Captain Marvel after the original Mar-Vell. She later changed her name to Spectrum, Photon, and Pulsar, and she had energy based powers as well. This nod to the '90s kid version of the character may hint at the character’s heroic journey later in the MCU.
26 Worst: The Cheesy Quips Are Bad (And Marvel Can Do Better)
While there were only a couple of instances where this occurred, a couple of pieces of dialogue would appear throughout the film that were either meant to be humorous or meant to be indicative of a thematic message, yet the overall line or action taken did not come across that way. From a memory of Carol’s featuring an idiotic male pilot making a lewd innuendo, to a moment where a Skull soldier howls in Carol’s face and she returns the gesture, there were a couple of moments that could have been taken out to make the dialogue and story flow smoother.
25 Best: Infinity War Connection Is Too Awesome
One tie-in hardcore MCU fans will enjoy is getting a glimpse into Captain Marvel’s accidental interaction with an infinity stone. While I won’t spoil anything too in-depth for you readers still waiting to see the film out there, Carol eventually holds one of the powerful stones in her hands, not realizing its ties to other infinity stones or the fact Thanos is searching for it. It shows off another huge connection Captain Marvel has to the Avenger’s storyline going forward.
24 Worst: Ronan The Accuser Is Under Utilized (...Again)
One of the least favored villains in the MCU has to be Ronan, despite being in one of the most beloved films in the MCU (Guardians of the Galaxy).
Ronan the Accuser was a high ranking member of the Kree Empire. While becoming a pariah to the Kree by the time of the GoTG film, in Captain Marvel he is still a respected and feared military leader who represents the most destructive force the Kree have to offer. Yet fans will notice that, once again, this powerful Marvel villain is under utilized in this film, only appearing in a handful of scenes throughout.
23 Best: The Skrulls Appearance Totally Works
One of the most iconic alien threats in the Marvel Comics universe has to be the Skrulls. The shape-shifting aliens are notorious to longtime Marvel fans, using their abilities to replace heroes and infiltrate entire planets in order to gain dominance in the galaxy. Their lizard like appearance is a huge iconic thing among the Skrull people, and this film does an excellent job of nailing down the look of this alien race. Props to the makeup department in Captain Marvel in a big way.
22 Worst: We Don't Hear About Her (Awful) Family
One thing that fans might not expect one way or another is the other part of Carol Danver’s origin story. Much of Carol’s past focused on her time training to become a pilot, overcoming great odds to prove everyone wrong that a woman couldn’t be as strong or powerful as a man for the job. The film did include a few flashes of memories from her childhood here and there, but it wasn’t anything extensive.
One of the biggest parts of Carol’s story has to be her family, as she dealt with an aggressive father, which caused a rift between her and her mother and brothers after the father’s passing away. This critical element of her character wasn’t really full realized in this film, and hopefully will be explored somewhat in future films.
21 Best: '90s References Are All Hilarious (Not Tacky)
Any time we get to explore a hero’s origin story in the MCU, we often find ourselves transported back in time to various era’s in human history. From The Cap during WWII to '70s and '80s culture influencing Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, each film tends to hide mementos, Easter eggs, or moments from various era’s of time. In this '90s inspired film, the Easter eggs were nonstop. From dial-up computers and CD-ROMS, to Blockbuster and films like True Lies, this film had a full blast from the past for many 90s kids.
20 Worst: The Locations Are Kinda Weak
One thing that stood out as odd given Captain Marvel’s history was the location of the film, which took place primarily on the West Coast, Los Angeles and the surrounding desert areas in particular. While a cool setting and isolated for the military portions of the film, longtime fans of Carol Danvers know she has a specific history with the city of Boston, and her hometown of Harpswell Sound, Maine. This west coast setting could have become a cool nod to another version of the Avengers known as West Coast Avengers, but that never played out in the film either.
19 Best: Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg
Longtime fans of Marvel Comics will recognize the name as one of the original Captain Mar-Vell’s longest running villains. In the comics, he was a jealous, bitter soldier and leader who grew jealous of the power others wielded that he didn’t. This brought him into conflict with Mar-Vell often.
In this film, Jude Law brings the character to life. Law’s role in the film was actually thought to be Mar-Vell for a long time, but this role proved fruitful as it showcased an important relationship between Danvers and Yon-Rogg. While I can’t give too many spoilers away, let’s just saw his role as Danver’s mentor and leader isn’t all that Yon-Rogg turns out to be.
18 Worst: No Spider-Woman Connection
A key relationship in Carol Danver’s life in the comics has to be her friendship with Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. A young woman misled to be trained by HYDRA in order to become a soldier and assassin, she later breaks her brainwashing and becomes a hero, using her powers of like enhanced speed, strength, agility, hearing, clinging to walls and electrical blasts from her hands to fight villains. She has a direct connection to the Skrull storyline Secret Invasion, and is one of Carol’s closest friends, even letting Carol babysit and care for her child in later comic storylines. A small cameo or Easter egg would have been perfect in this setting.
