It would be difficult for someone to sit there and make a convincing argument for Captain Marvel being one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best movies, but it’s also nowhere near as bad as certain corners of the internet seem to believe.
As an origin story for Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers it’s perfectly acceptable, and the very definition of solid-if-unspectacular. It ticks all of the boxes required; establishing the title hero’s origins and how she got her powers, connecting to the mythology at large, incorporating several familiar faces and delivering an effects-driven third act showdown where are protagonist finally unlocks the potential to display their abilities at full force.
A 79% score on Rotten Tomatoes was about right, even if detractors have whittled the audience rating down to a mere 45%, but it isn’t surprising in the slightest to discover in The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe via TheDirect that the script was in a constant state of revision, as revealed by co-director Anna Boden.
“So the script is constantly changing because the movie is constantly changing and growing, all throughout development, all throughout production, and all throughout post. And there is a real desire to be responsive to what the movie is becoming in any moment. I am a super planner. I like to know what I’m doing, have a lot of private time to meditate on it, to really think about it, and to figure out how to best execute it. And then to come on set on the day with a plan that I understand so well that when something comes and changes, I can be very flexible in the moment – because of all the preparation I’ve done ahead of time. That is my style.”
Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet took the final screenplay credits, with Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve also listed for their contributions, so there were already five writers involved in cracking Captain Marvel‘s story, before we even consider any names that may have tackled uncredited rewrites during before and during production.