Captain Marvel, 2019
Signed up the 28/03/2017
I remember when the first Captain Marvel trailer dropped last year, and my film friends on Twitter pointed out that it looked like something that you would expect to be on serialised television, than the big screen; more so on The CW network considering its so-so special effects and colour-grading (which The CW does way better in this regard). Anyway, they weren't wrong at all. In fact, I wouldn't have minded if Captain Marvel's origin story was made an exclusive for the upcoming Disney+ streaming platform, alongside the confirmed Loki and Falcon shows headlining the platform's debut.
This is not to say the film is completely pointless because once you get into the story, you don't totally hate the fact that you're there in the cinema watching it. Carol Danvers herself is no different from any other Avenger is terms of personality and how she carries herself personally and while on the job. She's like the super, super, duper powerful version of Captain America, except she broods less.
Carol is on a journey to discover who she truly is in this film, as is the subject in most origin stories, but this one could've done with a little bit more flair. To be honest, they took the whole 90s thing a bit too far to the point that it dulled the entire film. Had they dialed back on the jokes that get a lot awkward a little too quickly, set some goddamn contrast on colour, and afforded space for Carol to discover her true personality and self instead of shoving the classic Marvel characterisation down her light-boasting throat, we could've had a different film all together.
I wish they'd stop letting the same people write and oversee all the MCU movies, because it becomes very evident and I'm personally exhausted by now because there are no real distinguishing traits and factors between the heroes except for their powers. (I was about to say something very relevant about Diana's personality, but apparently comparing is tacky, so I'm going to keep my mouth shut).
Look, I don't hate the movie, but I'm not completely head-over-heels about it either. This is an excruciating discovery for me because I was beside myself with excitement back when the film was announced. I really thought this was going to be the pinnacle film to finally introduce big changes to Marvel's 10 years+ old model of making its movies.
The factor that really reels you in and hooks you till the end is Captain Marvel's full ability. Hear me when I say she is unmatched in terms of her superpowered ability! After this film, there isn't any doubt that she's the most powerful Avenger, only seconded by Scarlet Witch and maybe the storm-breaking Thor. Also, Brie Larson puts on an interestingly convincing performance as Captain Marvel, and although I had my reservations here and there, I now believe wholly that she can carry this character and bring glory to her in the near future. She highlights a distinct trait in Carol, one that makes her both relatable and quite scary—when she transforms and goes batshit on anyone who deserves it.
The fight sequences are probably the most compelling aspect of the film, though. I think this is where the film truly gets to shine, and if everything else in the film was done with such focus and precision the entire film would've arguably claimed a spot in MCU's top 3 films. Especially if the story regarding Carol, the Kree and the Skrulls had been kept as tight as it was in the first act throughout the film.
Other than this, the Kree as villians are forgettable and make it too easy even when they are portrayed as militaristic, manipulative and purists. There isn't a point if circumstances aren't dire enough that the audiences aren't at the edge of their seats over hero's frustration in dealing with her nemesis. That's at least till the end. The entire movie picks up towards the end, which kind of awkwardly renders the rest of the film, if not all of it, direly pointless.
That said, there are loads of clues, twists and turns in the film that connect to the rest of the MCU that a lot of people who have been following the franchise religiously will really have a moment geeking out over, especially something very epic that happens towards the very end of the film.
You'll either like the film just enough, be impartial about it, or hate it altogether. It doesn't inspire much discussion after watching it, much like how Ocean's 8 didn't, but it's not completely detestable either. It's a standard superhero movie in this day and age, and doesn't challenge itself to be more than that. And maybe that's okay too. Maybe just having this film as an overdue, old-people-style welcome party for Carol into the MCU is all that's needed.
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