Cult Movies

Review: Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel is the most recent film in the MCU, and tells the story of Kree supersoldier Vers as she travels to Earth in an attempt to end an enduring galactic conflict between the Kree and the Skrulls, two embittered alien races hellbent on mutual extermination. While on Earth, Vers discovers an entirely different life she led and realises that her history is not as it seems.

The movie stars Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Jude Law and Ben “Mendo” Mendelsohn among others. While I wasn’t as familiar with the character before this film as I was with some of the other avengers, I wasn’t part of the irrational internet hate mob who decried it immediately. After the 20 or so previous films, I trust Marvel enough at this point to assume that at the very least it will be an entertaining, middle of the road film with very little rewatchability factor and that is exactly what I got.

The performances were good for the most part, with Jackson as Fury still being the second best casting choice Marvel has made to date. Mendelsohn and Law were also quite good as the films antagonists, with Mendelsohn in particular bringing something fresh and exciting to his Skrull commander Talos which made him a delight to watch as he schlocked his way through the script. Larson as the titular Captain Marvel was also good, with her plucky, overconfident wiseass routine being fun enough to watch. At times however it seems as though the writers did not know entirely what to do with her character, which is particularly prevalent in the first 2 acts as she goes through the classic “fish out of water” setup that we have seen so many times before. Once she hits her stride in the third act however, her performance is excellent and shows well the range that she possesses. The effects are average, with the Skrull/Kree makeup and costumes being one of the best things about this film. The photon and energy blast effects are nothing special, particularly in the third act where they clearly did not bother to bring in Larson for the flight scenes and instead computer generated her as a whole which is reminiscent of the same issues that Black Panther and Spider-Man Homecoming had. CGI is one of Marvel’s biggest issues at the moment, with its usage and standard varying wildly from scene to scene. The CGI de-aging of Samuel L Jackson is good in terms of his face, but when he moves and runs it is evidently a man in his 70s. His physicality is that of a clearly elderly man, which detracts slightly from his performance as he appears to have hemorrhoids. The pacing is not great either, with the middle act dragging somewhat and bringing the speed of things down considerably.

The story felt flat, with the big twist being foreshadowed too much and the stakes feeling rather low. This is understandable considering how large the stakes in Endgame are going to be but the whole film feels like it is killing time before Avengers 4. The film seems to lack the same level of care and enthusiasm that some of the other Marvel films have and instead strikes me as just one big character trailer for Avengers Endgame. Ultimately, the film is enjoyable enough but lacks memorability and a certain energy that ultimately makes it feel less impactful as a film. Still, I enjoyed it and would place it in the same tier as Civil War, Age of Ultron and both Ant-Man films.

VERDICT: Overall I would give this film a 6.5/10. By no means is this film bad, but at the same time there isn’t much of note that could raise it above this middle tier of MCU movies.

Also the way Fury loses his eye is really stupid and anti-climactic. It’s like they forgot about it and tacked it on at the end of the film.

 

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