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Captain Marvel

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We’re introduced to the titular character when she is only known as Vers (pronounced Veers), a member of Starforce, a sort of elite strike team of the Kree empire. Vers can’t remember who she really is, and is (of course) haunted by flashbacks to a life she doesn’t know. She is kidnapped by Skrulls while on a mission, and in escaping her captors, lands on C-53 – otherwise known as Earth. There, she begins to piece together her mysterious past with the help of one Nick Fury and her old best friend, Maria. She also begins to realise that the Kree-Skrull war may not be what she thought it was.

In brief: This movie is solid, but average.

The Good

  • The overall story is quite easy to follow, and the movie doesn’t feel like it drags.
  • The acting was solid; no one put in a poor performance.
  • Ben Mendelsohn (unrecognisable in face and voice from his Rogue One character, Krennic) does manage to make Talos the Skrull into a rather appealing character. A good chunk of the humourous parts came from him.
  • The de-aging effects on Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson were really well done. Phil looked a tad too smooth-faced, but if I came into this movie without having ever seen a previous Marvel film, I could have believed that the actor looked exactly like that.
  • I liked the way in which Fury lost his eye. It’s an amusing little joke. xD
  • The 1990s tech visual jokes were funny. Like having Vers and the Skrulls stand around and wait, slightly confused, whilst the CD in Maria’s computer loads. hehehehe
  • The first post-credits scene gave me a tiny bit of joy. It picks up right after Infinity War and I got to see Steve Rogers! And Natasha!

The Bad

  • They really need to quit using the Tesseract as the MacGuffin. It feels as though the Tesseract (a.k.a. the Space Stone) is the most powerful Infinity Stone, but isn’t that supposed to be the Soul Stone? Or the Time Stone, perhaps. Its presence in this movie threw me off and had me thinking really hard about the MCU timeline and how this works. Terry pointed out that Nick Fury’s astonished reaction to the Tesseract in this movie didn’t make sense either. Did he not know about it? Hadn’t Howard Stark found it much earlier? Or was he simply not high enough in the ranks to know about it? It ultimately does sort of work out, but you have to go on the assumption that Nick Fury wasn’t high enough in the ranks to have known about the Tesseract and Project PEGASUS before the events of this movie
  • The Skrulls were far too similar-looking. Having near-identical aliens for massive battle scenes like the climactic ones for Avengers and Infinity War are one thing. But I struggled to distinguish one Skrull from another for about half the movie, until Mendelsohn’s Talos got more solo screentime. Prior to that, I couldn’t have differentiated him from the others. It was confusing because I was never really sure who Vers was chasing or if I should be at all bothered as to their individual identities.
  • They leaned a little too much into Vers’s flashbacks. Those bored me quickly and I kept wanting them to just get on with the story.
  • Some of the lines were jarring. The one I remember distinctly was Talos saying the phrase “jazz hands” in reference to Vers’s tendency to blast fire/energy/whatever from her hands. Where, exactly, would a Skrull have picked up the phrase “jazz hands”? It was out of place.
  • There were clear attempts at funny scenes that fell rather flat. This was especially obvious to me in the first third of the movie – several scenes gave me the feeling of “this should be funny” but… I only managed a wry smile at most. This may have been the least humorous MCU movie I’ve seen. Being a serious movie is not a problem. But lacking humour when you seem to be trying to inject some light-heartedness into the story is a problem. There were far more actually funny moments in Thor: The Dark World, which so many people seem to revile, than in Captain Marvel. But that’s just me. Maybe others found it tremendously funny.

The Middling or the Miscellaneous

  • I think the music in this film would hold more appeal for people familiar with and who like the music of the 1990s. As I am neither of those things, the music elicited a “meh” reaction from me. (I’m totally a big band music type of person.)
  • Vers herself. Or Carol Danvers, rather. What should I make of her? She’s alright. I’m not entranced by her personality but I don’t dislike her either. They tried to make her witty and wise-cracking, like a milder, less mean version of Tony Stark. But I didn’t find her funny at all. That part did not work for me.
  • The “girl power” message was very prevalent in this movie. Nothing wrong with it, but I’m a little tired of all this… Then again, the argument is that all along, all these years, we’ve been fed male-dominated storylines with very similar themes, so what’s the harm in having repetitive themes for female-led movies now? So… There’s that, I guess.
  • I did not recognise Gemma Chan at all. She didn’t appear enough for me to recognise her under that blue makeup. Ben Mendelsohn was unrecognisable too – and I had no idea he was Australian, so that accent was a surprise. (Man, he did really good job of changing his accent for Krennic in Rogue One.)
  • Did not get the point about the odd emphasis placed on Carol having had a blood transfusion and thus having some of Yon-Rogg’s blood in her. That seemed to go nowhere.
  • What happened to Goose the cat Flerken? Did he die between 1990-whatever and 2008 (when Iron Man takes place)?

Sigh. Decent solid movie, but not amazing.

At the moment, based on my inclination to rewatch the movie, Captain Marvel would rank at the bottom of the MCU in my opinion. I’d rather re-watch Guardians 2 or Ant-man and the Wasp. Sorry, Carol.

Overall rating: ★★½ (out of five)

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