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Polarizing as this film will be, due to its titular star's actor getting involved in the raging cultural wars of the late 2010s, what is Captain Marvel (2019) when you do your best to completely forget that all that rubbish exists?
Well, for this viewer, the answer was "So Okay, It's Average". It's mostly a bland, inoffensive, "turn off your brain and enjoy the action scenes" movie. The Skrulls have some intriguing depth and some funny scenes, Nick Fury is surprisingly funny, and the Rambeaus are both likable, intriguing characters.
Where does it go wrong? Why is it not the Marvel Cinematic Universe answer to Wonder Woman (2017)? Well... the sad truth is that it has to do with the titular leading lady. She does get a few moments of warmth to her when interacting with the Rambeaus, but for the most part, Carol Danvers has all the charm and charisma of a potato sack. She spends most of the movie as this bland, vaguely smug and self-righteous non-descript sort of character. Even Yon-Rogg feels more easy to get invested in, and he's basically one part Drill Sergeant Nasty and one party slimy misogynist. Carol's just a generic Smug Super character, and she never really steps out of that role except in those precious few moments when she's interacting with the Rambeaus. Add in the fact that she never really struggles in the movie, aside from her plot-mandated capture by the Skrulls at the movie's start, and... yeah, she's got Boring Invincible Hero written all over her. Which is a shame, because you'd normally be cheering at the Big Damn Heroes moment of the climatic battle, and I just felt vaguely bored.
I could go on with discussing the big controversies about Skrulls and Nick Fury's eye, but I really don't think it's worth the effort.
I wouldn't say it's the worst MCU movie around, but I can definitely think of three or four others I'd sooner spend my time on. Watch this only for completionists or if you're really desperate for a space-themed action heroine movie.
Having had some time to digest the movie (I saw it Wednesday morning) I think I'll stand by my first impression : it's a filler episode and what's really sad about the movie is that it had a lot of potential but failed to realize it.
For me, Brie Larson played such a BADASS female character that her Carol Danvers ended being very flat and uni-dimensional, as if nothing which had happened or was happening to her left a mark on her. And I don't begrudge Brie Larson here - I'm pretty sure that she played her role exactly as the peoples making the movie wanted her to do. But they tried so hard to make a perfect "Strong Independent Woman" (God, I hate to have to use this "catchphrase" to describe Brie's Carol when she had everything to be a very deep and relatable character - but flaws) character that, somehow, Talos and the Skrulls ended with far more character development than the main character !
The craziest thing is that when she dealt with Yon-Rogg the way she did in the movie, with the phrase she said, I 100% agreed with her, and I smiled when she said that. But I never cheered for her, because she never felt like an actual person to me. I think she lacked both her No Man's Land scene and her Bombing of the Belgian Town (I don't remember the name of the town in Wonder Woman), a scene to make her regal and heroic and one to see her down and hurt, and still thriving to do the right thing.
And yet, she had everything -EVERYTHING- to be just as powerful an awe-inspiring. She has a tragic and poignant backstory, she could have had inner frailties or moments of doubt. The moment she met with Maria and Monica should have been such a visceral moment, where Maria could have broken down, happy to see her best friend alive and sad that she wasn't remembered and Carol feeling terrible because she couldn't remember her, even when she felt she should have. And it fell flat, at least for me. The movie director was so preoccupied by depicting to badasses female characters that he or she forgot to develop them.
Compare that to Black Panther -who proved that one could be introduced without a solo movie, like Spiderman. T'Challa failed, he had flaws, and his whole arc was to realize that not only he had to change but his whole country had too. And while he was a King, with super-powers, and crazy tech to boot, from a culture with whom French culture has no ties, as a white dude, I felt taken away by the whole cast and the movie.Something Captain Marveil failed to do.
The movie was obviously not helped by extremely weak villains (Yon-Rogg is not better characterized than Carol, despite what some people who I feel had a bias with the movie even prior its release says. He's just a toxic space fascist and that's about it. The rest of Starforce are even thinner and Ronan's just an over-extended cameo). Which is a shame, because Spiderman - Homecoming and Black Panther had some of the strongest villain of the MCU, proving that solo movies could do just that without the need of several movies to develop them. Hell, even Thanos had only one movie to be developed and it was Infinity War, and he stole the show.
