Captain America, Iron Man, Thor. These Marvel heroes are the pillars on which the Marvel Cinematic Universe stands and the reason why being a comic book fan is cool again. Each one of these mighty characters has an origin film that keeps you locked in, engaged, and hooked. Captain Marvel’s solo movie failed to live up to that standard.
Before I continue I’d like to do away with any presumption that my opinion is somehow biased by the sex of the film’s main character, who of course is a woman. My takeaway has nothing to do with Captain Marvel being female and has everything to do with how predictable the story was. After all of the hype, Marvel’s writers failed to create an origin befitting to the hero that will ultimately save the MCU from Thanos.
I haven’t done much reading or watching of other people reviewing Captain Marvel because I wanted to let my thoughts marinate by themselves. I do know, however, that the film is doing quite well for itself. It earned $455 million globally in its opening week, which is the second highest mark for a Marvel movie in that time frame.
The film’s success can be explained in a multitude of ways. Its main messages are important and appeal to a large demographic. Every fan of the Marvel Universe, even those who only watch the big picture Avengers movies, want to know more about the hero who is coming to put the pieces back together. Marvel spent a lot of money on its marketing campaign – Super Bowl commercials aren’t cheap.
But, as much as I’d like to say that it perfectly introduced the newest and strongest Avenger and that I’m more excited about End Game because of it, I can’t. The movie stunk. I could have watched the trailer, walked into the movie halfway through, went to the bathroom, got popcorn, and came back to my seat for the last 20 minutes and not been surprised by what was going on.
Slow beginnings only work if they build up to something and Captain Marvel never ramped up. The crazy plot twist that took way too long to happen was so obvious. Yes, the Kree aren’t nice people, we know this. Yes, Carol Danvers had another life on Earth, we learned this in the trailer. It took an hour to resolve those two points, and then five minutes to explain that Danvers got her power from blowing up an engine powered by the Tesseract, which, of course, is the Space Stone.
You’d think that from the point where Captain Marvel remembers how she got her powers on would be satisfying to watch, but it didn’t do it for me. She went from a badass chick who was capable of taking on ten Skrull’s at once, to a completely invincible force that could fly directly through highly advanced Kree spaceships, blowing them up in the process. When Thor realized that his hammer Mjolnir was only a conduit for his power and became this ultra-powerful lightning god at the end of Ragnarok, it was awesome because the story had slowly led up to that point. In Captain Marvel, the writers were like, just ignore that we already showed that Carol’s from Earth, just believe she’s a Kree, oh now she’s gonna remember who she is,
A lack of a main villain didn’t help the movie at all. If I had to pick one, I suppose Jude Law’s character Yon-Rogg was the bad guy? The Kree’s Supreme Intelligence comes in as a close second though, I guess. At its core, a film needs an antagonist and a protagonist, and each one needs to equally fulfill the role’s shoes.
The Skrull were the initial antagonist and their leader Talos fulfilled the
The one bright spot was Nick Fury’s plethora of camera time. Samuel L. Jackson did a great job portraying a young and naive Director Fury and his character got me through the otherwise miserable story. Him and his new friend Goose, that terrifyingly cute Flerken monster.
It was also fun to see Agent Coulson back on the big screen. It was a sad day when he had to go to Fiji after the events in New York after the original Avengers movie. The one time I got chills (a low number for a Marvel film) throughout the movie was just before the credits when Coulson and Fury are discussing fake eyeballs and Fury changes a document’s title from the “Protector’s Initiative” to the “Avengers Initiative,” because of a picture of Danvers. It’s only right that the woman who will save the Avengers is the one who the super hero squad is named after.
Captain Marvel didn’t diminish my excitement for End Game, but it sorely failed to add on to it. It failed to feel like a Marvel origin movie. It failed to make me feel connected to arguably the most important character in the MCU from this point on. It’s unfortunate, but my confidence in End Game’s unprecedented success hasn’t wavered and I only have to wait a month for my love for Marvel movies to be restored.