You know? I like the Marvel universe. I know it’s some basic shit. I know there has been a billion of them (21 now) and most are either pretty good, or at least entertaining, so I go see them. I like the universe, I like the connected characters, and I like superheroes in fun costumes!
So here we come now to Captain Marvel, number 21. The first female led superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Films is a inferring a new beginning after Avengers Endgame. Robert Downey Jr. will be done, Chris Evans is done, Brie Larson is the future. I am unsure what will happen in Endgame, but I am sure not everyone is going to make it out alive. Before I go any further I should say, I am a white male. I don’t know why that matters, but I feel like I should say it before going any further.
Story (Plot) 3-5
SPOILERS YO! Superhero Origin story, told in kind of a funky-out-of-order-way. Carol Danvers is already on Hala, the Kree homeworld. She already has her glowy powers and she’s learning to be a soldier from Yon-Rogg (played by Jude Law). Carol has no memory of being human. The audience already knows she is…so much of the plot is us just waiting for her to figure out what we already know.
“YADDA YADDA” The Kree and Skrulls are at war. Space and shit, the story has some unexpected turns and I didn’t guess everything and I was pleasantly surprised by some happenings. The most unexpected development is the Skrulls are not really the bad guys. In the Marvel Comics Universe, the Skrulls have always been dicks. It turns out the Kree are the dicks! Carol has been working for the bad guys all along! OH NO! Also I don’t know how I feel about Nick Fury losing his freaking eye from a “cat” scratch. Yep…
Production (Directing, Editing, Music)3-5
Most of this was pretty straight forward. Some of the mystery is lost and Carol finding her past takes too long. I feel like the last fight sequence was drawn out and didn’t have significant consequences. I would have liked her to have fought something that actually given her a more substantial challenge, maybe we see that in Endgame? The tone is just wrong. Captain marvel just has many random lines, scenes and acting choices that doesn’t need to be there. I think the film needs a second cut and some scene retakes.
Music was like every other Marvel movie. The score to put it mildly is not memorable. There is for one notable difference, the inclusion of 90s nostalgia stroking mostly through the use of alternative rock anthems. The clearest example of is Carol’s big fight scene against her former Kree squadmates set to No Doubt’s “I’m Just a Girl”. BEGIN RAGE RANT! It wasn’t even like it was playing the jukebox randomly while they fight, just started playing. THEY ARE ON A SPACESHIP! At the very least in Guardians of the Galaxy the inclusion of notstalgic pop musis is given some context. There is usually a character listening to Quill’s mixtape, so the nostalgia made sense. There is a shot in this scene that she blows up the jukebox, like this is what they wanted to do, the jukebox is supposed to be playing “I’m just a girl”. It’s just playing out of thin air. No, this scene didn’t work, and took me right out of the movie Rant over.
Characters (Likability, Acting) 2-5
I like Brie Larson.. I was really excited for her in this movie. But she is the weakest part of the film. Her character doesn’t really have an arc, maybe this example should go under the review heading of “Directing”, but honestly when people talk to me about this movie, no one really mentions her being likeable or her doing a great job. She was just kinda “meh”. This sucks because I like the actress and the character of Carol Danvers from the comics. She just didn’t work here.
Sam freaking Jackson killed it. The digital de-aged stuff is batshit! After a few scenes, you forget that he’s not 30 years younger! The man is 71 people! This technology has come so far. I thought it looked a bit funky in “Captain America Civil War” when Tony Stark appears as a hologram in which he is 20 years younger. It looked ok, but this movie was damn perfect. I never doubted it for a second. Bravo, Marvel! Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury the best part of the movie. The man is seriously funny. This is bizarre because Nick fury is such a chromogen in other films. Maybe they digitally de-assholed him? Don’t think too hard about that imagery.
And now we turn to Goose the Cat. I have never really been a cat person. So most of the cute factor is lost on me. Sure, I love animals and all, but it’s just a cat. So every scene the movie really wants you to love this cat, I end up going the other way. I start to hate the cat. There are perhaps 5 “ahhh cat” moments. The “ahhh cat” scene I actually liked was the end credit scene. Cats are so awkward when they puke.
Writing (Dialogue, Cleverness)3-5
This movie wanted to Guardians of the Galaxy 3 so badly. But the tone was wrong. Most of the jokes fell flat. Carol’s character never really grows. The majority of the movie is just spent telling us stuff we already know. I had so many questions. Like she has no memory right? How does she know how to ride a motorcycle? How does she know anything about anything on Earth? She should have been really confused, and she wasn’t. There should have been more fish out of water stuff. Are the writers just afraid of making her look like she doesn’t know what she was doing? Because that would make more sense.
Emotions (Was it; Fun, Scary, Sad, Do I care) 4-5
All said, it’s a Marvel movie. The problem is it is not a stand alone movie. It’s part of a bigger universe, so I give it some wiggle room. It adds to an existing narrative that I enjoy. The action scenes are fun, and Carol’s powers are cool. I feel like they steered the wheel too far into making her unstoppable. She becomes too like Superman, too powerful and ultimately boring.
BLACKOUT COMIC BOOK DORK MOMENT! She got her powers from the Tesseract, which makes her about equal to how powerful Scarlet Witch, who got her powers from the Mind Stone. I would love to see them slug it out. It’s just too bad Scarlet Witch is dust right now.
Overall score 15-25
This film pretty low in the list of Marvel movies for me, somewhere between Ant-man and Iron Man 3. I have been pretty hard on this movie until this point, but honestly it was fun. I just wanted it to be great, but then, most of the Marvel movies are not great. They are just good. I am unsure about the future of Marvel movies. I know I will keep watching them.
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