'Captain Marvel' is an aimless superhero slog

Lawrence Kim
March 6, 2019

The comments were aimed at Larson in part for telling Marie Claire magazine she had noticed the critics covering her films were "overwhelmingly white male". That said, let's dive in. If anything, once she superpowers up as the film goes along, and we see less of Larsen's face and more of Captain Marvel's CGI costume, we miss the person we were locked onto all along; this is a movie in which the hero's journey is less about saving the world than discovering her own power and wielding it (though the saving of the world is nice, too).

However, by far the smartest creative decision is casting Ben Mendelsohn as head Skrull, Talos; not only does the villain also get some amusing comedic moments due to earthly inexperience, he's also another morally complex individual that shows Marvel is continuing to step up their bad guy game.

"I don't know if I'm just exhausted but I feel like I'm going to cry". The actor bizarrely keeps his thick Aussie accent intact beneath his rubber mask, and the character says things that aliens simply would not say, such as "Hang on now, before you go swinging those jazz hands around!"

There are a couple of genuinely surprising twists in the Secret Wars-influenced plot that I wouldn't want to spoil.

I was concerned from seeing the trailers that Brie Larson's performance was going to be so low key that it wouldn't be inspiring. "Such as it is, the film's best moments are provided by Jackson and a hilarious cat". You know the music, so it's all about how they play the notes. Larson topped off her outfit with glittery Jimmy Choo heels. It's a rare performer that can get pathos and humor in the right combination, but Larson excels at it. With this basic powerset, Carol Danvers became Ms. Marvel, a Kree warrior who was nearly like Danvers' inner Hulk; Ms. Marvel had a different personality from Carol and joined the Avengers in 1978, serving as their second official female member, next to Wasp.

And while she may not be able to mutate into a certain green monster *cough* Hulk *cough*, why would she need to when she already has superhuman strength? The Skrulls have also come to Earth and while searching for them Vers/Carol starts to realise there may be more to her mysterious life story. It's a attractive thing to watch.

What is left to say about Nick Fury after all of these movies? Surprisingly, he's even cooler now. Jackson does a great job of giving us all of Fury's attitude, but a little less bitter and a little less jaded. Agent we've come to know and more as the resigned pencil pusher-that is, until he meets Carol. Because they wanted to sideswipe Brie Larson and her suspected stance as a so-called "social justice warrior". The 70-year-old Jackson and the 56-year-old Clark Gregg, who plays Coulson, look 30 years younger. The makeup work is also pretty fantastic. I mean, yeah, I chuckled, but sexist lines from an Air Force colleague to Danvers like "Why do you think they call it a cockpit" are cringe-inducing in a family picture being released by Disney. I'm not sure we get more than a superficial answer. And the film just screams "girl power", not the least of which is because it features the best female friendship the MCU has ever seen. The scenes with Maria and Vers are indeed lovely moments as we get to see their special bond of sisterhood and friendship.

On the flip side, Carol's dynamic with her human friend, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), provides the emotional core.

No, it shouldn't have taken anywhere near this long for Marvel to finally commit to a female-centered superhero flick, but better late than never. Look, I'm certainly not anti-love story, but it's so nice to see other important relationships focused on.

At this point, you can't read about a Marvel movie without mention of the Marvel formula. In addition, the opening credits do something really lovely. The highly-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War follow-up will conclude the previous 22 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before Marvel kicks off Phase 4 with Spider-Man: Far From Home in July.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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