Review: Captain Marvel

I have to confess that I stopped watching Marvel movies after Avengers: Infinity War – I was that disappointed in it but that is a whole other story for a future blog post perhaps (for those who loved it … sorry but I didn’t). So as a result I gave Captain Marvel a miss when it appeared at the movies earlier this year. However wanting something to watch on a Saturday night I decided to give it a go.

And …..

It was ok. It wasn’t awful. It wasn’t spectacular. It was ok … enjoyable on a forgettable level.

I don’t feel compelled to watch it again and for the record I have with previous Marvel flicks Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: Ragnarok. I’m not sure why it didn’t grab me or have some of the sparkle I was hoping for. 

At its most basic the movie tells the origin story of Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers, a former Air Force pilot, who now has other worldly super powers thanks to getting caught in the blast path of an explosion. But in true comic book fashion, it’s not an ordinary explosion …..

Brie Larson was adequate as the title character but I felt her to be too flat or dare I say it a bit wooden to carry the movie or get me involved and invested. She was playing the first lead female superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and presumably will play a big part in the wider MCU going forward but, to me, she didn’t appear up to it. I’m not sure if she was the right choice to play Captain Marvel as she was written (sassy, a risk taker, troubled) but in saying that I can’t really think of any actress that I would have put in that role instead. Perhaps she will grow into a bit further down the track. Let’s hope so. 

Unfortunately for Larson (but great for us, the audience) she was playing opposite an actor who, while he has been in some not so good flicks, is rarely bad himself and that was Samual L. Jackson as Nick Fury … but you can call him Fury and only Fury. 

He was great! The star in my opinion. I loved every moment he was on screen and found myself wishing for more. I know some will say he was relegated to the comedic sidekick but I loved the role he played. He was very funny and I found myself laughing a lot. In fact the movie as a whole was much funnier than I expected. Samuel L. Jackson is a guy who radiates charisma and he brought all of that to a much younger version of Nick Fury … sorry Fury. It was when he was on the screen that I felt the movie was at its best. 

SPOILER: And now we know the origin of Fury’s eye injury. The result of misplaced trust in …. well you can watch and see (pun intended) for yourself.

I also really enjoyed Ben Mendelson. Despite walking around for most of his time on screen under heavy make-up and prosthetics Mendelson was able to project real life into his character. He was quite charming and also had some very comic as well as touching moments. I did think Jude Law was underused a bit. I felt he could have been much more heavily involved as a villain but was squandered. I actually thought we were going to get much more of a showdown between his character and Larson’s but it never eventuated. In fact his ending was odd and bit weak (a set up for his possible return in future Captain Marvel movies I would imagine).  

And a big shout out to Goose the cutest and most dangerous cat in the MCU.

Let’s be in no doubt – Captain Marvel was a slick professional package. The effects were great (after having been what I would class as poor in Infinity War) and I loved the 90’s setting. The old mobile phone that Agent Coulsen used elicited a real chuckle and all the older model cars on the streets were a treat (where did they get them all?) but I still feel the movie as a whole was lacking in something. 

I wonder if it would have benefitted from a director (it actually had two listed) who had a better feeling for the MCU and the comic book universe that are Captain Marvel’s origins. Of Marvel directors already used I think James Gunn and Taika Waititi would have given it a more interesting spin. As it was it felt empty of the elements that make the best of the Marvel movies so enjoyable and great as entertainment.

Rating: A solid 3 stars.

Watched: 13 July 2019.

(Header Image: Skitterphoto)

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