Cinemaster Score: 6.8/10
As a film with so much audience build-up of its supposed importance to the MCU beyond it, Captain Marvel was a letdown. While not really a bad movie, this film didn’t live up to the hype in the slightest. Unfortunately, some of the coolest scenes were shown in the trailer already. The acting is on par with most of the expectations and is great outside of Larson as the lead. The script is quite terrible and the film stumbles through it troublingly. The characters are familiar and the newest additions are pretty good. Boden and Fleck (Directors) – even with their past success – took few risks and didn’t show too much of their style. The story is generic but does have a really good twist to look forward to. There isn’t much emotion and the film lacks a certain heart we are used to in Marvel movies. Overall, Captain Marvel is genuinely average (maybe good – but nothing great). Still, it is an important setup for the MCU and what’s to come.
Acting; The acting in Captain Marvel is actually pretty good across the board. Standouts are of course; Samuel L. Jackson and the underrated Ben Mendelsohn who carry the movie on their effortless likability and charm. Lashana Lynch is also excellent as Maria Rambeau, with some great moments that show her range as an actress. But the biggest downside in the acting is, sadly, the main character herself. Brie Larson seems almost uncomfortable and bored in the role, with her static emotions holding the film back. When the film is held back by your main character it can be difficult to make your movie shine.
Script; After watching Captain Marvel the first time you’ll likely notice it. This movie has one of the most lackluster scripts in the MCU. Not much of anything said related to the film’s plot is able to keep your interest in it. There are plenty of jokes splayed erratically throughout the film, though. Although – unlike Marvel’s more recent movies – only half of them land well. The ones that do land, land fairly well with the audience – but even some of those feel unnecessary and out-of-place. While there are some stand out one-liners from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), none are very memorable. As a whole the script is very conflicting – as if confused by whether the film is a buddy-cop style comedy or a stern-standing superhero film – and the lack of clarity really takes away from the film.
Characters; Certain characters return here such as; Nick Fury and fan favorite Agent Coulson, as well as Ronan the Accuser and Korath the Pursuer. They are about the same as we remember with some interesting backstory added in that adds to the motivations of their future actions. Even newcomers Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) are perfectly casted and brought to life. Of course our titular Captain Marvel, who is possibly the weakest character in the movie. Her character seems like the cliché unstoppable protagonist with no satisfying arc to relate to. This leads to some rather mismatched character interactions that are really generic, but occasionally funny.
Direction; Captain Marvel is a film extraordinarily different from others directed by the duo of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. For the MCU, Captain Marvel is not only a direct prequel to Avengers: Endgame, but is also its first flick to revolve around a female protagonist. With the given tasks for Boden and Fleck to be successful with for the movie, they seem to do little more than achieve their goals. They put together an origin story that follows the same tiring formula we’ve seen time and time again. But when it comes to their need for great achievement from a feminist standpoint, they play it too safe. There is no love interest (cool), but also few personality traits in the star character that are unique to her. Boden and Fleck did good (just good) with a film that surely must have been hard to get right for audiences.
Story; As with most prequels, this is an origin story and a set up for sequels to come. Captain Marvel’s plot is distinctly bland with an emphasis on a hero finding herself – only to realize she already had. This type of story only works with entertaining twists or at least an interesting main character. Fortunately Captain Marvel has at least one of those things, in the form of a surprising twist in the 3rd act. I doubt many will see it coming and it was a positive to an otherwise mediocre film. In regards to its inclusion in the overall MCU, it does play a relatively important role in setting up future Marvel events. So – save for many generic plot beats – the story is still entertaining and important.
Enjoyment; If you haven’t watched most of the MCU films, you’ll have a good time with Captain Marvel. It has some fun action and cracks some good jokes – it’d be a good time. But – if you’ve seen all or most of the movies in the MCU – then Captain Marvel will likely be a bore. Compared to the other films in the franchise, Captain Marvel is lacking. The movie has the same formula Marvel Studios has used in origin stories for over a decade now. There is less action and more CGI – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it isn’t really good either. The story itself is without anything new to spice things up and the best of the characters are the ones you already knew. Captain Marvel is just as good to watch as any other cinematic filler.
David: “I had a feeling Captain Marvel wouldn’t live up to its hype as I entered the theatres. I was right. It just wasn’t a movie I loved. Pretty good action and some good jokes. But beyond that it was (and it’s hard to stress this enough) the same origin story formula Marvel continuously uses.”
JP: “For me, Captain Marvel was an alright time at the movies. It had some entertaining action scenes, and a couple of funny moments. But sadly it’s overshadowed by a really boring lead, and that kind of ruined the movie for me.”