Overall, an average movie, definitively not what I was hoping just before endgame. In a sense, I'm happy that the movie doesn't seem to be stronger to me, perhaps it'll give Shazam! some space to breath and attract peoples -I hope it will. But I still recommend to go and see it, to have your own opinion. It deserves at least that much.
I also was dissapointed by the Captain Marvel movie, even though i like Carol Danvers as a character.
1) Because the movie feels like a filler episode.
2) Because they genderswapped Mar-Vell, one of my favorite characters thanks to the writing of Jim Starlin, and killed him/her off in a flashback.
3) Because they turned Nick Fury into a joke.
4) Because i prefer the Supreme Intelligence to be a giant green potato.
5) Because there are no Kree Sentry robots.
6) Because they turned the Kree into irredeamable villains. I Always liked the Kree because they are kinda like the Imperium from Warhammer 40,000, a platform to tell over the top military science fiction stories, as shown with Annihilation and War of Kings.
7) Because they blew the chance of developing Ronan the Accuser.
8) Because it's based on Deconnick's lackluster run.
Captain Marvel is another fairly typical marvel movie. There are minor tweaks to the formula but in general, nothing particularly memorable about it. It's set in the 90's, so there's plenty of 90s jokes, as well as some nods to the whole MCU continuity, and a young Fury and Coulson.
Since this is Marvel's first female headlining hero, people are trying to hype it up like it's revolutioninzing the film industry or something, but if you just watch the movie and ignore the news feed surrounding it, it's entertaining. Honestly it pushes "girl power" about as much as Black Panther pushed "black power". It's obviously there, it's mostly unavoidable, but it also doesn't let that one single issue overtake the whole film.
Captain Marvel isn't so much about "girl power" as it is about one girl's power. The story and focus is mostly about our hero trying to remember her past while doing hero stuff. Stuff happens, she ends up on Earth, and like a usual Marvel movie, there's great action, CGI, and jokes sprinkled throughout along the way.
With that said, there's really not much else to talk about without getting into spoilers. It's just... entertaining, but not that memorable, and just another variation on the same theme you've seen before.
One last thing to mention, though, is the tie-in to the rest of the MCU. It's painstakingly clear that they released this film just so they can bring Captain Marvel into Avengers: Endgame as some kind of solution. Now, we know she's powerful, but I tend not to enjoy deus ex machina style solutions where some superpowerful being just pops up, does some overpowered stuff, and fixes the problem, which kinda makes me worried for Endgame. I really hope Marvel's got a more intriguing story than that lined up.
In any case, 6, maybe 7/10 depending on how bored you are of the Marvel Formula movie. It's got enough variation on it to make it unique, but not enough to make it really memorable. Not bad to watch if you're bored though.
So before I'm gonna go into the actual review, I will take a moment to address the idea/fear people had that this movie is ""SJW propaganda'', which it honestly isn't. The titular character isn't even particularly OP for the majority of the movie, although only close to the end was there ever a scene where I felt she was genuinely being challenged.
Anyway, as far as the actual review goes; the movie is solid. Using flashbacks and self-discovery to play around with the conventions of an origin story is a bold move, which in part does give the audience a driving question, but honestly at the same time is rather confusing or disorienting at certain points; in particular, close to the beginning of te film there is a solid 2 min sequence (at least, it felt that way) where the audience is haphazardly thrown across Carol's buried memories before we've even been given much reason to be vested in her backstory to begin with. These quick flashes reappear in the rest of the film without getting fleshed out. This is indeed a problem that persists in much of the film, as the movie keeps trying to get us to care about Carol and her struggle, and while all the set-up is there (scenery, tragedy, story) it honestly kinda falls a bit flat; sometimes it's Brie Larrsons wooden performance , sometimes it's the fact her backstory is only shown in brief glimpses than full length flashbacks, but honestly it's just hard to feel for the character. Which is not at all to say that every scene falls flat or that there is absolutely no investment, not at all, just less than there could have been. For instance, the buddy cop dynamic she develops with Nick Fury, as well as her interactions with little Monica Rambeau, actually bring out the most sympathetic and lovable moments in the film, moreso than Carol ragingly screaming she doesn't know who she really is, because playing off other characters and actually interacting with them works better than the forced, plot-necessated flahbacks of her and Mar-Vell ever do.
