To quote Doctor Strange in Infinity War, “we’re in the end game now”. Quite literally in fact. Endgame is going to be Marvel’s superbowl and unfortunately Captain Marvel just feels like a warm-up practice game you have to get through before the grand finale.
Okay, basic plot: Kree Starforce member, Vers (Brie Larson) finds herself on the frontline of a war between the Kree and Skrulls – a race of alien shapeshifters set to conquer the universe. During a mission against the Skrulls, Vers finds herself on a foreign planet – C-53. Unbeknownst to Vers, C-53 is actually Earth and Vers is not Kree but an Earthling. Vers now has to uncover the memories of her forgotten past while simultaneously defending Earth from an alien threat.
I think the best word to describe this movie is cookie-cutter. The problem with movies that come out just before The Avengers movies is that they often feel like they’re just there to fill space or introduce elements we’ll need to see in the next movie. They don’t feel special, just feature-less links in a chain. That was one of my major problems with Captain Marvel. It felt like the movie existed only to introduce us to the ‘big gun’ who’s going to take Thanos down/ explain every little vague fact about the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we didn’t need explaining.
Don’t get me wrong, Captain Marvel has plenty of charm but it’s the charm we’ve come to expect from Marvel movies. There are plenty of quips and laughs, passable action and a likeable hero. Unfortunately there’s also the standard Marvel forgettable villain that we’ve come to dread. My point is that there’s nothing that makes this movie feel special. Black Panther also came out just before an Avengers film but Black Panther had a very unique identity and personal story to tell. Captain Marvel feels like it’s just going through the typical motions without giving you anything memorable.
I think the best thing about this movie has to be the CGI and make-up work used to de-age Samuel L. Jackson. It’s flawlessly done. Everyone involved in that process deserves praise because they’re the real stars of the show. Speaking of stars of the show, I was really impressed with Ben Mendelsohn. Mendelsohn stars as Talos – the commander of the Skrulls. Mendelsohn blends malice and humour together effortlessly and gives us what would have been a truly great villain.
I really enjoyed Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson’s chemistry. The two make a great pair. I think Larson was a great choice to portray the character. She has a great strength and has proven herself to be an amazing actress. She does great work bringing the character to life but I thought she was a bit hamstrung by the script. Her character, Vers, felt rather apathetic – like the story was happening to her instead of because of her. She’s likeable and quite badass but she isn’t the most compelling hero we’ve seen on screen.
I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the film’s ending. It felt like they needed an excuse to show us how strong Captain Marvel is but rather then have that come organically from the story, they tagged on a fight that had nothing to do with anything. Also can we discuss something that’s really beginning to annoy me about superhero films. How come one second a hero can go from fighting off twenty bad guys at once to struggling to beat one bad guy? What’s with the inconsistency? If you want the hero to be badass, either show them consistently fighting off twenty people off at once or show them fighting skilled bad guys one at a time.
Overall, Captain Marvel is average but entertaining. It’s not going to go down as Marvel’s best but it’s a worthy addition to their growing Cinematic Universe. It’s worth watching and definitely necessary if you plan to enjoy Endgame. 7/10