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Captain Marvel (2019)
Captain Marvel (2019)
2019 | Action, Adventure
Brie and Sam's chemistry Ben Mendelson as Talos The skrulls First post credit scene (0 more)
Messy first act Badly paced Very poor cgi Unremarkable cinematography Generic action sequences (0 more)
A solid, if unremarkable entry for the MCU's first female outing
The 21st instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the penultimate feature in their Phase 3 plan, and the final stop on the road to Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel welcomes another superhero into its family and applies the same formula that Marvel Studios has relied on to manufacture their episodic products but their latest is also their weakest film in years that never truly realises its full potential.

Set during the mid-1990s, the story follows Carol Danvers who has extraordinary powers at her disposal but no recollection of who she is or where she comes from. However, when she crash-lands on Earth after a recent mishap, she begins tracing her step towards her origins in order to unravel her identity, finds assistance from a low-level bureaucrat working for an espionage agency, and discovers a secret that unlocks her full potential.

Written & directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, the first act of Captain Marvel is a mess that tries to acquaint the viewers with its own world yet hurries through it in a way that leaves the audience confused. The story begins to take some shape once the plot moves to Earth but other than the back-n-forth banter between its primary characters, there isn't really anything that's appealing or refreshing about it.

That montage of snippets from Carol Danvers' past in which she is told by others that she can't do anything, she is no good, she is weak, she doesn't belong & she will never make it will reverberate with many, and it is a welcome element in the picture. But instead of digging deeper into this aspect, the filmmakers head for a rather simplistic approach and narrate the story with half-hearted zealousness.

The action segments are seldom impressive, storytelling is very basic, predictable & bereft of surprises, and some key moments are executed in a rather lacklustre fashion. Editing paces the plot inconsistently, fails to provide a rigid structure to it, and splices together action scenes so monotonously that they are missing the sense of wonder & excitement. The score is fine but only a few incorporated songs work out in its favour.

Coming to the performances, Captain Marvel packs a talented cast in Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Lashana Lynch, Annette Bening & Jude Law. Larson embraces the eponymous role yet it is her fine rapport with Jackson that stands out more than her individual input. But it's Mendelsohn who impresses the most, delivering a compelling performance that only gets better as plot progresses.

On an overall scale, Captain Marvel is enjoyable to an extent, packs few amusing moments, and features a marvellous superheroine. Like Carol Danvers, this film had limitless potential. But unlike her, the filmmakers fail to tap into that element and possibly weren't even aware of what was up for grabs here. Generic, mundane & underwhelming, Captain Marvel isn't the film that the most powerful superhero in Marvel faction deserves, and is no match to the studio's finest efforts.
  
Captain Marvel (2019)
Captain Marvel (2019)
2019 | Action, Adventure
Marvel just about manages to pull it off
With a touching tribute to the amazing Stan Lee, it’s clear from the outset that Captain Marvel isn’t going to be your ordinary MCU instalment, or so Marvel Studios would have us believe. The 21stfilm, yes, I can’t quite believe it either, in the long-standing Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel is the first superhero film from the studio to focus primarily on a single female lead.

Astounding really that a franchise started by all intents and purposes way back in 2008 with Iron Man and has grossed billion after billion at the box-office hasn’t felt the need to offer a big tentpole movie to a female hero. But history aside, Captain Marvel has finally landed. Are we looking at one of Marvel’s greats?

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) is an extra-terrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck in their first big-budget blockbuster, Captain Marvel shows, if you’ll pardon the pun, flecks of brilliance while battling a fairly average origins story for what could be described as Marvel’s most powerful hero.

Where it does shine throughout is in its casting. We’ll get to the titular hero shortly but Samuel L Jackson’s performance across the film is exceptional. Beautifully de-aged without the off-putting uncanny valley treatment we occasionally get with these types of visual effects, he’s a highlight of the film and the chemistry he shares with Larson is believable and enjoyable to watch.

Clearly not afraid of being typecast is Ben Mendelsohn who has played some tremendous villains over the course of his career. From Rogue One to Ready Player One, the Australian actor clearly feels right at home as Skrull leader, Talos.

Though hidden behind layers of prosthetics for the majority of the movie, he comes across much better than poor Oscar Issac did in X-Men: Apocalypse. Unfortunately, the film does lack a menacing villain throughout however, but this isn’t down to Mendelsohn’s performance which is spot on.

While the action is filmed with aplomb and there are some cracking set pieces, they feel a little ordinary and lacking in originality
Brie Larson is good, but her story arc is hampered by a bout of amnesia, used to progress the story. It’s a poor scripting decision by the film’s five writers but a necessary one to deal with all the Marvel lore and baggage that comes with creating the 21staddition to a very interlinked series. It’s a shame that this is the case as Larson shares wonderful chemistry with all her co-stars and is let down by her at-times clunky dialogue.

When it comes to the visual effects, we’ve got a story of two halves. This is a $152million movie and with that comes a set of expectations that just aren’t fulfilled consistently enough. Some of the CGI used is incredibly poor and the Kree’s home planet of Hala feels hollow – worlds away from Sakaar and Nova Prime from other Marvel outings. It could almost be compared to that of the Star Wars sequels, though perhaps that’s being a little too harsh.

The cinematography too is bland. Ben Davis is one of the finest cinematographers working in the industry and has put his name to films like Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, Kick-Ass and Avengers: Age of Ultron to name but a few. But here, he seems to lack that flair he’s so often known for and while the action is filmed with aplomb and there are some cracking set pieces, they feel a little ordinary and lacking in originality.

Thankfully Captain Marvel retains that classic Marvel sense of humour that we all know and love and there are some genuinely touching moments as the titular hero begins to remember who she is. It also feels very much of the era it’s set in and that’s great. 90s music and a real 90s feel emanate from the screen and it’s here that the film scores highly.

Overall, Captain Marvel is a competent but not outstanding origins story that lacks consistent visual effects, a truly compelling script and engaging cinematography. While it is difficult to warm to Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers at times, it is testament to her acting ability that she remains likeable throughout – it’s just a shame that Marvel hasn’t quite managed to pull it off completely this time around.

https://moviemetropolis.net/2019/03/08/captain-marvel-review-marvel-just-about-manages-to-pull-it-off/