The action sequences are mostly good, aside from one or two slip-ups.
In regards to comedy, Nick Fury, Goose the Cat, and Carol's fish-out-of-water antics give you enough to at least get a few laughs through this mostly one-tone adventure. I will say, however, that the way Nick Fury loses his eye is very underwhelmingly handled for the sake of a joke. Lastly, this film's awkward place in the MCU and the fact Carol great power mean there is also a lack of actual tension in the film; you know they already have the Captain's future planned out, you know they are not gonna kill the Rambeaus so soon after introducing them, you know Nick Fury is gonna live, so fortunatly Talos and his family give us something to worry about.
All in all, seven out of ten, don't feel obligated to watch it but please don't let the toxic hate it's been getting hold you back.
The biggest problem with this movie is that it's a little late in the game for what is a by-the-book origin story. Almost every element of the story, we've seen before. The best origin stories put their own twist on things. Here, they banked on 90's nostalgia, and fell short. Of course, as problems go, there are worse ones to have than sticking too close to a tried and true formula.
The acting is solid. The characters are solid. The plot is solid. The twists are neither shocking nor completely predictable. It manages to be a fun, decent way to kill a couple hours, without accomplishing anything standout.
In truth, the movie is such a distillation of standard superhero tropes that it almost feels like it's on purpose. It certainly helps highlight the sexism behind some of the complaints (that she's overpowered, a "Mary Sue," characters are undeveloped) when you can point to ever item they complain about in a male-led movie and see only a fraction of the same comments, and many of the critics of Captain Marvel falling over themselves to defend over-powered, stoic man-heros.
Okay, going to get this out of the way first, no this isn't another Ghostbusters (2016) where it's a forgettable comedy and it's not the next Wonder Woman that changes the face of the Superhero Genre for the better. Captain Marvel just wants to be a fun popcorn flick and that is all it needs to be and honestly, it succeeds at being just that.
As the title makes clear this film isn't as good as Wonder Woman but that's not a bad thing as living up to something amazing doesn't mean it's bad just like how Star Trek: First Contact isn't as good as The Wrath of Khan doesn't make it a bad movie and is still a fun, if somewhat silly, film.
Wonder Woman was a game changer on so many levels as it was not only the first genuinely good movie from the DCEU but also the first solo DC Superhero movie that wasn't a Batman or Superman movie that was genuinely good and the first good female Superhero movie since EVER!!! Captain Marvel is not trying to be that, nor does it want to be that, it just wants to be a fun bit of fluff before the dark and grim Avengers Endgame comes out. And because it just wants to have fun you end up having fun with it.
There are many Laugh Out Loud moments that work because the jokes are, for most people, actually funny. The action is solid even if it's nothing to write home about and everyone turns in a good performance.
My only issues with the movie is that I feel Larson lacked the Charisma of her comic book counterpart that was presented in her other adaptations like Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Marvel Rising but she still gives a good performance and she's still a good character.
And finally there is one moment that I thought was stupid which was how Fury lost his eye which is Goose the Cat scratched it out because Fury was annoying him. I thought that was really stupid but really this is more of a flaw that the MCU has in other films so I won't hold it against CM.
In short, I say go check it out. It may not be another great MCU film or the next Wonder Woman but it doesn't have to be and on it's own, it's just a fun movie and I do look forward to Carol's Sequel and her appearance in future crossovers. :)
My thoughts on Captain Marvel...I actually kind of liked it. For starters, actors...For one, acting. Brie Larson IMO actually did pretty well as Captain Marvel. My initial concerns were on whether she'd be a Mary Sue character of sorts since she was heavily marketed as being THE most powerful superhero in the MCU. I also thought that from the looks of the trailers, she would be less emotive. I was wrong on that. While she is powerful, she is by no means a Mary Sue. Her having amnesia and then going mixing for six years serves its purpose of that hurting other characters who were affected by her loss such as with her best friend from the Air Force Maria Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch. Captain Marvel has emotions: she can be funny and snarky. She has moments where she felt conflicted about what she was doing, especially when she realizes that she couldn't trust anyone, not even those she was assigned to work with. I also liked her bonding with Nick Fury, and I don't even need to say that Samuel L. Jackson doesn't once again make the character his own.
