Love the Movie! Captain Marvel is a great addition to the Avengers!
Gotta be honest, I love the MCU but I have to admit when it hits a snag. This movie was a mixed bag. On the good side, you had young Nick Fury and Talos the Kree Leader whose interactions with Goose the Cat were the best bits of humor. The 90’s setting also played a large role to the humor and will probably be relatable to most of us who grew up in that era. And Brie Larson as Carol Danvers has no love interest. That's a first. Heck even Jessica Jones had fuck buddies in both her seasons.
Now for my dislikes. While the action amply delivered, no particular fight scene really stood out. One reason I re-watch these films is because of the awesome and intense fight scenes; Iron Man vs Iron Monger, the prison escape in both Guardians 1&2, the 1-take casino fight and highway chase in Black Panther, the latter half of Doctor Strange, the chase in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and almost every single fight scene in Winter Soldier, Civil War and Infinity War.
While Captain Marvel’s final battle was awesome, we can all agree it was hardly a fight as there was no real threat or tension due to Carol’s Super Saiyan powers, all the while she was laughing carelessly like a free bird. She’s a Mary Sue like Rey from Star Wars. Carol learns everything so fast without showing the baby steps to get there. You never saw her struggling to fly the same way Tony did, and her plasma hands pretty much solve every obstacle in her path literally.
Her history is all told in flashbacks, and while it is unique in terms of the MCU, it ends up as a quick and passive experience and loses its chance for any emotional investment from the audience. Remember how you felt about skinny Steve Rogers when he jumped over a dud grenade? Or when you felt Dr Strange’s frustration on losing his profession when he shouted at Christine. Or when you felt T’Challa’s pain and sorrow on losing his father in that one scene where he hugged him just after he died. Or when Star Lord refused to talk to his mother just a few moments before her death?
These scenes are key points in shaping them as a person, for us to relate to them and see what drives them. Showing them in active tense helps us get involved and relate, while showing them in quick passive dreamy flashbacks drowns all the emotions away. These flashbacks range from different ages of her youth, showing how she is beaten on sports and challenges that are deemed predominantly for men, only for her to stand up over and over again without any help.
It’s a good message to little girls, but again there is no emotional investment from us since it’s all passive. You will learn her history but you will leave the cinema not really “knowing” who Carol is as a person the same way we learned who Tony, Steve, Thor, or Strange is after watching their first films.
This brings me to Brie Larson’s portrayal of Carol, who I found to be very distant and emotionally guarded, which is ironic because the Kree kept saying she was this emotional hothead despite never showing it, besides the one part where she shouted wildly back at a Skrull. Carol likes to fight but I never felt she was “letting her emotions control her” as Jude Law kept saying. And when she was on earth she felt even more levelheaded besides Nick Fury. Brie as an Oscar winner must have been going for subtle, but the script demanded otherwise.
The filmmakers also played safe, afraid to commit to a tone. Each MCU film had a stylistic choice that separated it from the rest. Thor Ragnarok was littered with Taika Waititi’s unmistakable humor. Guardians had James Gunn’s crazy antics. Cap the First Avenger was clearly made by the same guy who made the Rocketeer. The Russo Brothers introduced very personal and intense fight scenes to the MCU starting with Winter Soldier up to Infinity War. Captain Marvel in a tonal point of view felt bland compared to these. It felt more like a director-for-hire project pushing an agenda instead of an actual story that the directors had absolute artistic control over.
And I don’t blame them. So much was riding on this film: a prelude to Endgame, the first female lead MCU film, ticking feminist check boxes, all around a complicated origin story based on a character that had an even more complicated publishing history. (That’s a whole other drama. Go wiki Shazam.)
The score was forgettable and the villain was total crap.
Here’s to hoping the sequel gets a new director to shake things up.
You won’t expect too much action on this film but a good way to start on questions like How, What, When and Where.
Just keep lookin’ for goose and your penny will be compensated.
I didn't expect that I will enjoy the movie but I actually did. Great story and cast. Captain Marvel's power rocks! And Goose too. Who would think he's the cause of Fury's eye. XD
Goose scratch Nick Fury eye...WHAT!?!?