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To be completely honest, I was never impressed with the marketing for Captain Marvel. For me, the trailers never gave anything to be particularly hyped about, but now after actually seeing Captain Marvel first hand, I can confirm that it’s a fine, yet slightly dated entry in the MCU.
The direction is what is mostly throwing me off from the film, as it doesn’t feel like a current Marvel Film. Yes I understand it’s set in the past, but what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t feel like Marvel at all. What it resembles more is an odd twist of Star Wars lore with Star Trek lore mixed with a little bit of Marvel lore we’ve all come to know. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck share the directing credit with what seems like ease. The film is tonally level, albeit simplistic, but there doesn’t appear to be any complications evident in the final product. The directors knew their vision for the characters and followed through with it. The film feels safe but not overly indulgent in building a brand new world to be engulfed in.
Carol Danvers is Captain Marvel, spending a majority of the film as Danvers, she only truly becomes Captain Marvel at the climax of the film. The film follows Carol as she escapes the capture of the enemy Skrulls and crash lands to Earth, only to be continuously assaulted by the same captors. After an awkward encounter with one another, Nick Fury and Carol Danvers (known by her clan as Vers) must try to eliminate the imminent threat before anything catastrophic happens to planet Earth. It has predictable twists and turns along the way that we’ve all become accustomed to in the MCU, however they still are played off cleverly and appreciated. While the writing is considerably numbed down from the literal elimination of half the life in the universe in Infinity War, it’s simplicity helped as well as hurt the film as a whole because of its positioning. This film could have been placed anywhere in the timeline, and if we were to rid the mid-credits scene, there’s nothing linking this film to Infinity War. The script is a fun, slightly convoluted straight line until right about the end when the twist occurs, but even still the twist is never overpowering to the forward nature of the plot line.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Brie Larson starting out the film with her gang of “bounty hunters” was exhausting, her performance was just one unusable joke after another. However once she departs from Jude Law and tumbles into the Blockbuster on Earth, her performance becomes more genuine and fun. Larson and Jackson’s dialogue back & forth is genuinely some of the greatest chemistry in the MCU undoubtedly. It’s the side characters around the pair that are troubling to the story, from several characters from her past to a new gang of assassins, there are flaws all around besides a few familiar faces and a fun performance by the “villains” of the film led by Ben Mendelsohn. Jude Law, Annette Bening, and Clark Gregg in comparison to the starring three are wasted; lost to an over-complicated subplot.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The film showcases one of the weaker scores in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I left not knowing the score for Captain Marvel and instead left the theater with a regurgitation of the infamous Avengers theme. The song choices were all supportive of the time period the film represents, and while most felt as though they were just there, the one that stood out the most prominently was an iconic lyrical tune from Nirvana.
The special effects are absolute magic in this film. The use of de-aging effects on Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg seemed like a surefire miss, but somehow it managed to work flawlessly and be something extraordinary. The practical effects are out of this world, reminiscent of Star Trek with the design of the Skrull’s natural form and the decision to use practical completely for the look instead of digital is absolutely golden. The costume design for Captain Marvel is outstanding and really diverse from the other Avengers outfits on the screen today. When she goes completely berserker mode, it looks absolutely incredible.
Going into Captain Marvel, my hopes were low only because of the lackluster trailers we received. Certainly unique, unlike most other Marvel films, Captain Marvel prices itself with being something new, yet nostalgic. After a bit of getting used to, Brie Larson works well in the role with the back & forth between her and Fury playing off like a one of a kind road trip movie. For fans wanting to know if this film is entirely necessary before seeing the “final” Avengers, the answer is simply no. It’s a fun film filled with a great sci-fi adventure, however it feels out of place in the current age of Marvel films - feeling majorly dated when compared to the most recent entries.