A warrior with no memory of her past life returns to Earth to track down
a race of shape-shifting alien beings who are at war with her people.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Written by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law,
Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg,
Lashana Lynch, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Gemma Chan
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
Well, they’ve done it. Marvel has released a subpar film. And, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but DC did it better with Wonder Woman. While I won’t spend the whole review comparing the two, I will do it really quick now. And only because both movies are astoundingly similar in what they represent and their overall message. Both movies tackle the idea of powerful, fully realized women, yet they diverge in execution. Whereas DC seemed to be trying their hardest and gave us the best film so far in their movie universe, Marvel felt like it was on autopilot and gave us a mediocre film at best.
Now for the issues in the film itself. The first big thing is the political message of powerful women. I get it. I’m cool with it. But, instead of going in a more understated approach, Captain Marvel takes a sledgehammer and beats you over the head with it repeatedly. It honestly gets annoying after so long. The other thing is Brie Larson’s performance. I don’t know if it was a case of direction or acting choice, but what we got felt off. By that, I mean, it almost seemed as if Larson wasn’t committed to the part. Her performance is very one note with almost no real emotion being displayed. My real final annoyance has to do with something that plagues every prequel known to man. And that is an overabundance of explaining things. Not every little thing needs a backstory. I’m okay with some mystery. Not all is bad, though. The rest of the cast is wonderful in their respective roles and the end fight scene does a proper job of showing how powerful Captain Marvel is.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Marvel dropped the ball a little on this one. Instead of giving us an exciting, rousing tale of a powerful female superhero, we got the first Marvel movie that seemed like it was on autopilot. I wanted to like this movie, but they could have tried harder. And with DC seemingly finding its footing, Marvel better not rest on its laurels and produce more films like this. They can and have done better.
Captain Marvel introduces the most powerful hero in the MCU to date, and delivers a fun, entertaining film that exceeds most expectations. Is it perfect? Hardly. But it's a hell of a lot better than the 49% audience score it's currently sitting at on Rotten Tomatoes. Brie Larson leads a cast of MCU all-stars in a 90's nostalgia-fueled thrill ride that answers a few of the MCU's most enduring questions, and others we didn't even know we were asking.
Carol Danvers is an Air Force pilot who lost her memory in a crash and was found by Kree warriors, who gave her incredible powers and trained her as one of their own to help battle the evil Skrulls. It was neat to see another side to the Kree after Guardians of the Galaxy, and I'd been waiting to see the Skrulls for a long time. One thing I didn't expect this film to do was throw some curveballs, surprising me in all sorts of ways with different characters and their true allegiances. The chemistry between Larson and Samuel L. Jackson (as an impressively de-aged Nick Fury) was great, and it was very cool to see Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) again. I wish that Ronan (Lee Pace) had had a larger role, but seeing Ben Mendelsohn play the Skrull general Talos more than made up for it.
Captain Marvel marks the MCU's first female-led superhero film, losing to DC by two years. The character of Captain Marvel is a character built on legacy, and her arrival in the MCU just before their biggest film ever means she has a very large role to play in Avengers: Endgame. This film may not be the MCU's crowning achievement, but it brought its A game and ended up being another hit for the Marvel machine.