I'm sure plenty of people will once again disagree with my overall opinions on this movie, but it's almost to be expected when it comes to 'Captain Marvel.' I won't get into all the details about it, but even though I did think the first film was one of the weaker 'Infinity Saga films, I felt like the character got way too much hate even though her last-minute appearance in 'Endgame' felt incredibly cheap. I don't love her, but I certainly don't hate her, and I can accept that she's essentially the big "invincible" MCU character compared to Superman.
Having said that, they did a better job here with how the film ends. I'd be spoiling too much if I mentioned much else, but let's say that they were able to somewhat humanize Carol Danvers'/Captain Marvel's (Brie Larson) character in a few different ways. She's no longer just "the invincible one" here, and bringing in both Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) helps with her character, as she has been a hero to both of them, but in very different ways. She also has to deal with the pressures of her intergalactic superhero job, which includes literally causing the near-complete destruction of the Kree homeworld of Hala after she defies the influence of the Supreme Intelligence (as seen in the previous film).
New Kree leader, Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) plans to restore the complete lack of water, air and sunlight by using the power of a Quantum Band she digs up. One can almost see its power as that of an Infinity Stone, as she uses it to tear open a jump point in space and intends on using more of these jump points to be able to collect the resources the Kree home planet needs from other sources. To simplify, imagine breaking through your wall to get to a water pitcher to fill your glass. Now think of the empty glass as Hala, the pitcher as the planet it needs water from, and the wall as space, which makes much more sense if you watch the movie.
However, Dar-Benn seeks the other Quantum Band for more power, and who should have it but Kamala Khan, a.k.a. "Ms. Marvel". It gets a little confusing here, but just to cut to the chase, the anomaly caused by Dar-Benn ripping open that first space hole makes it so that whenever Carol, Monica or Kamala use their powers, they body-swap. Eventually, they have to get together to figure out how they can work together while constantly body-swapping to put a stop to Dar-Benn's theft of planetary elements, which is to ultimately end with the draining of the sun. That may raise a few questions about explanation, but it is still the bottom line.
While I came out of this with the thought of it being a fun time, it's not at all without several flaws, some of which are heavy. For example, there's a scene here that I had to make myself accept, essentially making a Disney Princess out of Carol, complete with a magical costume change and a musical number. It's excused by singing being the planet's native form of communication. It's also downright confusing when the body-swap stuff starts up, and while it's explained later, the beginning of this body-swapping also involves a crazy fight sequence that looks really cool but adds to the confusion of it all at the same time.
Another nitpick here is our villain. I enjoy the idea of having the Kree see Captain Marvel as the villain, as they call her "The Annihilator." I further enjoy the idea of the villain technically trying to do good for her world. Her motivation is to save her planet, making her a roundabout hero in a way. But her villainy comes from how she's going about it. With that in mind, the character is incredibly stiff and altogether just unlikable. I might compare her to Malekith of 'Thor 2' regarding her overall forgettability. I can get behind her motivations; she's a solid villain in that regard. But she needed more emphasis on any sort of personality. She was just kinda "there."
This is a solid example of the "girl power" concept done well, in my humble opinion. There's nothing forced here, and they don't do anything about making men any level of "dumb" or "enemy" in the process. This is a team of three strong women fighting another strong woman, and Nick Fury is essentially "The Guy in the Chair," which suits him fine. So, I wouldn't see this as any sort of feministic power move so much as a decent all-female flick with brilliant fight choreography involving body-swapping, a sense of humour and charm. Flawed? Most definitely. But I still had fun with this. And the mid-credit scene for this one deserves a chef's kiss!
MID-CREDIT SCENE: No spoilers until 'Deadpool 3'