Review: ‘Captain Marvel’ not a marvel amongst other MCU films

“Captain Marvel” definitely broke barriers being the first Marvel film centering on a female superhero. Taking us back in time to 1995, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) lives on the planet of the Kree as a part of the elite Starforce. She’s referred to as Vers (from Dan-Vers), the last letters of her broken dog tag found in an accident after the explosion of a power core, empowering her with superhuman strength, energy projection, and flight.

The movie documents her journey discovering truth about the Kree and her past life, revealing dark secrets. I walked into the theater expecting something similar to Wonder Woman with a Marvel-spin of nostalgia, humor, and a well-written plot. However, at best, “Captain Marvel” is a riveting action film that makes up for a murky plot with its interesting concept, portrayal of a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) with both eyes, and high-speed space action.

She spent six years of her life living with the Kree, defending themselves against the villainous Skrull. However, when an ambush goes wrong, Danvers finds herself back on Earth, rediscovering her memories with the help of Nick Fury and Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch).

As an adamant Marvel fan, I expected something great from this film. What I got instead was satisfying, but empty at the same time.

Unlike other Marvel films like “Ant-Man” or “Black Panther,” our main character’s arc is limited and miniscule. Walking into the theater with little knowledge of Captain Marvel, it took some time to realize her backstory and what was happening. The parallelism through her life on never giving up is borderline cliché in the way that they film it, and even though the window for self-discovery is wide open, the film struggles to incorporate her sense of true justice, humor, and action. She almost gets less emotionless throughout the movie, excluding one scene with her friend’s child.

The actors themselves did an amazing job portraying their characters. We see Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) return and catch glimpses of Fury and Coulson’s relationship before the Avengers, Fury’s title as Director, and the fall of SHIELD. Larson creates a strong female character, there’s no doubt. Her perseverance, intelligence, and quickness shine through, and Jackson’s portrayal of young Nick Fury provides comedic relief and an interesting perspective. However, right after meeting each other, I feel as if Fury and Danvers’ relationship grew too close too fast. They worked well together almost immediately, and the dialogue and humor seemed unnatural for a SHIELD agent just meeting a being from outer space.

As for the other characters, their roles are dry and un-changing. The attempts to sympathize with family bonds fall short and the stakes have never been lower. This film attempted to do what “Black Panther” did for black representation, with little success, especially for its lack of a strong villain.

The plot was loose and messy, the twists weren’t surprising, and at best, the film offers “Star Wars-like” battle sequences and incredible action scenes. There’s no real struggle for Danvers here, with her seemingly unlimited and unstoppable power. Unlike, “Ant-Man,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” or “Black Panther,” the humor is limited — it carries a more serious tone with jokes scattered throughout.

The movie had to cover a lot of ground because it has so many concepts. Our main foreign character exploring a foreign world, nostalgia, an almost buddy-cop relationship between her and Fury, a story of self-discovery and finding friends, and intense action sequences. “Captain Marvel” attempted to do so many things in one film that barely any of them were accomplished successfully. One thing MCU made canon seems to really tick people off, and I feel like they could have implemented it differently, in a more honorable or meaningful way.

Overall, “Captain Marvel” is a decent “Marvel” film with the expected visual action but a lacking plot. It definitely has a strong, potent feminist message, but it is a potentially interesting film basically only created to further the plot of “Avengers: Endgame.” Do stay tuned for the after-credit scenes, as they provide a sneak peak for Marvel’s continuation of the battle against Thanos.

In “Captain Marvel,” Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers. (Image courtesy of Marvel / Disney)

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