Even as the huge Marvel fan that I am, I originally wasn’t too excited for Captain Marvel. I was much more excited for Endgame and felt that Captain Marvel would just be a stepping stone film in the MCU. After seeing it, I was surprised that it was better than I thought it would be, but I was still torn.
Following the end credit sequence of Infinity War, Brie Larson suits up as the marvelous Captain Marvel. The film follows Vers (aka Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel) with no recollection of her previous life before gaining her powers or joining the Kree to fight as a noble space warrior. Down the line she finds herself in the middle of an intergalactic war between the Kree and the Skrulls.
Some of my main issues fall with the directing style. Not to hate on Anna Borden or Ryan Fleck, but I felt like they didn’t take any risks in the cinematography nor in the directing of their actors. Some scenes were just way too dark and I just couldn’t tell what was happening. I did like Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson together, as they did have an authentic chemistry to them. However, I did feel like most of the characters were flat and the pacing was off, either too rushed or too slow at some points.
I could understand the lack of ricks, as Captain Marvel has always been a controversial film surrounded by many political agendas. So it would make sense that Marvel wouldn’t want to take too many risks in order to attract all audiences, but I feel like they just missed the mark in terms of style. This was a major origin story to be integrated into the MCU, just like Guardians of the Galaxy was, but James Gunn took a wild take to the films and gained an audience from it. The same for Thor: Ragnarok, in how Taika Waititi revived the Thor films. Captain Marvel just throws you into an unfamiliar world, but does do anything to keep viewers’ interest.
That by all counts does not mean I hated the film! I actually rather enjoyed it. When the film ended, both my friend and I were filled with glee, boasting about how overjoyed we felt. I think we both appreciated seeing a badass female superhero on the big screen for once.
One of the craziest things for me was that Captain Marvel didn’t feel like a Marvel movie. After so many sequels with every movie leading up to the next, with planted easter eggs and post-credit sequences , Captain Marvel felt fresh and didn’t heavily rely on constant comedy. While it was a stepping stone to Endgame, it didn’t feel like that. I agree with other reviews that it felt like a “Phase One” Marvel film, where there wasn’t too many expectations on where the film should go. The only major tie-in to Engame is the end credit, which ended up hyping me up more than expected since it was so short and abrupt.
It was also really cool to see a S.H.I.E.L.D. throwback with Coulson and Fury, just to see their backstory as friends/partners. The CGI on their de-aging was pretty flawless too! I was a bit confused seeing Clark Gregg looking so young, since I’m so used to seeing him on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I do wish there was more Coulson in the film, since he does play a pretty big role in the MCU, but I guess I’m also biased.
That being said, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel is badass and I did love watching her on the big screen. Seeing her in the Captain Marvel costume just felt uplifting and overall the film felt full of heart. Her character and the entire film is more on a serious tone, but did still have some of the Marvel comedy, yet Larson was able to pull off both, especially with Jackson in a more natural way.
Personally, I really, really enjoyed viewing the film from an audience viewpoint and even from a fangirl viewpoint as well. From a critic viewpoint however, there were a lot of things that could have been fixed. For that, it doesn’t receive a super high score in my book, but it’s definitely not a movie to miss before tuning into Endgame.