• Kaveh Jalinous

Captain Marvel (2019): Film Review




It has been two days since I saw Captain Marvel, and I honestly don't fully remember what transpired in its 124 minutes of runtime. Sure, I remember some parts of the movie (specifically a certain cat, you'll know the one), but a majority of it is just a lost memory to me. As I keep thinking of why it was so forgettable, I find that finding an answer to that question is difficult. The cast is absolutely stellar, and Brie Larson embodies the superhero in a perfect way. A female led superhero flick is always welcome, and simply just proves that we need more diversity in Hollywood, because it's simply the only way we can more forward in the industry. I think, after much contemplation, that the main problem in Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel is that it's a bit too much: it lacks a clear focus, and doesn't really know how to function as an origin story or a regular superhero film. It feels lost and unfocused, which is severely disappointing, as Brie Larson (and her character Carol Danvers) deserve so much more. ​ The film serves as the beginning of the tale of Carol Danvers, a Kree citizen with a mighty set of powers. As she learns more about her previous life, and the person she once was, she realizes that the world she lives in is a much different place then she could have ever imagined. Upon travelling to Earth, she meets a young Nick Fury, and the two set out on a mission across the country to save the world, and her people, from a force wreaking havoc on the world. With the help of her friends, Danvers must learn who she is, and how she can control her mighty set of powers. ​ From the very opening minute of the film, the flaws are noticeable right away. With an unclear focus right from the beginning, and an opening battle that is so unfocused (not because the goal of the battle is confusing, it is just so dark on screen that it is nearly impossible to actually see what is going on), the film just whirls on into a basic and boring story with nothing defining about it whatsoever. Yes, it follows the Marvel Superhero Flick Formula, but it follows it so closely at such a basic standard that the movie becomes a bore to watch right in its first act. Brie Larson shines in her role, and is by far the brightest part of this mind-numbing flick. With her amazing persona and brilliant attitude, she instantly makes Danvers an audience fan favorite, and will have you rooting for her character by time the credits start rolling. It's just a shame that the writers couldn't give her a better story to work with, because through her role, she single-handedly proves that she is one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood right now. Annette Bening does a spectacular job in her supporting role (but when is she not fantastic), as does the Crazy Rich Asians breakout star Gemma Chan, who is completely underutilized in every way possible throughout the flick. With one of the coolest and most interesting characters in the story, it is a shame that she got minimal screen time and no character development whatsoever. The screen forces her to show up, say around three lines, and fade away - which just proves how exactly terrible the script is. The plot is so shallow and unlikable that it truly wastes all the great actresses portraying the characters. Sure, the movie is forward thinking, which I am totally a fan of and greatly support. One thing that Captain Marvel, and Brie Larson, proves is that female led superhero movies can house spectacular performances. The fact that there is actually controversy over a female led superhero movie just shows that the world needs significant improvements. The people in the film are so great, that only the undriven and unfocused plot is to blame here. For a film that is so forward thinking and risk taking, why is the plot so backward thinking and played safe? That's a question I need answered right away.

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