Maria was a character I liked. Her flashbacks with Captain Marvel are touching as well as heartbreaking. Lynch does a great job to give raw emotion to her character that I legitimately felt sorry for her. The rest of Captain Marvel's team range from interesting to bland. Yon-Rogg was okay..though I felt that his actor was just hamming it up with his performance at times. What he is actually like in the film is admittedly not too surprising of a twist. I pretty much saw it coming the first time he popped up. Lee Pace returns to reprise his role as Ronan the Accuser who here is calm and collected and isn't the insane zealot he will devolve into in Guardians of the Galaxy. I felt Ronan was kind of wasted here as he doesn't take much of an active role in the film as I thought he was going to. The Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening) for the most part is intimidating, but I didn't get a good deal of what her character will be. Talos, the leader of the Skrulls, was actually pretty decent. He starts off as being an antagonist but then becomes an ally. He's probably one of the more funny characters in the film.
Action scenes were fine. I liked how they depicted the process it had to take for a Skrull to change into another form with their skin ripping as they morph. Otherwise, I guess my issue with the film is that it largely feels like a Phase One movie. The plot of the movie was pretty predictable to a degree, and is kind of a standard superhero flick. Really, I feel that there is some wasted potential that the film suffered from as it tried to like back up with the end of Infinity War. I wanted to know more about The Skrull and Kree War, or maybe some further explanation to their world. The bad guys aren't necessarily bad, but they feel like a call back to the ones from the first and second phases where they lack some flair to them. I guess I can't really say I'm disappointed with what I saw because I wasn't largely familiar with the character. But to have this film get wedged between a two-parter, it could've done more to make itself stand out more rather than just being filler.
Overall, I absolutely loved Captain Marvel. However, I do definitely agree with the underlying thread that seems to connect most critiques: the film feels like a Phase 1 movie. For those who loved and continue to love Phase 1 for what it was, that can be a great thing. For those who prefer the more gripping, character-driven movies of later phases (particularly Phase 3) and want that trend to continue, or feel as if a Phase 1-style movie is out of place in Phase 3, I can definitely see why the movie doesn't quite deliver.
If we look back at Phase 1, the character introductions we get there are quite similar to what we get out of Captain Marvel. Main character comes onto the scene, is pretty badass for much of the movie, and doesn't exactly develop much outside of learning to acclimate to a new setting or new powers. (I love Tony to death, but if I recall correctly Tony develops a bit in the first Iron Man but kind of slides back into a sarcastic, arrogant Jerk with a Heart of Gold as the plot demands in future movies, so that one is arguable.) It's not until a sequel (or threequel, in the case of Thor) that we get a more character-driven story where the hero develops in a meaningful way. I feel that in Phase 1 I grew fonder of the basic values, morals, and heroism that each character represented and their spectacular abilities than their individual personalities. The down-to-earth human supporting cast and the lead's interactions with them were a huge boon for the Phase 1 movies, picking up the slack where the protagonists themselves left much to be desired. Yon Rogg, Fury, and the rest of the supporting cast played that role spectacularly in Captain Marvel. However, compared to other MCU protagonists that once leaned on the supporting cast but have since grown away from that and became compelling characters in their own right, I can see why Carol comes across as somewhat bland.
Donít get me wrong, I adore Phase 3 as much as the next troper. However, Phase 1 still serves its role at providing entertaining blockbusters that I can watch over and over, and for me personally Captain Marvel was a refreshing return to the MCUís roots, if not a masterpiece.
From the looks of the way internet is receiving this movie, it'll probably fall into the "love it or hate it" pile, with the outliers who were either "eh" about it, didn't like it but didn't hate it, or liked it but didn't love it. I think I fall into that group.
Looking at the reviews, one of the more prominent criticisms that there's nothing that grand or new that this movie brings to the table. I won't deny that, yeah, compared to some of the other Marvel movies, this seems a little more subdued. The best action sequence, in my opinion, was the train chase, and even that was only just "OK". The other action, while not terrible, just doesn't seem that big in scale, which is a shame because the powers Captain Marvel has should lend themselves to some really good action. Maybe because the film is a prequel, the writers didn't they'd be able to get away with a large scale action sequence (bare in mind, this is before superhumans and aliens were accepted parts of reality on Earth), but I figure that there could've been a little bit more they could've done with Marvel's powers.
