Captain Marvel (Political Free Review)

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First thing’s first, if you’re here to provoke the out of control internet toxicity, vacate the website. This is no place for petty quarrels that don’t even matter in the long run. That’s what politics are for. This is being judged as a movie and nothing else. Now that I have your attention let’s talk about Captain Marvel.

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Another obscure hero in the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe and the subject of the post-credit scene from Infinity War shortly after Nick Fury was cut off from his trademark catchphrase. For a lot of fans and movie goers, she is our only hope against spending the rest of eternity as a pile of dust. But who is she exactly?

Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) has no memory of her past life living among an alien species know as the Cree. After crashing on Earth following a failed rescue mission, she runs into a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who aids her in trying to end the war between her brethren and the Skrulls.

All of this sounds great on paper, but compared to the rest of the expansive lore this is the worst devolution since Thor: The Dark World. Marvel movies has come a long way improving on their flaws since phase two: the layered villains, a distinct visual style, and most importantly character personalities. Especially when telling a filler story. None of these were found in here after a very touching intro logo. There’s bit and pieces of clever time capsule humor involving Blockbuster Video and the internet (take that Wreck-it-Ralph 2). And it has the first animal to dethrone Widows for cutest scene stealing pet that it should create a separate category at award ceremonies. The de-aging effects on Samuel L. Jackson are so flawless it could give First Man a run for its money. You know how people like coworkers and family members look younger than their actual age? It has been perfected here since experimenting on Carrie Fisher, Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp.

And the Oscar for best pet goes to….Goose.
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The flawless de-aging effect turning 70 year Samuel L. Jackson into 30 year old Jackson.

Strangely enough the biggest problem ironically stems from the main character. Captain Marvel is strong willed, a good fighter and snarky here and there with Nick Fury, but that’s about it. Where’s the rest of her personality? The skimmed natural development? The deeper connections throughout space and Earth? And the full flashbacks that are only shown through brief glimpses rather than extensive look backs? You know, the other key ingredients that make a strong character. This had two directors and five people credited on the story and the disjointed narrative really shows. There’s no central connection between tracing her memories, the James Gunn knock-off action, reconnecting with familiar faces, and fleshing out the interstellar societies. On top of that, the performances range from good to downright unfocused. Not since Plank from Ed Edd N Eddy has there been so much wooden acting from the star and everyone else. That is except for Carol’s best friend, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). With some much passion in the range of emotions she shows in reconnecting with her friend, one wonder what she would’ve done with the role since race bending is a growing experiment in fiction. The rest of it would look nice if it had a style of its own outside of her powers. You could argue that it’s a 90’s buddy cop movie, but again, what else makes it unique? Just to prove how much she blends into the background, here’s a list of characters with more dimensions that are also role models. If you accuse me of being anti-feminist for not liking this movie, then explain these names. Take it away Knuckles:

You know Marvel, anytime someone calls attention to the breaking of gender roles, it ultimately undermines the subtle hard work accomplished by Wonder Woman, Spider-Gwen, Furiosa, Ellen Ripley, Sarah Conner, Elastigirl, Aloy, Claire Redfield, Turanga Leela, Amy Wong, Faith Conners, Clementine, Jessica Jones, Samus Aran, Ellie, Elena Fisher, Elizabeth, Lara Croft, Mabel Pines, The Powerpuff Girls, Sandy Cheeks, Fa Mulan, Mrs. Brisby, Tifa Lockhart, Hermione Granger, Minverva McGonagall, Molly Weasley, Ada Wong, Jade, Ashley Spinelli, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline the Vampire Queen, Catwoman, Gamora, Lisa Simpson, Shego, Katara, Korra, Toph Beifong, Bayonetta, Dixie Kong, Coco Bandicoot Lilo, Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, Jessie, Merida, Edna Mode, Kim Possible, Linda Belcher, Supergirl, Numbuh 5, Motoko Kusanagi, Dana Scully, Joanna Dark, Maleficent Batgirl, Raven, Starfire, Nebula, Alyx Vance, Azula, Eliza Thornberry, Jill Valentine, Chun-Li, Storm, Jean Grey, Carrie Fisher, Rogue, X-23, Okoye, Daria, Chihiro, Anna and Elsa by implying that this is an exception and not the status quo.

Captain America: The First Avenger and the Ant-Man movies were also middle of the road stories, but all of them had high stakes, stronger characters and their own styles to stand on their own and as a potent connection to the following payoff. This talks a big fight, but follows the traditional Marvel formula to a defective tee. No new material, no new twists (save one) and minus the powers, no change for the lead from beginning to end which ultimately culminates against another disposable villain of the week.

For someone that’s supposed to be our only hope against the big purple threat still gazing at the sunrise Captain Marvel feels like a phase one movie that got transported to phase three with all cylinders fired in reverse. Apart from Larson and Jackson’s banter, the acting is wooden, the villains leave a lot to be desired, the action is run of the mill in a post James Gunn galaxy and the disjointed narrative has too much to juggle in two hours. Worst of all in this age where it takes more than a stoic stance to make a strong female character, the main hero doesn’t stick out enough from the crowd. There’s no doubt that any little girl can do more justice to the character than what five writers and two directors tried to accomplish here. Too its credit it work better on its own than as a necessary appetizer before the main course. Hopefully the Russo Brothers bring something out of both the script and the actress since the character apparently plays a big role during the Endgame. Otherwise this ten year plan could join the likes of the Mass Effect trilogy: a promising culmination that ultimately ended on a cosmetic sigh of disappointment. But whatever happens Marvel, please don’t cancel the Black Widow movie because she’s has a lot more history to justify looking into her past. In the end, my opinion isn’t going to matter too much because actions speak louder than words. Just look at the opening weekend box-office as living proof and form your own opinion on a discounted matinee ticket.

Note: The post credit scene isn’t necessary to catch once the mid-credit scene sets the stage for April.

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All eyes are on Endgame for the sake of Captain Marvel and the entire 10 year plan.

Pros: de-aging effects, cute cat, touching opening logo, time capsule humor, Larson + Jackson, interesting twist

Cons: uneven acting, by the numbers action, disjointed narrative, lame villain, lack of style


What did you think of Captain Marvel? Whatever you thought comment and discuss with other, but remember, keep it civil.

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