Release Date: March 8th, 2019
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law
Director: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Studio: Marvel Studio
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In the lead up to Avengers: Endgame, we are introduced to the next powerhouse in the MCU, the person who Nick Fury himself saw fit to page when the shit hit the fan, Captain Marvel.
To put the plot briefly, Vers (Brie Larson) is an amnesiac warrior for the Kree Empire. In the course of her missions, she finds herself deposited on Earth where she must stop a Skrull plot. As she attempts to root out the shape-changing Skrull infiltrators, she begins to piece together the mystery of her memory.
Captain Marvel is another fine addition to the Marvel collection. While not a stand out in any real way, it doesn’t falter or flounder like some of the entries in the MCU. It feels like I’m damning with faint praise, but that’s sort of the problem when it comes to looking at all the MCU. You’re grading on a tough curve. A movie that is fun, and enjoyable enough seems lacking when compared to some of the others in the canon.
The movie really could’ve done more, and it’s easy to see moments or ideas that are almost there but not quite fully developed or executed on. A fine example of that is the music. The music choices while all dope songs are used in strangely at times, coming in but not quite syncing up with the action on screen (in one particular case a song begins and 2 seconds into it a jukebox is smashed, it seems like an obvious place to either start or stop a musical cue).
Another unfortunate flaw is that you never really get a sense of ‘scale’ when it comes to Captain Marvel’s powers or abilities until the end and even then it feels…. weightless? Floaty? In a vacuum?
Like, remember in The Winter Soldier when Cap shows up and kicks the bad guys over the edges of the boat? Just giving dudes the boot? Well, that works because it has an impact, the visual effect, the sounds, and because the audience knows how strong and durable normal humans are. So to see Super Soldier Juiced Cap mopping the floor with people you have a good idea of his power level and what he does. His punches and kicks have force, he moves fast, all that is easy to see because its comparable on screen to other things we have a frame of reference for. For much of the movie, Captain Marvel doesn’t do the best job of that. She’s fighting aliens (we don’t have any idea how tough or strong they are) with a crew of alien special forces who use guns (past that *shrug emoji*). It makes it so that when we see Vers throwing fists and punching folks around well it doesn’t really have much of an impact. Sure, sometimes they may go flying but, well, at this point is that very exciting?
The movie earns its keep with the characters. As ever, Marvel has really honed in on what makes their movies special, the relationships between the characters, and the good times we all get when their on screen, busting each others chops or experiencing a 90’s era disc load. That’s what Captain Marvel does right, and that’s what will make this movie a success and earn its sequel.
While the flick wasn’t perfect, didn’t offer anything truly new, I still enjoyed this first flight with Carol Danvers and I look forward to Captain Marvel joining the larger MCU next month in Endgame.
Captain Marvel is in theaters now, and hell, who are we kiddin’ you’ve probably already seen it.