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Review: Captain Marvel

Brie Larson stars in Marvel's CAPTAIN MARVEL

The first two trailers for Captain Marvel made me nervous. They were bland and had me believing that the actual movie wouldn’t have much to offer. However, seeing as it was from Marvel, I didn’t let my disappointment in the trailers bother me too much. Since the debut of the MCU, they hadn’t completely failed yet, so I figured this film would at least be serviceable. Well, after watching Captain Marvel, I can say that the uneasiness I felt after seeing the trailers was entirely warranted.

Set in 1995, we follow Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she finds herself in the middle of a galactic war between alien races. While her goal is to be victorious, she also wants to overcome her bout of amnesia in order to figure out who she is. After a series of events during a deadly battle, an opportunity arises that would allow her to accomplish both of those things when she lands on a strange planet called Earth.

One of the biggest issues in Captain Marvel is that there aren’t many explosive moments. Especially when speaking about the action genre, there need to be events that stand out to make movies memorable and that rarely happens here. The only time this does kind of occur is when we find out more out about that cat that’s been included in the marketing. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to a superhero movie or an action movie in general to see a cat that’s not actually a human in a catsuit.

Speaking of superhero movies, Captain Marvel doesn’t feel like one in the slightest. There’s action and she has on the type of suit they’re usually required to wear, but none of what we get here feels like it should at any point in time. Plus, there are no stakes and none of it ever feels all that that important to us or the characters that we’re introduced to in this movie.

This shouldn’t happen in a movie where you have some interesting things to play with. Here, you have a story where the protagonist has amnesia and doesn’t know all that’s going on. You also have a group of beings (the Skrulls) who can shapeshift and are able to cause problems based on that alone. You should be able to take those two specific elements and build something that has more suspense than this ever comes close to having.

Captain Marvel also relies on a significant amount of comedy. This is normal for most Marvel films, but it doesn’t always work. Like Thor: Ragnarok, the jokes usually fail and don’t provide any sort of humor. This is proving to be a problem with Marvel movies in general. I don’t know how they decide how the comedy is going to be implemented, but it hasn’t really worked as much as they would want it to in my opinion.

A lot of the struggles we see in this movie are because of Brie Larson as she puts on an incredibly bland performance overall. She’s proven to be a pretty good actress over the years, but this type of role doesn’t appear to be for her. Honestly, I originally thought that she would be able to perform at least adequately here since she’s a legit actress, but I was wrong. The job that she does is a poor one as her delivery is lifeless from the very beginning.

This misstep in casting shows the importance of auditioning instead of simply relying on a person’s accolades. It also shows that not every role can be performed by actors/actresses who may be of really high quality. Maybe she’ll get better at playing Captain Marvel the more she does it. That happens sometimes, and Marvel is going to need that to be the case if they want to succeed with her.

In this specific role, watching the award-winning actress is as fun as standing in line at the DMV without your smartphone. Through most of this, she shows the charisma of one of those guards at Buckingham Palace in the middle of his shift. When she does manage to show anything, she’s only giving us glimpses of a stereotypical “valley girl” who happens to be void of personality. That’s bad for Marvel as they plan on having her lead the Avengers in the upcoming phase according to what’s been reported. For their own sake, they’re either going to need her to drastically improve or they’re going to have to make some adjustments to their plans.

I guess they could also replace her the way they replaced Edward Norton and Terence Howard in the past, but I doubt that’s going to happen since the optics would be horrible. If none of these things happen and they stick with what’s reportedly in place, Marvel as a whole could deteriorate and sink as fast as that Justice League movie did in 2017.

Ultimately, Captain Marvel is one of the blandest superhero movies ever released to the masses. I’ve seen worse over the years, but I’ve also seen much better. Hopefully, they’re able to fix all that was wrong moving forward before it’s too late to turn back completely. Maybe they can use this as a learning experience. If they do, they can keep pushing these things out for another decade or two or three.

Rating: PG-13

Anna Boden
Ryan Fleck

Brie Larson
Samuel L. Jackson
Jude Law
Ben Mendelsohn
Djimon Hounsou
Lee Pace
Lashana Lynch
Gemma Chan
Rune Temte
Algenis Perez Soto
Mckenna Grace
Annette Bening
Clark Gregg

Film Length: 116 minutes

Release Date: March 8, 2019

Distributor: Marvel Studios

  • 5/10
    Score - 5/10
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