"Oh Captain, My Captain": Captain Marvel is so Much Less Than it Could Have Been
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown us a lot of things. It's given us robots, super-soldiers and a Norse god battling with a green behemoth. We've seen magic, monsters, and aliens from thousands of worlds, yet it wasn't until their 21st film that Marvel finally gave us a female-led story. Because of that, Captain Marvel is cause for celebration. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the film itself.
This is the story of Vers (Brie Larson), a powerful being fighting in a war between two alien races. A dangerous mission takes Vers to Earth circa 1995 where the enemy is looking for a power that may turn the tide of the war. Teaming up with a young Nick Fury (a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson), she must uncover the memories of her former life as pilot Carol Danvers.
The film's story manages to be both formulaic and convoluted with a first half that packs in so much backstory and lore that it almost overwhelms the entire film. After Danvers and Fury join forces, the film improves somewhat but it's still full of all the typical Marvel problems: over-reliance on quippy humor, weightless, effects-heavy action scenes, and far too many pop culture sight gags (this film tries to do for '90s music what Guardians of the Galaxy did for '70s music). I would love to be able to praise Captain Marvel because it's about time we had women leading these big, tentpole movies, but it's just not good enough to break what I call the "Curse of Marvel Mediocrity." — Forest Taylor
Directed by: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck // Written by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Nicole Perlman and Meg LaFauve // Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Benning, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Clark Gregg, Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou // 124 minutes // Rated PG-13