17 Best: No Need For Romance
One of the longest running tropes for female led films has been that an element of romance has to be involved. While I am a romantic at heart, not every film has to include this element, and often modern-day superhero films won’t feel a need to include this element into the story unless it absolutely fits into it naturally.
The writers and directors perfectly made this film all about Carol and her journey of discovery, not bothering to include a romantic element so early on in her film franchise. Instead Captain Marvel was the star of the film and took center stage, much like Thor did in the recent film Thor: Ragnarok.
16 Worst: Alpha Flight MIA
Another huge element in recent years for Captain Marvel has been her promotion to leading the interstellar team Alpha Flight. Charged with protecting the earth from intergalactic threats, the originally Canadian born team of heroes (Puck, Sasquatch, etc), is now made into a barrier defense force to protect the planet. While not expecting a big inclusion in the film, after the events of Captain Marvel, a small nod to an Alpha Flight program or plan would have been cool to see, even in an end credits scene.
15 Best: The Action Scenes Are REALLY Good
The film wasted no time jumping head first into the action. Right from the first ten or so minutes of the film, fans are granted a view of Captain Marvel and her team of Kree warriors heading on a secret mission, which pits her against a powerful enemy. From there, the action is non stop, creating a high-speed, high-octane action film with a cosmic twist. Fans who worry about the MCU losing the fast-paced action of earlier MCU films need not worry about that in this film, as Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers shines as the newest and most powerful action star in the MCU.
14 Worst: No Nod To Civil War II
In recent years, Marvel Comics published a series called Civil War II. This series pitted Iron Man against Captain Marvel, after a unique Inhuman named Ulysses gained the ability to see the future and predict crimes before they happen. This lead to a conflict of ethics, as Tony believed this counted as profiling, while Captain Marvel believed they could end threats and save lives before the threats ever arrived.
The battle between them divides the superhero community, with dire consequences.
With this film playing with the notion of ending wars and Carol being determined to save as many lives as possible and end threats before they can hurt anyone, this would have been a good place to tease that storyline for the future.
13 Best: The CGI Is Mind-Boggling (Especially Fury, Of Course)
One of the best things about the MCU that happens when technology gets better and time goes on is the advancement of special effects in film. Thanks to the digital age and computer animation, filmmakers are able to create entire universes using only their programs. The film does an excellent job at creating action-packed, realistic looking special effects that really make the Kree homeward of Hala or the space battles Captain Marvel takes on herself feel incredibly real, a huge plus for fans of the MCU.
12 Worst: Skrull Leader Talos Isn't Who Fans Thought
Longtime fans of Marvel Comics will recognize the name of one of the Skrull villains known as Talos. In the comics, he is a battle-hardened warrior who earned a reputation for being the most feared of all the Skrulls, before one mistake led to his reputation being tarnished by the Skrull Empire. Obsessed with regaining his notoriety, he appeared several times in various comics trying to recapture that recognition amongst his foes. Yet not only did this Talos have a very different motivation, but he wasn’t as battle-hardened or powerful as his comic book counterpart.
11 Best: The Mar-Vell Revelation Is Perfect
While hardcore comic fans may not enjoy this, the revelation of Mar-Vell’s identity was a welcome surprise in the film. A slight spoiler for fans who haven’t seen the film yet, but it turns out Annette Bening has a dual role in the film, portraying both the Supreme Intelligence in the Kree home world of Hala, and Dr. Lawson, who is secretly Mar-Vell, a scientist with a secret agenda that goes against her Kree directive. It was a fun and welcome surprise, skipping the unnecessary inclusion of Captain Marvel gaining her powers in an accident from a man, but rather by her own actions and a welcome accident.
10 Worst: Lack Of Starks
One of the biggest names to populate the MCU has to be the name Stark. Not only is Tony Stark the original hero of the MCU, aka Iron Man, but his father Howard Stark helped Captain America’s fight during WWII, and later created Stark Industries, the leading pioneer of weapons technology and technology overall.
With such a huge presence in the MCU, even in the ’90s some mention of Stark or his company should have been present, even if it was a newspaper headline highlighting Tony’s recent scandal or a big weapons deal at his father’s company.
9 Best: Nick Fury’s Origins
The most surprising and well-earned things about this film has to be the inclusion of Nick Fury’s secret history.
From his humorous personality in his younger years (before becoming the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and the way he played the comic relief role instead of the leading action star, highlighting Carol Danver’s role as the titular hero and showing off her natural command powers that Fury had to have learned from her for his role later in the MCU. The most humorous part thought will come when fans learn the true origins of Nick Fury’s eye-patch, so stay tuned until the end of the film to find out what it is.
