Captain Marvel is a Marvel Movie.

Groundbreaking title hey? But that’s exactly what the movie is. It’s a Marvel movie. Its every bit a Marvel movie that has Marvel movied as a Marvel movie. Its the formula with a new lead and a mix of returning and new supporting cast. This time with Captain Marvel as the source material.

Its so safe and generic and inoffensive that its basically Marvel’s very own Star Wars: Rogue One. Not quite sure who was asking for it but now we got it. It efforts itself to do the things that Wonder Woman did effortlessly.

This is the kind of movie that Film Snobs point at when they want to paintbrush all comic-based movies as plain bread with a glass of room temperature water.

I think I might have liked it more had it been more linear vs non-linear but I get why Marvel decided to tap dance around another origin story. However, more time needed to be spent on the past to make those moments seem like they mattered and really stuck with the character so that the payoff is that much more beefy when it comes.

But for an origin story you really don’t know piss all about her at the beginning (by design), during the middle or by the end. You don’t really know who she was on earth, you don’t really know who she is besides Super Soldier on the Kree homeworld. At the end of it all she’s still largely the same character personality wise, just now she’s gone from a lieutenant position to being independent.

Some Thor-esque fish out of water/ “what do earthlings do, earthling?” style moments I think would have gone a long way to helping develop the character on screen. To the best of her knowledge she’s a Kree warrior hero space fleet soldier, but after like 30 seconds on earth she basically fits back in immediately with barely as much as a déjà vu flashback as she walks down a street and that’s what triggers the human side.

I do have to give the movie big props for one thing in particular. You know when you watch a TV show like Suits and you’re yelling at the TV for everyone to stop doing things and just pump the brakes long enough to talk about their plans? I guarantee you’ve seen a movie where you wanted to yell at the characters and shake them and say “JUST TALK. STOP DOING. START TALKING!”

This movie does that. Probably the best part of the film. Just the characters talking. The quieter this movie gets the better it is. The louder it gets the more it just becomes another Marvel Movie. There is some really good stuff in one-on-one scenes, or just when two characters are sitting at a table or in a room together.

I still wish Emily Blunt got this role. I don’t know how you could have seen her in Live.Die.Repeat. and not realized how easy this casting should have been. Maybe she told Marvel to suck it after she didn’t get the part of Black Widow. Who knows.

But what I do know is that Brie Larson is flat, and after seeing her in Room, I wonder if it’s an actress choice or was it direction? The characterization gets a little all over the place. Supremely confident, confused alien, brat, smartass, heroic, stoic, etc. And that’s fine, people and good characters aren’t one dimensional. But there is something inconsistent through it all. Maybe its because they were making a character who, in the meta, is far more of a utilitarian into the Quippy Marvel Lead. Something more along T’Challa or Steve Rogers would have felt more fitting. But again, I only know that from my previous knowledge of the character.

Maybe that’s not fair because at this point I’m used to following the journey of characters like Steve Rodgers and Tony Stark where those characters have evolved and transformed over the last decade. But even then, you usually only see a character go through like two or three phases in a film like this. Here it felt like we got six phases as if they were stopped from a slower approach because of Endgame’s impending release.

It could even be that Captain Marvel as a character has similar issues to Superman. They’re too damn strong that they almost become boring. Once they unlock their potential then their potential becomes limitless so any danger loses its stakes.

I won’t spoil the ending, but it becomes paint by numbers. “Do A, fake B, follow C” etc. You could have gone from A to C. You didn’t need B. B added nothing beyond being part of “how to write an act 3” in the generic Action Act 3 guidebook.

I really was bummed the movie spent so much time on earth. I get why they do that because $$$$ but also don’t tease me with this amazing looking futuristic advanced alien world straight out of Mass Effect and then make me spend time in like Sacramento and Louisiana. It bothered me in Black Panther too. “Look at this amazing civilization! …But only from afar. No details.”

The villains were pretty fun. The Skrulls are neat if their makeup/prosthetics do hinder their ability to speak and enunciate. The first bad guy was pretty neat. Ben Mendolsohn steals the movie any time he’s on screen.

Sam Jackson is much the same. He is just able to take over the screen any time he’s on it.

It has moments where it felt like an off brand Guardians mainly due to the music involved. In Guardians, the music is part of Peter Quill. He’s emotionally attached to those songs. In this one, she left earth in like 1988, came back in 1994 (?) and they’re like “Frig yeah, here’s a No Doubt song from 1995. Nirvana, that’s 90’s. Get some Nirvana in our 90’s movie.”

The songs are just there because they’re recognizable 90’s songs and not because they matter. They show a 3 second flashback of her singing karaoke in a bar, but I don’t think they ever show the song. Whatever song that is would have been the right song for your “I know who I am” moment.

Music was distracting. It was just “LOOK AT OUR 90’S MUSIC”. I’m generally not a fan of recognizable pop songs in movies like this unless they really fit. The music should never pull you out of the scene, even for a moment.

Back in Black for the first Iron Man? Hell yeah. Sets the tone and becomes part of the scene. The music in Guardians? I own those records now because the movie and music are intertwined.

Wong jamming to Single Ladies by Beyonce? Awkward and bad. Shoving 90’s songs into a movie about a character who left earth in the 1980’s? Also awkward.

This was much more Suicide Squad with its music than Guardians of the Galaxy.

The 90’s setting isn’t totally wasted. They use it for some good gags: Blockbuster, LOL. Radio shack! Teehee. Slow computers, ahahaha! However you can easily forget you’re in the 90’s pretty quickly as there isn’t much that’s distinctly 90’s outside of the gags.

It was neat to see the 90s in a throwback movie. You don’t often see that. You get 60’s, 70’s, 80’s throwback films all the time. I’m down for a wave of 90’s movies #90sKid. And then I’m even more down for some 00’s movies just to bring Limp Bizkit back to the main stream.

At the very least, there’s lots of easter eggs in the movie. Going back this far allows you to colour in some of the backstory to things you maybe weren’t quite dying for, but its neat to see anyway.

I wrote years ago, that three movies I was dying for Marvel to make were Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Captain Marvel. They went from thumbs up to two thumbs up to worth seeing but you’re not missing anything. As for its place in the Marvel rankings, I don’t think you put this ahead of Doctor Strange. This is very much Ant-Man or Captain America: The First Avenger. There’s nothing particularly bad, but nothing that terrifically stands out. Hopefully a standalone sequel is her own The Winter Soldier.

I bet it sounds like I’m shitting on this movie way too hard to have left the theatre in a good mood. That isn’t quite the case. It is what it is, perfectly fine. But I’m a bit bummed because you can see where it could have been more than it is. And coming off Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Infinity War and even Ant-Man and The Wasp, it just feels so underwhelming to be back in the Copy&Paste style movies.

Especially for a character that’s so bad ass.

@Adam_Pyde on Twitter, Adam Reviews Things on Facebook. CanadianAdam on Twitch.

2 thoughts on “Captain Marvel is a Marvel Movie.

  1. Pingback: Shazam! is Totally Awesome – Adam Reviews Things

  2. Pingback: Black Widow got her movie – Adam Reviews Things

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