Sunday, March 10, 2019

Captain Marvel - Movie Review

Written by Shiggins

Kree-ative fun?

Well, it only took 21 films but the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally put a female superhero in the lead. The closest we had prior to this was Ant-Man and the Wasp, but the Wasp still had to share the spotlight, so it's at least a nice change of pace. But more importantly, does Captain Marvel work as a strong movie that can stand alongside the others?

Even aliens need to wear 'Murica colours.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Sugar, It's Kind of a Funny Story), Captain Marvel is set in the year 1995 and features Brie Larson as the Kree Starforce member Vers, who is currently engaged in a war with an alien species of shapeshifters called the Skrulls. When the Starforce squad are ambushed, Vers is captured but escapes to Earth, where she joins forces with agent Nick Fury, played by Samuel L Jackson, and learns she might be able to uncover the secrets of her past that have been locked away, and stop the Skrulls, led by Ben Mendelsohn's Talos.

So we have another origin story in the MCU. Another story where a character must learn something and change in some way so they can become the titular hero, then join the Avengers. We've had this type of story 8 times now, 9 if we include Captain Marvel. And that's not even beginning to mention all the DC movies, the Sony movies and the Fox movies that have brought out their own origin films in the past ten years. So to be honest, it's becoming a little boring. It's necessary, especially for a more recent character like this incarnation of Captain Marvel, but it does stifle the film at times. We're very familiar with some of these patterns and decisions by now, and this makes Captain Marvel feel like a film that would be 9/10 if it was released in Phase 1.

Probably the closest to Star Trek we'll ever see in the MCU.
That's not to say the film is bad, or even tells the origin story in a poor way. At first, I got a sense of dread when we got dumped some exposition over and over again, as they had to build up this Kree vs Skrull war, but it eventually settles down once we reach Earth and get Vers aka Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers alongside Nick Fury. From there, it's the stuff you want to see. Quick action, witty humour, and a few pieces of drama to give a human feel to it.

For the most part, the performances are strong. Samuel L Jackson is a charming man in almost everything, so you know you're going to have fun with him. Ben Mendelsohn has quickly become one of my favourite villain actors in recent years, so his Talos performance is as great as you'd expect, with the right balance between comedy and emotion. Jude Law as Vers' mentor Yon-Rogg is good, if underused. And sadly, both Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou barely show up enough for me to appreciate. Seriously, can the MCU just resurrect these two characters please? It's not comics without a dead guy coming back!

They actually got the mohawk in there! That's so hot!
The lead performance of Brie Larson is hit-and-miss, with mostly hits. The film spends a lot of time telling her to control her emotions or she'll go haywire, but I honestly wish we could see her explode more. There's far too many instances of Vers being told to remain calm, but she's not looking anything but calm when told this, so it feels unnecessary or unearned. The best moments for Larson is whenever she's getting cocky or wild, as she has this dangerous joy to her that really feels like it's worth investing on. Stoic warriors are boring to watch. Let Captain Marvel be an adrenaline junkie! Arrogance against danger, and joking with Samuel L Jackson in endearing banter-offs is when she's at her best. When she has to be "fighting her emotions", I start to waver.

I want to talk about the visuals, since I think they're really worth mentioning with this film. In quite a few instances, the visual design feels uninspired, which is surprising considering how bright and colourful the MCU's other sci-fi films, Thor Ragnarok and the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, are. A lot of dark or dreary settings, and the masterfully-recreated 90s is just not a fun, wild place visually, unlike the 70s or 80s. That being said, Captain Marvel's Super Saiyan form is gorgeous to watch (although that helmet design...), a lot of the action is brutal, albeit dragged down somewhat by the usual fast editing and camera work, and the way they de-aged Samuel L Jackson is stunning. Whoever was in charge of Fury's face deserves an award.

The decision behind Fury's eye however... that's dividing me.
The internet has this really annoying habit where every major film that comes out is either "the best thing ever, and way better than this popular thing you like lol", or it's "so overrated, so stop talking about it" or they just say it's "trash, and here's my YouTube video to explain why a design of a glove is enough to hate it and boycott the series forever". I'm here to tell you that I'm not that childish. Captain Marvel is good. It's not amazing. Not in my top 10 of the MCU, but still a fun origin story with enjoyable characters and bright action.

Captain Marvel is another win for the MCU, but probably won't be considered as such due to the films surrounding it and that it's another origin movie. Definitely go see it, have a laugh, and don't load your rifles just because it isn't as good as many other MCU movies (seriously, we're at 21 now! They can't all be amazing) or whatever other reason. Not the best, not the worst, but still a decent flick.

Oh, and the Stan Lee stuff? Genius!

Movie Rating: 7.5/10

Best Performance: Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury.

Best Part: Vers and Fury banter.

Worst Part: Dull space environments.

"Is the cat a scene-stealer?" Of course it is! It's a CAT!
Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page

1 comment:

  1. Watched the movie recently, and I have to agree with you on most of the points. I heard bad stuff about the movie, so I was a little sceptic about it, but it turned out to be good. It wasn't amazing, but not bad either. A decent marvel origin story.