The latest of Marvel’s films to be politicized to no end is their self-proclaimed magnum opus, feminist action film Captain Marvel. Like most Marvel releases, there’s been a certain level of buzz surrounding Captain Marvel since its production was first announced. We got a hint of what’s to come at the end of Avengers: Infinity Wars and immediately speculation went wild as to who the newest edition to the MCU was.
Speculation quickly turned to controversy, controversy turned to backlash, and suddenly we had Brie Larson getting pissed and people trolling/spamming Rotten Tomatoes with fake reviews. All of which turned out to be incredibly pointless and unnecessary because the film simply isn’t worth all the effort. Anybody telling you this is some agenda-filled feminist film or misandrist hit-piece is sorely mistaking. This is no victory for any activist group or political ideology, it’s just an average movie.
The plot manages to be simple, yet somehow still complex. I honestly felt like I learned more about the character and the film’s inhabitants more in the promotional advertising than I did in the movie, but that’s neither here nor there. Brie Larson stars as, who else, Captain Marvel. She’s an extraterrestrial Kree warrior, whatever that means, and she’s stranded on Earth in 1995. While trying to end an intergalactic war between Kree and Skrull races, Captain Marvel begins experiencing vague memories of a past life as an Air Force pilot named Carol Danvers. She quickly recruits the help of the young Shield agent Nick Fury (Sam Jackson), who she hopes can help uncover the secrets of her past life on Earth.
This is the first film in a long time that I’ve had little opinion on, lacking any and all conviction to review it. It’s possibly because I found Captain Marvel to be as standard of a Marvel movie as I could imagine. There was nothing I found that stood out as terrible or amazing, just average. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a shoulder shrug.
Captain Marvel has all the fun things you’d expect in a Marvel film at this point, as well as all the mundane things we’ve come to associate with these pictures. There’s some 90’s nostalgia, fast-paced action in outer space, and a few twists and turns in the plot. Everything involving Nick Fury was awesome (especially the impressive CGI work on Sam Jackson), and we had some cool side characters that ended up accompanying or protagonists. Pretty much all par for the course at this point.
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel was entertaining and charming at times, but her acting occasionally came off as stiff and lacking emotions. I was completely torn on how I felt she acted in the movie, as her acting abilities between each scene could be best described as day and night. One moment she’ll be making witty banter in the middle of a fist fight, screaming back at the villains, and harassing Nick Fury in a pretty comical way. Other scenes she’ll just stand there with a blank, dispassionate look on her face as if maybe she forgot her line.
As origin stories go, Captain Marvel isn’t that special or exciting, especially when films like Spider-Man: Into the Multiverse are beginning to expand upon the typical formula. Really, this is just the pregame for Avengers: Endgame, and only serves to inform us on how Captain Marvel fits into the bigger picture. If that’s enough for you (and you’re fine with seeing another superhero origin story), then by all means seek this flick out. If you’re someone whose grown tired of the average, middle-of-the-road superhero movies, there’s no need to rush out to the theater to witness it.
The Verdict: C