The stage is now all set in the MCU for the big conclusion that is Avengers: Endgame that will be coming out April 26th. Captain Marvel has been officially introduced and it is clear how big of a role she is going to play in the upcoming blockbuster. I have been a bit nervous about the movie for a while now because of the lackluster trailers and advertising, but I was still confident that it would pull through because it’s Marvel.
I have often wondered if the character of Captain Marvel would be a tough one to portray in a fun and entertaining way that works well on the big screen. As it turns out, I was right to question. Like everyone else, I had been told all about how Captain Marvel is the most powerful hero in the MCU. It is kind of hard to portray that kind of power in a movie without the action becoming too saturated with CGI.
Brie Larson has been very vocal leading up to the release of Captain Marvel that this would be the first feminist portrayal of a superhero and that her character would be strong and independent of needing any male savior. While the idea was legitimate, the execution was terrible. Regardless of whether I lean left or right politically, directors Ryan Boden and Anna Bolden messed up. Carol Danvers had a little bit of a personality when you meet her at the beginning, but as she learns more and more about her past it seems that her personality fades to black. The charm that Larson typical delivers with her performances is gone by the end except for a couple of smiles and winks. The asset of character relatability is lost trying to make sure she was strong and not overly emotional. It came across as bland and was impossible for the audience to really get behind her emotionally.
(SPOILERS in this paragraph read at your own risk.) Lastly, I found this film to be extremely predictable and as a result, poorly written. All of the actors who you expect to be villains are indeed the villains, with maybe one exception but even then it is kind of complicated. I found myself predicting what plot device was about to come next and got it right just about every time. This makes for somewhat of a ho-hum watching experience because nothing is really surprising.
As someone that is getting bored watching Samuel L. Jackson play the same character in 5 movies every calendar year without fail (Marvel and Non-Marvel alike), I am pleased to say that he was probably my favorite part of Captain Marvel. The facial CGI that was used to make him look younger was honestly incredible to the point where you forgot that he doesn’t actually look like that. Also, I thought his character was a bit more light-hearted and funny than he is in the later movies on the timeline.
The most effective thing that Captain Marvel did was connect the dots leading up to Endgame. We all knew that Fury paged for her at the end of Infinity War but no one knew who she was or what she was capable of. We also didn’t really know why Fury trusts her. She is going to have a huge role in defeating Thanos and I do think that this movie did a decent job of getting us ready for what comes next.
When it comes down to it, the biggest reason Captain Marvel falls kind of flat is timing. Most of the recent MCU movies have been on a huge scale with lots of well-developed characters. Creating a new origin story at this point in the proceedings of the fight with Thanos just wasn’t going to work that well. Not only that but this it is coming out when movie studios and all of Hollywood have been beating the nearly dead horse that is making a movie about a strong feminist female lead that “don’t need no man” for the last couple years and it is starting to come across as forced. All in all, Captain Marvel should have been a phase 2 movie in the MCU because at that time the message would have been fresh and the tension with Thanos was still developing. I am still incredibly excited to see Avengers: Endgame in a couple months, but unfortunately, I will have all but forgotten this movie by then.