Captain Marvel wants to be what Wonder Woman was in 2017, but instead is a generic marvel movie.
Captain Marvel is the story of how Carol Danvers becomes one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the de facto champion to help the Avengers take on Thanos later this year. The film is an origin story, and a weak one at that. Where the film is supposed to lay the foundation for Captain Marvel’s character, there is instead forgettable hodgepodges of CGI action and obvious 90s nostalgia. If Marvel Studios want to use Captain Marvel as a significant player in arguably the largest film they’ll ever make, it is pivotal they introduce her in a way not only so that audiences like her, but also so they can connect with her. How am I supposed to connect to a character I still feel I hardly know? As she fills in the holes of her memory throughout the film, the most we’re ever given are glimpses of flashbacks, quick montages which only give hints of who she once was. It may be overly harsh and a little exaggerated to say so, but if you were to take the rushed and ham-fisted introductions of Cyborg or Flash in Justice League and extend them to a feature film’s length, a film like Captain Marvel may be the result.
Brie Larson is a pretty talented actress, and her performance in the film is the least of my concerns. She remains astute and tough yet balances out her warrior likeness with the occasional light-hearted moment or banter. She may not be as Downey Jr. is to Iron Man, but she works well enough. Ben Mendelsohn goes from appearing to be typecast once again, to breaking that typecast, and I enjoyed every moment of his quirkiness. Samuel L. Jackson is great again, as per usual, who can get enough of that guy? And Jude Law, if his character wasn’t so one-dimensional, could’ve been menacing like his underrated role in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. However, the standout of the film is Lashana Lynch, who in one moment while confronting Danvers during her unexpected return, brings great potency to her delivery.
Another major issue with Captain Marvel is it lacks any unique style or signature direction. Part of what makes Black Panther great are its vibrant costumes and makeup and powerful score derived from traditional African music. Guardians of the Galaxy has its colorful palette of characters and fun use of its soundtrack. Thor: Ragnarok had epic set design, a score with electronic undertones, and was full of color. Yet, after having seen Captain Marvel, I’m not sure what it has making it special. There’s nothing new or that we haven’t seen before. Sometimes its score mimics that of Ragnarok but quickly fades back to generic superhero background noise. The closest the film ever gets to being cool looking is the early few moments while Danvers is still on the Kree homeworld, Hala.
I could go on about how scripted the film feels, or how forgettable the villain is once again, or how anti-climactic the final battle is, but I think I’ve said enough. On one final note, if a cat is the biggest scene stealer, what does that say about the film as a whole? 6.5/10.