Captain Marvel (2019) Review

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RATING: 2/5

SPOILERS

“Captain Marvel” is the origin story of the particular heroine. This film goes into how she became the super-powered being that she is.

This is the 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first to star a female superhero. I have to say when walking out of the theater, that this is a big disappointment for me. This movie didn’t work with me, as it came off as generic, mediocre, and bland.

The performances from the movie are fine. The best scenes are when Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson, and Captain Marvel, Brie Larson, are together on-screen in the second act. It felt like a buddy cop movie as the dialogue between the two were entertaining. These two were the best performers, but as for the rest, it is not there. Jude Law plays Captain Marvel’s mentor, but he and his squadron are not that compelling. Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson is only in the movie for 5 minutes which is a shame.

There are some jokes at certain times. Like when Fury is being all cutesy to Goose the Cat. But a lot of the comedy felt like it didn’t land. It just came off as awkward and a bit cringe-worthy. There is a scene where Captain Marvel wants to know what is happening when she is trying to uncover how she got her powers through a computer. Then Nick Fury tells her the file containing those secrets, is loading. What this supposed to garner a laugh? I don’t know.

Towards the last act, the film’s way of introducing Goose seemed like Marvel trying to get a new “Groot” like character. There were even a couple references to some Groot scenes from the “Guardian” movies.

Now with this film taking place in the 90s, there needs to be reference/pop-culture stuff that took place during the decade. They were pretty cool to witness.

The special effects in the film are good and bad. The de-aging of Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg is pretty good/convincing. The Skrulls shape-shifting abilities was neat to see. But sometimes the effects can look dodgy when the film goes into the decent action set pieces. Now I say decent, but there really is no memorable action scene, outside of maybe the train sequence in the second act. But on the other hand, going back to the pop-culture references, the “Independence Day” Canyon scene nod is kind of cool.

The story itself isn’t bad. Captain Marvel exploring her origins seems like a good idea on paper, but the structure and pacing kills it. I can see that the film is trying to connect the audience with Captain Marvel as she is figuring out who she truly is. It shows flashbacks of her previous life as a child, teen, and young adult. I wish the movie could have explored more of this as opposed to just showing snippets of it from time to time. This story-making decision is not good as it doesn’t resonate some form of emotion. One simply doesn’t care what’s happening on screen. Brie Larson as Captain Marvel isn’t terrible but her persona in this is just not compelling or engaging. Due to the film not wanting to explore her backstory more. Her tough and spunky attitude doesn’t translate all too well; to which it sometimes can be forced when she is displaying that through her performance.

The film should have stuck to a traditional origin story, as the audience sees the growth of her character over many years. A young woman who is always getting pushed down to the ground, but wishes to get up on her two feet and overcome that struggle. This would have made that scene toward the climax with Captain Marvel and the past versions of herself, standing up as she feels courageous and strong about what she can accomplish.

The pacing is all over the place, for the most part, it seems fast. One isn’t sucked into the environment long enough to appreciate it. Especially when towards the very beginning where it introduces new worlds in the MCU. There is one scene dealing with Captain Marvel trying to reconnect with a past friend, but it doesn’t work in bringing the emotions home. There are just not enough scenes to really capture the connection that these two had back in the day.

Tonally it felt all over the place. The film felt like it didn’t know whether to be fun/light-hearted like the “Guardians of the Galaxy” or take itself in a more serious, dark manner like Thor: The Dark World. These two aspects seemed to be fighting against one another.

The twist of who the real villain of the movie (Kree or Skrulls) is interesting and again, is not a bad idea when reading it on paper. I just wish it was handled better in a more structured story/plot.

The mid-credit scene is worth watching, but I wish it would have at least saved Captain Marvel’s appearance until Avengers: Endgame. Her appearance in the scene is so abrupt and could have been executed a lot better.

How Fury lost his left eye is so childish and it didn’t at all live up to his line from the Winter Soldier.

The scene with Captain Marvel changing the color of her clothes is so stupid. When in any situation is she going to be fighting bad guys when her suit is flashing like a rainbow.

It was very nice to see Stan Lee in here and the tribute for him in the beginning.

Man, I really wanted Marvel to tackle their first female superhero with success. But ultimately, it fell short for me. This is a big disappointment for me. I’m not sure if this is now my least favorite of the Marvel films, that went for Thor: The Dark World. It has been a while since I saw that and the other Marvel movies that weren’t all that good, but Captain Marvel is for sure one of my least favorite. There are pros, but the cons outweigh them all in a film that is pretty much build-up for the next MCU installment.