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Non-Spoiler Movie Review: Captain Marvel (2019)

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Captain Marvel is directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Flank. It stars Brie Larson, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Gemma Chan, and Ben Mendelsohn. This is the 21st movie from Marvel Studios and the first to have a female in the lead role.

 

Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson, is caught in the middle of a war between two alien races. After a freak accident which sees her land on Earth in the year 1995, Danvers learns about her past and discovers that she is more powerful than she ever knew she was.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding this movie from two different groups – people who want the movie to succeed, and those who want to see this fail. In other words, it’s Marvel fanboys vs. DC fanboys.

I go to the movies to be entertained, as I’m sure you are too. I just want to watch a movie and escape the real world for 2/3 hours. I want to see a well-made movie made by people who respect the art form, who are trying to tell a good story that portrays a good message to the people that are going to see this movie.

I also want to say that I’m not Pro-Marvel or Pro-DC. Batman is my favourite comic book character of all time, Marvel Legends is a personal favourite action figure line of my, and I love Batman: Arkham City and the PS4 Spiderman video games.

 

With all that being said, I found Captain Marvel to be entertaining in spurts. There are sequences throughout the first and second act that were very well done, that mostly due to the chemistry between Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. Both of them played off each other really well, the chemistry is on point, and the relationship between the two is like something you’d see in a buddy cop movie.

I need to prise the de-aging CGI they used on Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg, who returns as Agent Coulson. It’s stunning. Absolutely stunning. It just blends in and that’s the mark of great CGI right there. The best computer generated stuff is the stuff you don’t even notice. That’s when a CGI artist has truly met their goal and I can’t praise this enough. If you liked it in Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War then you’re going to love it here. It is perfection!

I also liked parts of the opening moments. You’ve got Jude Law and her training. You’ve got this fight scene where she has these metal braces on her arms and she’s trying to break them off by busting her hand against a spaceship wall but they don’t shatter, so she has to punch people really hard to try and get these things off. That was bad-ass! Probably the only good fight scene in the movie.

The musical score is similar to that in Thor: Ragnarok but with a 90’s twist. Keeping in check with the 90’s theme, I loved the soundtrack. ‘Chasing Waterfalls’, ‘Connection’, ‘Come as you are’, Oh my!

 

Finally, Goose the cat. Enough said.

 

But I have to be honest. I thought this was a pretty bland and disappointing movie otherwise. And before you all pipe up in the comments branding me a ‘DC Fanboy’, I didn’t like Aquaman (still got called a Marvel Fanboy so there’s no winning).

 

This is set in the 90s, a massive selling point for myself and I dare say for a lot of other people. Aside from the soundtrack, Blockbusters and Gameboys, it just didn’t feel like the ’90s at all. If I didn’t know this was set in the 90s beforehand I would have assumed it was set in the present day.

It also has issues with its tone. It’s a 90’s nostalgia fest, Sci-Fi, a buddy cop movie and then it’s kind of a sisterhood movie between Danvers and a friend from her past. Those scenes were cute and heart-warming in many ways, but it needed more of an emotional pull to them that would make me feel for these characters. It felt very forced. There wasn’t much of a backstory or information to really care about those characters.

 

The Skrulls are the main villains. They can shape-shift, turn into anybody as long as they’ve seen that person. This makes for one of the most entertaining chase sequences in the movie. You know the one, it’s in the trailer and I have to admit that the set up is great, you need to see it in its entirety, and I loved the shape-shifting effects. I do think there is wasted potential with these characters in shape-shifting into different things and creating an air of mystery and deception. There are a few scenes where they use that to their advantage but it sort of disappears really quickly and another story is put in its place which doesn’t feel earned or warranted. It’s a swerve, bro!

 

I know people are going to hate me for what I’m about to say. I really don’t want to say this, I’m sad for what I’m about to say, but I don’t think Brie Larson did a great job in the movie.

She’s trying super hard to be a good Captain Marvel, she’s giving her all and is dedicated to the role and I do not know if it’s direction or her choices but her character comes across as wooden.

This is a fish out of water situation, this is someone who doesn’t know what’s going on, reacts to things differently. We’ve seen it in Thor, Terminator 2, even Wonder Woman. All those movies played those scenes for comedy and it made those characters more likeable. Here it’s like the movie is afraid to make light of Carol Danvers which lead to a performance that felt uneven. Don’t get me wrong. Brie Larson is crazy talented and I really do think they’ve set up great potential. I’m excited to see what else they can do with this role and Brie Larson in the future. I’m excited to see a more fleshed out version of this character now this movie has been established. It just feels like a stepping stone movie. It doesn’t feel like that incredibly powerful film that many of us wanted to see. It just feels like filler leading up to Avengers: Endgame.

 

Is this entertaining? Absolutely. Can you find enjoyment out of this? Of course.

 

This is no way a bad movie, or even an awful movie. But as someone who has seen multiple Marvel movies now, I expect way more out of them.

 

Rating: *** ½ (Aye, it’s canny)

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