At long last we have a female led super hero movie in the Marvel films and strangely it isn’t Black Widow or Scarlet Witch, it’s Captain Marvel.
If you have a good character in an interesting world, a hero’s story should inspire and let the viewer empathize with the heroes struggle regardless of gender or politics.
Marvel has kept it’s standards pretty high over the 20+ movies in it’s cinematic universe and even its low points are still decent movies.
So in the context of the other films lets see where Captain Marvel fits on the Avengers Infinity War to Thor: The Dark World ratio.
Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel an Airforce pilot that ends up as a soldier drafted in a galactic war. Neither Brie’s acting or the script do her a lot of favors in the charisma department which is pivotal as a lead in a Superhero film.
Samuel L. Jackson returns as a much younger Nick Fury (with both eyes) and is a bit less gruff and no nonsense as he appears in other films. Overall he has a bit of fun with the character and it shows.
Ben Mendelsohn as the shape-shifting Skrull leader Talos is almost weirdly naturalistic with his ozzie accent and is the source of conflict and supplies a lot of the tension and humor throughout the movie.
Jude Law as Yon-Rogg is leader of the Kree StarForce, Captain Marvel’s adopted military unit. He does his best with what hes given although it’s meant a third act surprise he tips his hand early.
Captain Marvel’s story about as generic as it comes, a hero with a lost memory, pursued by enemies with motivations unknown.
You can pretty much get every twist the plot delivers from watching the trailer and it’s delivery is pedestrian.
This movie is a missed opportunity for Marvel to write an interesting and and well rounded female lead. Captain Marvel is a controversial character even within the comics but at least she has personality why not roll with that?
Most recently she went head to head against Tony Stark over an ideological clash in the comic Civil War 2. I have a better grasp on her character from the comics than I did from the movie.
Captain Marvel is let down by it’s star and by its writing and direction, together they form a bland Black Hole, I guess that would be a Beige Hole.
Brie Larsen’s performance seems confused as to who shes playing and why and the character never comes off as likable even in a snarky way.
As an audience member you are constantly ahead of where Carol Danvers is in the story and you are waiting for her to catch up.
Every action sequence fizzles without any spectacle or stakes, you never get any real impression of the struggle shes gone through or any growth the character has had as a result.
It’s also very jarring that Brie Larsen seems to have the same character as Carol Danvers on Earth and Vers (her Kree name) in space despite losing her memory. A far cry from Peter Quill who left Earth as a douchey kid and remained one under Yondu’s care. There could have been some great fish out of water moments as she reclaims her humanity coming back to Earth.
I feel like there was a better film that was some how lost in an earlier version of the script because the plot points are just that, points to pass through and check off and there is very little weight to it.
The Good Stuff
Samuel L Jackson was one of the high points and it almost is more of a Nick Fury origin story than a Captain Marvel one, he goes through a character arc during the film and you get why he starts the avengers initiative by the end of it.
Speaking of Sam Jackson the digital de-aging they did is really well done, especially when put up against the rubber-faced monstrosities that DC conjured up in Aquaman.
Goose the cat also steals the show, that’s all I can say without spoilers but Goose and Nick Fury make a pretty good team.
The visuals are on par with other Marvel movies and certainly no worse, Captain Marvel isn’t quite as colorful as Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok but there is a bit of pop in showing Hala the Kree homeworld.
Ben Mendelsohn is also really enjoyable to watch he really seems to have fun with the character and is quite charismatic for a supposed villain.
Sadly this is dull and uninspired, which is a shame because it could have been great.
It really only serves to get from Infinity War to Endgame and Ant-Man and the Wasp was a more entertaining post Infinity War antidote than Captain Marvel.
If you wanted a strong female character in a story that has action and heart go see Alita: Battle Angel instead.
You’ll like it if you enjoy:
Marvel After credits scenes.
Are a Marvel completionist.
Nick Fury in an origin story.
Skip it if you:
Don’t want to see another origin story.
Are at all in 2 minds about watching it.
Are suffering from Marvel Fatigue.
In cinemas now