8 Worst: Minn-Erva Doesn't Set Anything Up
One of Captain Marvel’s longest-running villains in the comics has to be Doctor Minerva. A Kree geneticist who was originally sent to spy and derail the efforts of Mar-Vell, she later became Captain Marvel’s foe, staying on Earth to take up one scheme or another in her mad quest to bring honor and glory to the Kree Empire.
Yet in this film, her character is completely changed into a sniper and soldier in the Kree unit Starforce. A teammate of Carol’s who never got along with her, she later shows her true colors, but never shows her proclivity for science or genetics specifically.
7 Best: Goose The Cat Is —Clearly— The Best Character In The MCU
The biggest scene stealer in the film has to be Goose the Cat. An adorable cat that belonged to Dr. Lawson, the feline roams the halls of the Air Force Base where Fury and Danvers go in search of answers. Tagging along for the adventure afterwards, the cat later shows his true colors, and as in the comics reveals himself to be an alien with a pocket dimension in its stomach, able to ingest and transport items by eating them. This comes in handy later on, as the cat/alien uses its ability to transport a critical item out of enemy hands. Plus, it’s a cat… an adorable cat, no less!
6 Worst: A Different Kind Of Skrull
For longtime fans, this might be a shock, but it’s revealed that Telos and his Skrulls aren’t the true villains of the film. Instead they are victims of the vicious Kree Empire, fleeing to find their families and escape the Kree after their people refused to bend the knee, so to speak. Telos is in search of his family and a way to find a new home, leading Captain Marvel to see the war in a whole new light.
While I think this was a good emotional storyline and twist to add to the mythos, the fact that none of the more villainous Skrulls were mentioned or used in the film’s story was surprising to see. The Skrulls play a role in one of Marvel’s biggest storylines (Secret Invasion,) and even though there are innocents in the Skrull Empire, a lot of them are villainous in nature.
5 Best: Humor That Feels Natural
One of the biggest things that can instantly derail a super hero film has to be forced humor. With dark superhero films being overly criticized, putting a sense of humor into a film can backfire and create an unnatural story or character arc. However that isn’t the case here, as Captain Marvel shines with mostly natural and hilarious humor throughout the film. From one-liners and humorous moments to Fury’s never ending list of revelations and actions, this film found its funny bone in a powerful way.
4 Worst: Shorter Run Time Means We Get Les
One thing that might shock viewers is that this film is one of the shorter films in the MCU. While most films that include Avenger characters tend to run about 2 1/2 hours long, this film barely crossed the 2-hour threshold. The only film shorter than that was Ant Man & The Wasp. Considering how much emphasis this film put on Captain Marvel being the most powerful hero in the MCU, you’d think you’d give more time to allow her to showcase that power, rather than wrap up the action and story too quickly.
3 Best: Stan Lee Dedication And Cameo
One of the biggest losses the world at large had this year had to be that of comic book legend and Marvel creator Stan Lee. One of the most iconic figures in comic book history, Lee was notorious for appearing in the MCU and other Marvel related films, making his prized “cameo” to include himself in the film.
Captain Marvel was different, in that not only did Stan Lee film an awesome cameo before his passing (a humorous scene on a bus where he was found by Captain Marvel reading a script for the Kevin Smith film Mallrats, with Captain Marvel’s nod of approval), but the opening Marvel credits featured images from all of Lee’s cameo appearances in the film, giving him a special tribute in this highly anticipated film.
2 Worst: Too Short Of An End-Credits Scene
One of the biggest moments in the film came when the first end credits scene played. While the final one was a humorous nod to one of the standouts of the film, the mid-credits scene perfectly set up Captain Marvel’s arrival into the Avengers: Endgame film next month. However, the scene was pretty brief, and could have used a bit more exposition, like the remaining heroes finding Fury’s pager to begin with or bringing other heroes like Thor and Rocket into the mix. Thor’s knowledge of the universe could have been a welcome addition to the scene.
1 Best: Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers
The best thing about this film has to be actress Brie Larson herself, aka Carol Danvers. The heart of the film, the story of a young woman who spends her entire life fighting to prove everyone wrong and be whatever she wants to be, she must fight the blank spot in her mind that holds the secrets to her past, all the while discerning what is true, and what is a lie. Who can she trust? How powerful is she?
These are questions asked and answered thanks to Larson’s superb acting and honesty throughout the film. She instantly became the MCU’s most powerful hero, and a true inspiration for young people (especially young women seeking out a heroic role model to rival The Cap.) It’ll definitely be interesting now to see how Captain Marvel affects the Avengers: Endgame plot now that she has made her presence known, and stands the best chance of fighting Thanos once and for all.