Captain Marvel not all that marvelous

Captain Marvel not all that marvelous

Bryan Kingsley, Staff Writer

Bryan Kingsley, film critic

A surge of excitement flowed through my body when the post credits for Avengers Infinity War teased the next installment in the franchise, Captain Marvel. When I ended up actually seeing the movie this weekend, however, hardly I felt no such excitement.

The story follows a powerful and mysterious woman named Vers,  played by Brie Larson. She is a member of a group of intergalactic warriors called the Kree, who are currently at war with a shapeshifting group known as the Skrulls. After being captured during a mission, she breaks free of captivity and lands on an Earth that has a strong case of the 90’s. While on the planet, she comes to find she has some kind of relationship to it and begins to connect the dots to her past with her new partner Nick Fury, played by a very young looking Samuel L. Jackson.

The way the film sets up Earth to look like it was from 1995 was really well done. There is so much attention to detail, and when the main character crash lands into a Blockbuster to start off the movie, you know you are in for a blast from the past.

Another minor thing that I thought was absolutely phenomenal was the CGI and makeup on Jackson to make him look younger. It was completely seamless. I never noticed it when I was watching the film and honestly forgot Jackson was a 70-year-old man. While on the topic of Jackson, he did a very good job in his part as a young Nick Fury and was a huge highlight of the film as he was fun to watch whenever he was on screen.

Unfortunately, the negatives vastly overshadow the positives.

To start off, I need to talk about the weakest part of the film, which sadly was the most important part, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. I have few things that I can say in her defense in this part. She honestly did a very poor job with this character.

All of her lines are delivered with the same enthusiasm as a middle school play”

This is especially frustrating, as she is an incredible actress and was phenomenal in movies like “Room.” But here she plays this character with absolutely no interest or effort at all. All of her lines are delivered with the same enthusiasm as a middle school play, and I find it ironic how a character who is constantly being told to control her emotions is played by an actor who emotes nothing through the whole film.

Now you can make the argument that she is supposed to be a stoic, soldier-type character, but there are scenes where the foundation of her whole life is being shaken, and she just reacts like it mildly upsets her at most.  The script also does not do her any favors in the movie as Captain Marvel honestly has no personality whatsoever.

On the topic of characters, the Kree in this movie are just incredibly boring. If these characters could have been fleshed out and made a strong connection with Captain Marvel, the entire film would have been much more interesting, but they are all just one dimensional and don’t have any really interesting personalities. In terms of the other characters in the story, I did not find a single one memorable. All of them just feel like they are there to move the plot every time they are on screen and nothing more.

Another massive problem is the tone of the film and how much of a mess it can be. Remaining spoiler free, there is a fight scene near the end of the movie, which, given the characters, could be an emotionally powerful scene. But through some very poor direction on the part of the musical team of the film, the scene relies on the song “I’m Just a Girl” by No Doubt, which would be fine if Captain Marvel was set up as a silly hero, like what they did for the characters of Guardians of the Galaxy, but they try to play her off as serious in the scene so it just doesn’t work. There are many bizarre choices like this through the movie.

You, of course, can’t talk about tone without bringing up the iconic Marvel comedy, which is ok here. I laughed at a fair amount of the jokes and they were well-written. There is one joke, however, that is supposed to be the big funny surprise joke of the movie, but from it’s initial build up it is so obvious what it is going to be that the pay off, while funny, was so easy to see coming.

The action and special effects in the film were both rather poor. There wasn’t a single action scene that got my blood pumping or got me excited at all and this could be because I didn’t really care about the characters or what Captain Marvel was fighting for by the end of the movie. Also the effects were incredibly poor. The Kree’s home world looks like it was on a sci fi TV budget and the final action scene honestly almost made me laugh with how bad it looked at parts.

In the end many people may just counter all this with the classic, “It’s just a dumb action movie who cares about any of that?” but the other Marvel movies were kind of just dumb action movies in their own way as well, but they all delivered on exciting characters or interesting worlds or fun action that made those movies fun to watch.

This film had none of that.