On March 8, the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was released worldwide and a bit of history was created. Captain Marvel became the first female-led movie to be released by the comic book mega franchise. While there were those who doubted the success of such an endeavor, a clear majority of the public ushered in the Brie Larson starrer with open arms. A key fact tied into the reception of the film was that it would be the predecessor to the ultimate showdown in Avengers: Endgame, cuing the conclusion of ten years of cinematic buildup. So, was the hype that went into this movie justified or was it simply a filler that hoped to calm our appetite before the main event in April? Let’s break that down with the hits and misses of Captain Marvel.
First things first, Captain Marvel fully deserves the credit to star a female lead and it marks a new chapter in the MCU’s movie making going forward. It has been a concept in the works for far too long, with the rumored Black Widow solo movie being pushed back time and again, so its pleasing to see this project come to life.
That brings us to the next positive takeaway, which is Brie Larson. The charismatic actress seems to take to her role as Carol Danvers with ease, making her yet another impeccable casting choice by the Marvel higher ups. Solid from start to finish, her enjoyment in playing the role comes through to the audience, making the experience engaging. Her little nuances and quirks blend into the MCU tone, which is an enticing prospect for the crossovers with other characters in the future.
Speaking of impeccable casting, Samuel L. Jackson as a young Nick Fury was ‘eye catching‘ and simply a delight to watch. In fact, as most Marvel fans would agree, since the inception of the Avengers Initiative on screen, we have been waiting for Nick Fury to take up a more elaborate role, to just enjoy the casual brilliance of this man. With a healthy amount of screen time and a youthful freedom granted to Samuel L. Jackson, the results were bound to be exciting.
Finally, the tone of the movie struck a good balance between the plot narration and humor, neither one tarnishing the other. Movies can at times be accused of trying too hard with those aspects but the MCU seems to have that formula nailed on. At no point does the film seem draggy and a fluidity between the story elements and the entertainment quotient allows this movie to be something everyone can enjoy.
Massive bonus points for the Stan Lee tribute, a man whose legacy will be immortal through the joy he has given all of us.
Coming to the less positive aspects of the film, the story did not impress to the high standards that Marvel have set for themselves. The plot was fairly lacklustre and more often than not, it felt like the actors had to carry the movie. While the star-studded cast did what they could to paper over the cracks, the core of the film lacked a certain punch that could captivate audiences. Beneath the bedazzling Marvel glamor, the story can only be described as yet another run of the mill origin tale of a superhero. While we have seen movies like that in the past, even those belonging to the MCU, this seemed a bit underwhelming on all fronts. It did not have an engrossing tale spinning out to make it a standalone success, like Captain America: Winter Soldier, and it did not possess the charm of a few other MCU movies that did not necessarily have a strong story, like Ant-Man.
A major issue with Marvel movies has been their less than impressive villains, such as Ego, Malekith and Yellowjacket, and unfortunately, we can add Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg to that list. While there is no doubt about his acting prowess, the limited backstory and almost predictable plot twists severely hamper his cause. Especially with recent movies producing really intriguing antagonists like Thanos and Killmonger, this character does disappoint.
The Final Piece of The Puzzle
So, overall, Captain Marvel ranks somewhere in the middle of this mega movie universe. While it may have its flaws and blemishes, it comes with a significance that cannot be overlooked. As a Marvel fan, this movie becomes essential to watch as the lead up to Endgame but even for the casual, it offers enough to be an entertaining watch. It has already amassed record grossing for the opening weekend and is expected to continue going strong.
The post credits scene barely gives us time to breathe. Captain Marvel joining the Avengers in their quest against Thanos, to undo the ‘snap’. Perfectly ramping up the hype train right to Avengers: Endgame.
So, there we have it. Ten years of Marvel Cinema ready for its epic conclusion. I’m sure I speak for every Marvel fan when I say April cannot come soon enough. I’ll see you all in the theatre.
Image Credits: thefutureoftheforce.com, IGN, YouTube, Toronto Sun, Cinema Blend