Captain Marvel, in my opinion, is an ordinary film at best, and a forgettable film at worst, or for the sake of being technically accurate, it’s balanced. It has some obvious flaws but it’s not a bad film or one that is difficult to enjoy. It very well introduced our hero and made us fully understand the range of her powers. It plugged smoothly into the Marvel Universe and managed to answer some questions and fill some gaps, and it managed to find a relatively fresh storyline that is not just a copy from the superhero template. All the problems it has are in the details and, as I said, they are obvious, but they’re not the kind that compromises the fun or enjoyment in the viewing experience. For instance, most of the confrontations were predictable. Action scenes, except for one dog fight, were bland. CGI was a bit cartoonish except for the deaging of Samuel L. Jackson to play a young Nick Fury, which was truly exceptional. Several minor technical flaws that are not even worth discussing in light of one major problem casting its shadow over the entire film, but before we get into that, what story does it actually tell?
Out story takes place in 1995 and starts with introducing our key character under the name of Vers. She’s living without any memory of her past in Hala, the capital planet of the Kree empire. She has super destructive powers and is training under Yon-Rogg, her mentor, to learn to control those powers. The Kree are in a war with the shapeshifting Skrull that has been going on for centuries and Vers is finally given a mission in this war. During the mission she crashes on earth and meets S-H-I-E-L-D agent Nick Fury, and they partner to fight off the Skrull that followed her there while she waits for backup from her fellow Kree.
The biggest problem with the film in my opinion is Brie Larson playing Captain Marvel. Not for a second did I feel she was comfortable portraying the super hero. Not in comedy, not in drama and not in action. And not for a second did I actually get to see her trying to express how her character is supposed to be feeling. I mean, we get from the story that she’s bouncing from lost to daring to liberated to triumphant, but did the acting offer any help with that? I don’t think so. I’m not inclined to blame the film directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck for that simply because they got amazing performances from Samuel Jackson and from the awesome Ben Mendelsohn, who for the greatest part performs without the help of his own face. Therefore, I believe that, if you’re a good actor, you get to perform under Boden and Fleck. But before we pass that judgment, let’s wait and see how Larson will perform under the Russo’s.
I don’t want to spend so much time speaking about flaws because honestly, this is not a bad film and the best aspect in it, in my opinion, is the screenplay. It follows the rule of the narrow time frame, which I believe we will be seeing a lot of in the MCU. All the events in the film take place over the course of 2 or 3 days .. if not 1. This is becoming necessary with the intertwining events of all the films in the universe. It’s much easier to reserve a few days for a story to be told rather than risk it tangling with another story from another film. This has been the case with all their films since Doctor Strange with the exception of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Because stories are much more efficient this way and not boring. That’s what we get here though some sequences were indeed boring, but since they move fast, you don’t get a chance to nod off.
We get a nice partnership between our hero and Nick Fury. We get various confrontations, though mostly shallow like I said, and we get a fair share of, not exceptionally smart, surprises. We also offer a good share of services to the upcoming “End Game”. Most of the weak spots come from the comics and of course we get to blame the film for that but with a bit of sympathy. Also maybe the comedy wasn’t very successful. I mean, it’s there and it’s not silly or anything but not very laughable. Especially with Brie Larson choosing to laugh with us instead of trying to make us laugh. Or maybe she was waiting for us to make her laugh, I’m not sure!
We have no problems with pace, no problems with directing in general and no plot holes as far as I’m concerned. Captain Marvel is an ordinary film in the place of the awesome film some of us were expecting. That is not a big problem for me since I’m trying to teach myself to deal with the film I’m watching, not the film I was expecting. However, in all honesty, it suffers from obvious flaws and it deserves to be considered as a set back when compared to most other MCU films. Also compared to its equivalent in the competitor universe. Oh yes, I didn’t hate Captain Marvel but I don’t dare say it’s better than Wonder Woman in any way, shape or form. Or maybe it does have a better soundtrack.