This captain is anything but marvelous
This International Women’s Day, Marvel released their newest blockbuster, “Captain Marvel.” The 21st entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), this installment promises to be a major stepping stone in the franchise. The film introduces the titular character, which MCU plans to make her an integral part of the upcoming “Avengers: Endgame,” as well as potentially leading the pack down the road. So, can the film fill these massive shoes while also providing a promising example for the MCU’s first female-led superhero movie?
Um … let’s see.
The film follows Carol Danvers, an ultra-powerful being from the Kree Empire. While attempting to stop a deadly shape-shifting force known as the Skrulls, Danvers finds herself on Earth in 1995. From here, she must team up with a young Nick Fury to unearth a galactic war, as well as details of her past.
Bland, uninspired and forgettable, “Captain Marvel” was a major disappointment. This is a film with no clue what it wants to focus on and what tone it wants to settle with causing a very disjointed experience that’s hard to find any level of investment in.
Structurally, the film feels patched together. The first act is where the film suffers the most, sloppily jumping back and forth from various flashbacks and Danvers going on various ventures that are given no time to set up, causing confusion. The latter part of the film moves at a smoother
The other element that makes a great chunk of the film hard to invest in is the collection of monotonous characters. As sad as it is to say, Brie Larson feels miscast in this role. While she delivers her lines with enough competence to get an idea of her character, she ultimately fails to sell the snarky personality of Danvers and lacks development. Ultimately, Larson lacks any distinction, leaving the role to feel very interchangeable. The rest of the supporting cast feels either unconvincing in acting or wasted in terms of development.
As a film, there is nothing exceptional on display. There was a lot of potential from a production design standpoint to play around with the ’90s setting and juxtapose it with the creative world of Kree. Yet, both elements feel either wasted and unnecessary with Kree feeling like a discounted Wakanda with none of the atmosphere and the ’90s elements feels lazily plopped in to evoke nostalgia rather than feeling relevant.
A lot of the issues has to do with the soundtrack, which felt obvious for certain scenes but out of place somehow. Similarly, the cinematography is basic, the makeup and costume design translates poorly to screen, the color grading is ugly and inconsistent, many of the visual effects look rushed and the editing, especially during the first half, is straight up atrocious.
The only bright spot where the film truly shines is just about everything involving Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. While the majority of the special effects give SyFy channel movies a run for their money, the de-aging work done to Jackson was undeniably seamless and worth praise. Jackson himself is the only charismatic presence throughout the entire runtime, with his genuinely funny remarks and snappy personality working effectively. His chemistry with Larson is also an exceptional aspect, with this being the only element of heart and warmth in the feature.
At its best, “Captain Marvel” will be a forgettable venture. It’s becoming clear that MCU is running out of steam, with this film being the prime example of the transparency of their formula. What is probably most sad, however, is that this film had a plethora of potential. It had the ability to get fans excited for more and, more importantly, inspire young women everywhere to celebrate the power they can find within themselves. But instead, we got nothing but the pure definition of a studio product wearing the flimsy mask of inspiration and behind it is nothing but a slimy agenda. We deserved better than this.