By Brennan Atkins and Noah Barnes
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has dabbled in aliens, sentient raccoons, wizards, royalty, secret agents and even tree people.
Now, after more than 10 years, we get the most exotic thing from the MCU yet.
A female lead – it’s about time!
“Captain Marvel” is the latest superhero flick directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and includes Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, and Jude Law as Yon-Rogg.
This film is set in the ’90s, making it a prequel to most Marvel films with the exception of “Captain America: The First Avenger.” In this film, the Avengers have yet to assemble, and the world hasn’t been exposed to superhumans in any way so far.
Captain Marvel is a character who is hard to love. That isn’t to say that she is bad – certainly better than most DC film characters – but one half of her is charismatic and conflicted, while the other half is a blank slate.
You can tell when Larson is having fun with the world, and can hear it in her voice. Unfortunately, you can also hear when she isn’t putting in her all. There are literally points in the movie where she is seemingly staring off into the distance.
We get to see a younger Fury who has a less cynical view of the world, and this is a refreshing take on the same recurring character since the very first movie in the MCU, “Iron Man.” Marvel uses a de-aging effect on Fury’s face, and it’s hard to tell you are actually watching a 70-year-old man.
One thing that makes this film stand out from the rest is the idea that it isn’t just as simple as having “good” and “bad” guys. The Kree and Skrulls are at war – both sides have their reasons for fighting.
There are quality characters, interesting settings, and unique concepts, but all in all, it’s still a bit messy.
All three acts feel as if they are from different movies, and this leads to a problem in pacing. Parts of the movie feel as if they go on far too long, and there are also ideas we only get a glimpse of, which could have been interesting if built upon.
The movie serves as another set up to the highly anticipated “Avengers: End Game,” and it doesn’t do a great job of doing even that. We don’t learn much more other than her personality and that she has powers. The movie feels like it’s trying to be more important in the universe than it actually is, which is a shame because Marvel has stated that she is the strongest character in the MCU.
There has been a great deal of controversy regarding this movie. Both sides are frankly, idiotic. This movie isn’t fueled by political correctness, and just like any other film it can be criticized by anyone.
Larson has said things that not everyone would agree with, but hundreds of people work on a project like this, and to berate the whole movie over one’s opinion is somewhat childish.
We feel as if Marvel movies get a lot of hate, but more times than not they are just fun, action movies – “popcorn” movies if you will. However, this is the last film before “Avengers: End-Game,” something that has been building for over 10 years, and it feels like the stakes should have been higher.
“Captain Marvel” isn’t a masterpiece and isn’t even one of Marvel’s best, but it’s certainly not as boring as “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
Captain Marvel isn’t a marvel, but it’s a Marvel Film.