CAPTAIN MARVEL REVIEW
By Josh Osman
Even before the film was released, ‘Captain Marvel’ was attacked by Internet trolls with negative reviews, with over 50,000 reviews, more than ‘Infinity War’ received in its entire run in cinema, posted on Rotten Tomatoes before the release date and under 35% of them were positive. There were comments such as ‘Brie Larson is too political’, ‘Brie Larson doesn’t smile enough’ and ‘Brie Larson is forcing diversity on moviegoers’. Whatever your opinion of the actress herself, I’m sure you can see the idiocy on display in some of these comments. Luckily, this didn’t seem to affect the sales of the movie at all, as it is just reached $1 billion at the worldwide box office and had the 6th highest opening of all time. Thankfully, ‘Captain Marvel’ is an entertaining film with a good message, but it doesn’t quite live up to the high expectations that fans of the superhero had set.
It goes without saying that the plot of ‘Captain Marvel’ is somewhat messy. The film follows ‘Vers’, a Kree warrior, as she ends up on Earth after an undercover mission goes wrong. Eventually, the plot evolves and becomes a journey to recover Vers’ memories and the truth about why she really ended up fighting for the Kree. Though the plot is enjoyable, the order of events in the film is a little muddled, sometimes causing the film to lose its flow, as it often jumps back and forward in the timeline. Despite the fact that many of the twists in the film are quite predictable, they are still well-executed and satisfying to watch, even though putting the story in the context of the other MCU films often detracts from the twists. Certain twists are obvious right from the start, but some of these don’t particularly feel as if they were meant to shock, more to add a feeling of satisfaction as the truth is unveiled, such as the reveal of the identity of ‘Vers’ (which most fans would have known before going into the film). The film also takes a while to really pick up, not quite kicking off until about 45 minutes in.
The ensemble cast of ‘Captain Marvel’ is very strong, with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury Ben Mendelsohn as the apparent villain, Jude Law as a Kree commander and Lashana Lynch as a friend of Captain Marvel’s, They all take the spotlight and have their enjoyable moments as supporting cast members. However, Brie Larson’s performance as Captain Marvel does fluctuate slightly throughout the film: at times, the character feels rather one-dimensional but, overall, she is still a very likable protagonist, becoming much more interesting as the film progresses, as more is unveiled about her past and what she was like in her previous life. In some ways, the problem of Captain Marvel’s character not being so interesting in the first half of the film stems from the way in which she is kept as a very mysterious figure for a while, so the viewers don’t learn much about her or what she’s really like. However, she does become very witty, entertaining and fun to watch throughout the film, so this does make up for her bland nature at the beginning.
Now for the most controversial part of the film: the message. The film received a lot of backlash initially for ‘imposing feminism on people’, which is absolutely preposterous: it merely has a positive and pro-feminist presentation of the leading women, presenting strong-willed and independent female protagonists. However, even in this message, it does fall flat sometimes, coming across as a little corny or cheesy in certain ‘motivational sequences’, though the good intentions of these sequences are very clear and do somewhat make up for the sometimes-lacklustre presentation.
Captain Marvel is a flawed, but fun entry into the MCU; it’s witty and action-packed, with a good message. However, it acts more as a prologue to the upcoming ‘Avengers Endgame’ and it doesn’t quite manage to meet the high expectations set by fans for Marvel’s first female leading protagonist.