“Captain Marvel” is a Fun, Solid Entry to the MCU

“Captain Marvel” was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law and Ben Mendelsohn. The film is about the journey of Carol Danvers, and her road to becoming one of the MCU’s strongest superheroes through an unclear past that forces her to search for answers.

This is the final movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before “Avengers: Endgame,” so the film simply needed to go well. I love Larson, and I thought the casting was a great move, so I came in incredibly hopeful she would be able to pull it off, even with all the pressure and some trailers that I didn’t fully fall in love with.

The Good

It may be Larson in the lead, but it is Jackson who comes out as the major highlight of the film. As a younger Nick Fury, Jackson not only looks the part impressively well, but he is incredibly charismatic and entertaining from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed his back and forths with pretty much any character in the film, and I thought that he added a phenomenal component to a movie that could have otherwise gone a tad stale without him.

While Jackson was my favorite, I did think Larson gave a very strong performance in the lead role. The role of Carol Danvers is complex, and I think Larson is able to make it her own as the film progressed. I do think the movie’s writing and development could have worked more in her favor, but with what she was given, Larson pulled out a very strong turn.

The role of Talos, as played by Mendelsohn, was a terrific change of pace that worked much better than I expected. His role is often dynamic and consistently a surprise, and one that allowed the storyline to stand out more than a lot of MCU origin stories.

This film feels less like an origin story because of the way the plot is set up, and I think that works much more in the favor of the movie than against it. The non-linear plot development makes for new surprised and exciting ideas, allowing for a movie that feels new in its’ style, especially for Marvel.

I mean, Captain Marvel’s superpowers are awesome, and the movie makes them look as awesome as I knew they were. The final fight sequences are pretty terrific, and I loved many of the visuals and camerawork the final act had to offer.

The Bad

Where “Captain Marvel” fails to become one of MCU’s best is in its’ inability to do much in the way of standing out. Yes, the new way of shifting the timeline helped, but there was not really a move with the characters or the dialogue that ever blew me away.

I think the writing is the largest area to blame for this. Most of the jokes written for Larson fall flat, and I don’t blame the Oscar-winning actress much at all for this. Instead, her lines are corny and forced, and make her seem too much like a Tony Stark ripoff. Even when the writing isn’t meant to be funny, I wouldn’t say any of it is all that enticing aside from the very well made flashbacks.

Callbacks to previous movies are usually fine, and ways to tie in the character into the universe are important, but there are times where it gets cheesy here. A certain villain from a previous movie that shows up feels incredibly unnecessary, and a title of a project felt even more so, leaving me eye rolling more than anything else.

Conclusion

“Captain Marvel” is a strong entry into the MCU, albeit not one of its’ most top-tier ones. Larson finds her footing eventually, and does give a good performance, and Jackson and Mendelsohn give her excellent secondaries to work with. The action is good, and the story has some unique moments, leaving me feeling good, but not great, about where this hero is heading.

I enjoyed “Captain Marvel,” but did not love it, but I do have one thing to say about assholes putting in one-star reviews on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes: you are an embarrassment to moviegoers everywhere.


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