Captain Marvel Review

Photo via under Creative Commons

Avengers: Endgame has released in theaters, and though I’m late to the party, I think it’s a perfectly fine opportunity to look at Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel.

Releasing in March 2019, Captain Marvel is the 22nd film in the MCU franchise, but it doesn’t necessarily push the timeline forward. Instead, we’re sent back to the 1990s. Carol Danvers is a Kree warrior, but after landing on Earth in an attempt to hunt down an alien threat, Carol begins to find out that she might’ve had a life on Earth at one point.

The movie was viewed with mixed opinions by critics, having a 78% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 64% on Metacritic. Many believed that the film felt too much like early Marvel films, which never really found their footing in terms of story. Others believed that this was a fine introduction to Carol Danvers as a character and a good prelude to Avengers: Endgame. Regardless of critic views, the film has grossed $1 billion worldwide.

I took a while to set my opinions in stone, but like the critics, my opinions on this film are very mixed. For starters, I think it’s appropriate to address the idea of Captain Marvel being “the most powerful Avenger.”

She is not. While she is powerful, I think Marvel Studios was overstating it, which caused a lot of backlash. Characters who are too powerful often have artificial weaknesses, otherwise, they’d be unstoppable. Unfortunately, this problem reared its ugly head in Captain Marvel.

Photo via under Creative Commons

Captain Marvel builds itself up as a story about not letting others control your life and being yourself. In the story, Carol is told to hold back and only use her powers when absolutely necessary. What’s stopping her from using them?

A device in her neck. That’s it. There’s no well-written reason to it, it doesn’t feel justified when she finally gets the device off her neck, it’s just there to serve the story and it certainly feels like it. Much like kryptonite with Superman, you encounter a problem with characters like Carol Danvers. Much like Black Panther, the movie suffers from having its protagonist be the worst character in the film.

Nonetheless, I think it’s still a fine movie. The score was very interesting in terms of sound, mixing your traditional orchestral sounds with some subtle synths, though it follows the same problem as other Marvel films of music serving as essentially background noise, a trend which has luckily begun to go away with the Guardians films, Ant-Man films, and even Avengers: Infinity War.

The film also suffers from less-than-stellar writing. The comedy in this movie was pretty mediocre. The writer-directors, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, had a difficult time landing jokes. There are a couple of good moments in this film, but I think it only really finds its footing when Nick Fury is factored in.

Photo via under Creative Commons

I really enjoyed the Skrulls as well. The classic Marvel villains finally being realized on the big screen was enjoyable, and Ben Mendelsohn brings a lot of charisma to his role as Talos. I also enjoyed Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, he provided a good stoic foil to Danvers’ snarky attitude.

Captain Marvel has a couple of pretty serious problems, especially in the writing department, but I think it’s still an enjoyable film. It’s almost interestingly nostalgic, in that it feels like a Phase 1 film. But in a way, that’s its biggest pitfall too.