The story is alright. Its an amnesia storyline framed around dealing with an alien infiltration, which would be hard to pull off in any movie, but I think they handled it the best they could. There are a few twists which I'll admit I kind of saw coming, but I still liked them. Some say that there was very little if any comedy in the movie, but in my theater, there were more than few moments where I heard the audience audibly laughing.
The best part, in my opinion, are the characters, especially Brie Larson as Carol Danvers. She has a well defined arc in the story which I won't spoil, and real, believable bonds with her co-stars. Nick Fury is fun to watch in this storyline, with some pretty damn good de-aging effects, and the cameos are fun, especially seeing Stan Lee's (RIP). The villains are sadly still the run of the mill villains, but they aren't Marvel's worst, so I could look past them. At times the "girl power" thing can be a little too on the nose, to the point where there are some scenes were I expected a commercial logo to pop up. But its something worth saying, so again, I won't complain.
In all, I found more to like than dislike personally, especially in the characters. If you're an MCU fan, then give this a chance.
(on a final note, I give them credit for portraying the Skrull through prosthetics, when simply doing more CG was probably really tempting).
First, let me preface this by stating that I went into this movie without reading any of the related comics, and also avoided all reviews. Additionally, there's two Stingers, but only the first one is necessary to watch for continuity's sake.
To make a long story short, the film's quite good. Not fantastic or one of the best films in all of the MCU, but it's still really fun and entertaining, and I had a blast watching it. The best way to describe this film in terms of quality, tone, and overall aesthetic imo is that of both the first Guardians of the Galaxy film and Captain America: The First Avenger. Really, the movie generally feels like a film that would've been in Phase 1 of the MCU, but I mean that in the best way in the sense of its (relatively) lighthearted tone and existence as an Origin Story for Captain Marvel.
But anyone, I'll put the rest of my thoughts into bullet points:
Overall, I really liked it (thought I still recognize that it's not perfect or anything), and I hoped I didn't over or under-hype the movie up for anyone. Still, I highly recommend that you should all go see it!
My expectations going into the movie were pretty high, and the trailers had me excited for the movie - Phase 3 in general has been a strong, consistent run for the MCU, and naturally,† Captain Marvel, the introduction of one of the most powerful and central characters of the franchise going forward, had a high bar to clear.
Did it clear that bar? In all honesty, no. It might in fact be the weakest movie of Phase 3 - which is as much of a testament to the quality of the other movies as it is one to the relative mediocrity of this one. The movie isn't in any way bad or incompetent - following the MCU formula is a pretty solid blueprint to obtain an end result that is at least decently entertaining, which this one is.
Therein lies the problem: the movie is decently entertaining... And not much more. Underwritten, underdirected, underacted at times: while the CGI artists and concept artists do their jobs just as competently as on any other MCU film, there is a distinct feeling of half-assedness permeating every aspect of the movie on the creative side. The plot is serviceable, the action scenes go from okay to actually kind of bad (special mention to one taking place in a dark spaceship, good luck following what the fuck is exactly happening), and the character arcs are rather weak.
The strength of an MCU film greatly depends on the strength of its main character, and sadly enough Carol Danvers proves to be a rather tepid main protagonist. Amnesiac main characters are always a delicate thing to handle, as it can be difficult to create empathy for someone whose true identity is a cipher: Brie Larson comes across as barely serviceable and uncharismatic in the role, and despite being touted as "the MCU's most powerful hero", her powerset comes across as run-on-the-mill, poorly-defined and bland. The reveal of her past, done essentially through flashbacks, lacks in the way of emotional impact. Perhaps Endgame will make Carol into a more compelling protagonist, but for now she lacks the charm of MCU staples. A lot of it has to do with the writing, and future films could very well change things up, so I'm not giving up on hope.
This also needs to be said: Carol is kind of a Mary Sue. She begins the movie as the picture of stone-faced invincibility (even when she is supposed not to be seasoned with her powers) and only becomes more unfuckwitheable as the movie goes along. Nothing ever really feels like a threat to her, which doesn't help with the general feeling of blandness emanating from her power set and that of the action scenes. Some vulnerability and human flaws go a long way towards building a compelling protagonist and making us genuinely fear from them in action scenes.
So yeah: the movie actually starts off pretty good, but quickly collapses into a pile of mere MCU mediocrity. All this controversy for this?
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