Probably the only reason you would genuinely want to watch this movie is out of curiousity – how exactly does this character tie the post-credits of Avengers Infinity War to End Game? Sure, you can also say, “Because she’s the first female superhero lead in the MCU” as another reason and there’s no hate about that but honestly, this movie might actually be a disservice to such an expectation for poor ol’ Captain Marvel.
Before you start attacking me for such a harsh lead, my knowledge of Carol Danvers only stretches as far as 2005 – after the Marvel Comics event, House of M. Around this time, Carol Danvers came out of retirement after Avengers Disassembled and she was reintroduced to the black swimsuit and sash as Ms Marvel. She’s a classic Avenger but beyond that, I don’t recall her being a powerhouse character until her recent retcon and costume change in 2012.
It seemed like a sudden and strange move by Marvel to shove her into the limelight but if they needed a Wonder Woman in their prime roster then fine, just make sure it has a great story. In 2019, her self titled movie finally hits theatres and I’m still scratching my head thinking “What’s the big deal?”
Brie Larson takes the lead as Carol Danvers, a Kree Warrior of Starforce – an elite alien race who are at constant war with the Skrulls, another alien race who can shapeshift and impersonate anyone they see. We are told this is the main backdrop to the story but the mystery is actually more about Danvers’ (who is known as Vers, to her Starforce teammates) lost memories and her enigmatic past. Out comes the action, energy beams here and there, Skrulls get punched and plot convenience, we’re now on earth!
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
Much of this movie dwells heavily on plot conveniences that seem TOO convenient to be believable. It is understandable that this movie was set in the 1990s and predates any Avenger-related events that we know of but having coincidences happen too often as if we’re not meant to question them is kind of an insult to us as viewers.
On Earth, Danvers is in pursuit of the Skrulls who, we are meant to believe, are stranded like her in finding this mysterious energy source. This also CONVENIENTLY ties into her past in which she slowly rediscovers through these series of events with a little hint of how she got her powers. Sadly out of all of this, we don’t learn anything about Carol Danvers as a person. Just her powers and a bit of the (Earth) side characters.
What this movie fails from the beginning is in telling us WHO Carol Danvers is. Yes, we are expected to know who and why she is powerful but we are never really given the moment to care about HOW important she really is as a person, a woman, a human. The core of what makes every origin story so great is how well we get to know the character and even though it can get generic, it still is a precursor of what is to come. Captain Marvel as a movie just lacks that and in the first 10 minutes of the movie, I lost interest in her and the plot.
As the plot brought us to Earth, I was hoping for better character and story development as we viewers were then in familiar territory. Instead, we’re given all this fluff from the 90s that doesn’t do anything for the plot other than quick tugs on your nostalgia strings. We are expected to know that the movie was based in the 90s but the characters sure don’t act like they are.
In one scene, Danvers is looking for clues and her only lead is a name. Obviously we in 2019 would go to the internet for answers but back in the 90s, I’m sure a phonebook would’ve made more sense. I know, I’m nitpicking this but I think the time era shouldn’t be a gimmick for a movie to throw at us for nostalgia’s sake or plot convenience. We as viewers need to understand why the era is so important but if it isn’t, at least keep the illusion solid enough to be convincing.
Having Nick Fury take the backseat in this movie was a nice backstory to the man who assembled Earth’s Mightiest Heroes but it really doesn’t cement the idea why he does it. We are given the reason why at the near the end but how exactly does he know there will be more heroes in the future? Can he see the future? Are we connecting the dots or is Marvel Studios making up dots for us as they go?
Things pick up as we finally reach the third act of the film, though not much is actually explained, we are still led to believe that Danvers, now knowing her real name is Carol, is the most powerful being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Character plots are aligned, explanations are in placed, Boom! bring on Avengers End Game.
Captain Marvel as a movie was presented to us as a Marvel’s push for female empowerment and though the attempt is in the shadow of 2017’s Wonder Woman, it still lacks what their competition has achieved so easily with so little.
Much like the comics, we aren’t exactly told why Carol Danvers is a force to be reckoned with other than the fact that she’s a woman with a massive powerset. This is an understatement as there are a plethora of other female characters who can even outshine little Ms. Marvel. X-Men’s Jean Grey and Storm, Fantastic Four’s Susan Storm and Inhumans Medusa are all great examples of strong female leads who can match the prowess and intellect of any male superhero or even exceed their status of superbeings.
But rants aside, Captain Marvel lacks the personality of an origin movie that makes us care enough to be invested in her future roles. To many, she’s the female lead for the MCU despite there already being Black Widow and the Scarlet Witch. To others, this is just another filler to the next Avengers installment.
To me, Captain Marvel is a clear case of how one character’s hype can actually outsell the movie’s true value. This is honestly just a long MCU trailer with a prelude to Avengers End Game. It was fun to see the 90s again but I’m sure it was more than just Nirvana and No Doubt telling me flannels are cool to wear. There are nice references to the comics like the Mar-vell’s original costume colours and a wink at Monica Rambeau, who also held the Captain Marvel mantel which should be enough to serve some of the old skool fans.
Stay for the post credits and continue that countdown to April 26.
Captain Marvel – 3/10