Marvel Studios latest effort, the female empowering Captain Marvel, is a financial hit but feels like an awkward misstep. Carol Danvers (played by Academy Award-winning Brie Larson) is one of my favorite female comic book characters. However, even I can admit her origin is a mess. So much so, Marvel Comics has taken drastic measures to redo her entire backstory. The bones are still there, but the character herself has gone through many changes.
As for the film, the muddied origin is properly represented. The first half of the film is a drag through broken memories of Carol (or her Kree name ”Vers”) it’s not until she gets to Earth and teams up with an inept Agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) that the film shows any signs of life.
Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel is like a cheap version of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Only lacking any charm or likeability. I understand the film trying to present Danvers as an emotionless soldier but in doing so she just comes across like she can’t act. I know she can too which is maddening. She won an Oscar. By the time she gains the full potential of her powers, you don’t care. Because she is so closed off and cold you don’t care about Carol’s journey. She spends 95% of the film scowling at the camera and the rest of time she’s telling jokes that just don’t land because of her already established demeanor.
Just because we see men tell her she can’t do certain things or we see her fall down multiple times (literally) we are supposed to care for her? The film spends so much time trying to remind us its a feminist movie that the film suffers for it.
Nick Fury is treated like an utter idiot. When he’s not being all giggly with Goose the cat (the MVP of the film) he is just looking like an oblivious buffoon. I understand it’s a younger Fury, but he shouldn’t be this incapable.
Finally, the villains. The Kree are very one dimensional. Them being the real villains of the film isn’t a huge surprise either. The big surprise, however, is the misrepresentation of the Skrulls. Despite being somewhat the lesser of two evils, the Skrulls were never innocent refugees in the comics. In fact, they were even that innocent in the first half of this film. If these guys were so peace-loving, why did they try to kill Fury and Carol during the train chase? Poor scripting again I assume.
Which brings me to the directors and the score. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck just really appeared overwhelmed with the size of this film. Fights are poorly edited, action scenes are bland, and character moments have little to no payoff. Marvel seemed so concerned about hiring at least one female director that they picked the one who clearly wasn’t cut out for it. The score also lacks any memorable beats. Pinar Toprack’s score is generic at best. But, outside of Alan Silvestri’s Avengers theme, Marvel film scores are mostly generic anyways.
Now for the good. Goose the alien cat was the star of the film. He had some funny moments that saved an otherwise very unfunny movie. The 90s references are spot on with callbacks to films like Pulp Fiction, Independence Day, and Reservoir Dogs. I just wish the film could have had as much fun with the story and characters as it did with its references.
With that said, HipsterZOMBIEJoint gives Captain Marvel a disappointing 3 out of 10. Marvel Studios worst film to date.