The good news is that my original concern regarding Captain Marvel seems unfounded.
The bad news is that Captain Marvel is a wasted opportunity.
Allow me to elaborate.
I won’t go into too much detail about this movie for fear of spoiling it for you, but I will discuss some broad strokes.
First of all, Captain Marvel has some top-tier talent. Brie Larson, Samuel Jackson, Annette Bening, and Jude Law all play significant roles in the film. These are high-caliber actors and actresses. Yet … they weren’t enough.
The fact is, Captain Marvel delivers a story revolving around the Kree and the Skrulls, two alien races at war with one another. You’ve seen the Kree before in Guardians Of the Galaxy. They were a nice little means to an end in that movie. In Captain Marvel, they are front and center, and I couldn’t have cared less.
That’s the major misstep of Captain Marvel. The story is predicated upon a war that the audience is neither invested in or familiar with. It was very hard to follow, and, honestly, I found myself bored through much of it. The movie focused upon a lot of ambiguity, a lot of chases, a lot of fights, a lot of glowy things, and very little actual story.
Now, that’s not to say I don’t like the character of Captain Marvel. She’s got a ton of potential in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and, with a different story, I think Brie Larson could have knocked it out of the park. Unfortunately, though, the movie couldn’t quite decide what it wanted to be. It had inspiring moments, but it didn’t necessarily deliver an inspirational message. It had some funny moments as well, but it wasn’t a comedy or even an action-comedy. It had tons of action, but much of the action seemed pointless. I’m actually still struggling to concisely say what this movie was even about.
If anything, I would say Captain Marvel suffered from the same ailments most prequels do, and that’s the need to explain why X, Y, and Z happened in the other Marvel movies, and to lay the groundwork for future installments. In the end, I don’t think Captain Marvel ever got to be its own story.
Oh, there’s also the problem of bad–really bad–dialogue. The film is just one cliche after another and you can actually predict most of what comes out of Captain Marvel’s mouth. Along those lines, the Skrulls have Australian accents. Why not? An alien race from the depths of space? Sure. Australian accent. You bet.
It’s not all bad, though. The special effects are great, and when Captain Marvel is at full power, it’s something to really behold. Unfortunately, those moments don’t make up for a talented cast who never got the opportunity to make us care about their characters as they raced from one place to another while spouting poorly written lines in a confusing, directionless film.
While I firmly believe Marvel needed a movie with a female lead, I don’t believe the Marvel Cinematic Universe needed Captain Marvel to progress its epic story.
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It’s a lot of fun. Which is what we expect. Nice review.