Captain Marvel’s origin story is as fun as any in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet it wastes its chance to innovate after more than 10 years of Marvel Studios movies.
Directed by Anna Boden (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Mississippi Grind) and Ryan Fleck (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Half Nelson), Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Annette Benning, Ben Mendelsohn, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Djimon Hounsou, Algenis Perez Soto, Chuku Modu and Lee Pace.
Caught in a war that goes deeper than just two sides fighting, Carol Danvers becomes the strongest hero that Earth needs, and has seen, to stop two alien races from eradicating each other and the galaxy.
As the last movie before the highly-anticipated end of the MCU as we know it, Captain Marvel needed to be more epic in scope than any, or most, of the MCU movies, especially since President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige describes her as the most powerful hero in the MCU so far.
Sparks flashed, but Danvers doesn’t get the introduction that she deserves.
Captain Marvel marks a milestone for the MCU: Brie Larson gets to portray the first female MCU superhero to get her own film.
Aside from the recent politics and arguments Larson triggers, it’s an important movie for female empowerment. The DC Extended Universe has celebrated it with Wonder Woman and now Marvel has its turn.
However, it’s disappointing and surprising to say that the DCEU did better.
Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel share some similarities in storytelling, most notably the ‘fish out of water’ journey.
Set in the 90s and having no recollection of her history, Captain Marvel — never actually mentioned as ‘Captain Marvel’ — lands on Earth and regains, through her actions and with the help of Jackson as Nick Fury, her memory and how to be human again.
Simple enough. Wait! The writers decided to tinker with it and added an element of time jumps.
Bouncing back and forth from Danvers’ history isn’t bothersome or difficult to follow. The problem was that her ambiguous past lulled the pacing lulled through most of the second act.
You might find yourself checking out during some of the boring parts. It all seemed so predictable. Now in their 21st film, Captain Marvel uses the same MCU formula that the other origin story uses, and small twists here and there aren’t enough.
I applaud the filmmakers’ efforts on making Captain Marvel the first hero that doesn’t have to learn how to control her powers. Rather she must learn to block out the outside noise and unleash full fury to her enemies.
Otherwise, Danvers’ story feels like filler until Avengers: Endgame comes out next month.
Maybe it would have been helpful to introduce her in a previous film like how Spider-Man and Black Panther were cast in Captain America: Civil War and then got the self-titled feature treatment.
Captain Marvel is still as enigmatic as the other heroes in the Avengers. Danvers and Fury have a buddy cop chemistry that flows well throughout the runtime. It’s nice to see Jackson be in the forefront with another hero instead of a secondary character.
There’s a reason that the MCU movies get good reviews from most critics and audiences: they’re fun.
With all the negativity poured into the internet about Captain Marvel, you can still find fun in this movie. The special effects and makeup are top notch.
The Skrull, a race of dangerous aliens, are portrayed excellently — hats off to Mendelsohn — and, without spoilers, are part of a twist that I can get behind, even if they aren’t the same as the comic book portrayal.
It’s awesome to see these green, shapeshifting aliens realized on screen, but this leads to one of my biggest gripes with Captain Marvel, and that’s the level of threat.
The strongest hero we have seen in the MCU needs a level of threat that, at least, is on par with hers. I knew from beginning to end that Danvers was going to be safe. Not even for a second did I think that she was in any real danger.
I can’t say that about Civil War, Black Panther and especially not Infinity War.
I get that Danvers’ superiors tell her to reel in her powers, the whole point of the movie is to try and be set free, but the neither the Skrulls or the Kree, Danvers’ adopted alien race, give her a run for her money. They’re all powerless against her.
It can go one of two ways: either you’ll understand Captain Marvel as an allegory for independence and empowerment or Captain Marvel will get lost in a sea of origin stories.
In any case, I’m excited to see her kick ass in Endgame. I just hope she doesn’t do what Superman did in Justice League and overpower Thanos, flicking him like a pebble on a lake.