TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Review: ‘Captain Marvel’ gets an average introduction

If there is one thing that’s true of most of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s that they have life and spirit to spare. It’s a kind of an intoxicating joy that dares even the most comic book-apathetic to get onboard and delight in the spectacle, and it usually comes down to the characters. You might not care about whatever Earth-threatening foe is at large this time, but you care about Captain America, Black Panther and Black Widow and enjoy spending a few hours with them.

I spent over two hours with Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers and I still have no idea what her personality is. Sure, there’s a lot more going on in ”Captain Marvel ,” but it’s a pretty egregious failing considering that the creative bigwigs at Marvel had 10 years and 20 films to work it out. It’s hard to say whether that’s a flaw in Brie Larson’s performance or a failure of the script, but I came out of the film from writers/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck not caring all that much about her beyond what her dazzling powers might mean for the next Avengers film, which is perhaps the lamest way of all to experience these movies.

The story drops you in the middle of things and gives Carol Danvers a convenient case of amnesia as she tries to piece together her past by dreaming of Annette Bening while training to be a soldier with Jude Law on the planet of Kree. She is told at least 10 times in the first 10 minutes of the film that she needs to control her emotions, mostly by Law. This is a charged thing to say to a woman, but also confusing because “emotional” is the last word I would use to describe the character as she’s presented. She’s more impulsive and bullheaded than anything else. Emotions and heart don’t seem to have anything to do with her decisions. At times it even seems like she’s channeling the Terminator.

But this is also a script that has Larson delivering eye-rolling lines like “enough of your mind games” with a straight face. She’s a great actress, but that’s a tall order for the best of them.

The film is meant to be disorienting, especially at the beginning. She’s confused and so the audience must be too, I guess? But things start to come together when she crash-lands on Earth in the middle of a Los Angeles Blockbuster Video somewhere around 1995, which you know because there’s a “Babe” poster and a cardboard display for “True Lies.” The filmmakers have fun with all their mid-’90s references from computers to musical cues (if you like angry ’90s girl pop anthems you’re in luck), but I wish someone would have been paying that much attention to the continuity of Larson’s curls, which change even in the middle of scenes.

In LA, she comes across a young Nick Fury, played by a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson, whose infectious liveliness is a godsend. Together they try to both track down shapeshifting alien invaders called the Skrulls (led by Ben Mendelsohn) and also get answers about her past, which honestly sounds a lot more interesting than her present. But this is the origin story they went with and it does not include Bening teaching Larson how to fly a fighter plane.

null

Ben Mendelsohn, left, in a scene from “Captain Marvel.” (Chuck Zlotnick/Disney-Marvel Studios via AP)

There are some twists and turns and a scene-stealing orange cat that would be difficult to discuss here without spoiling everything. All-in-all it’s fine, but nothing to get too excited about. And it could have and should have been so much better: The cast was there, the cool directing talents, the budget and the “brand” goodwill. Halfway through most Marvel movies I don’t often find myself dreaming up some other Brie Larson, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn and Gemma Chan movie (oh right Gemma Chan is in this as a glorified extra), but it happened in “Captain Marvel.”

The first female-led movie of the MCU deserved more.

“Captain Marvel,” a Walt Disney Studios release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.” Running time: 124 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

Apollo 11 astronauts reunite on 50th anniversary of moonshot

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reunited Friday…

U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo To Deliver Remarks at the 120th VFW National Convention in Orlando Monday

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will deliver the keynote address at…

VFW National Convention Returns to Orlando Saturday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie…

Rep. Soto’s $14 Billion Medicaid Parity Bill for Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories Passes Committee, One Step Closer Towards Becoming Law

WASHINGTON (FNN NEWS) - On Wednesday, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

First Lady Casey DeSantis Holds Listening Session on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Sanford

SANFORD, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis held a listening session on mental…

First Lady Casey DeSantis to Make an Announcement at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Thursday

SANFORD, Fla. – Florida's First Lady Casey DeSantis will make an announcement at the Seminole…

Florida's First Lady Casey DeSantis to visit First Coast High School in Jacksonville Monday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.– First Lady Casey DeSantis will visit First Coast High School on Monday, July…

Getting to Know Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill: “It all started with a park bench.”

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - If I told you it was a park bench that…

FNN SPORTS

  • TORONTO (AP) — Adam Silver reveals advice he’s given to Zion Williamson

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Pride Mount Comeback But Fall in Stoppage to Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. - Orlando Pride (2-9-2, 8 points) erased a two-goal deficit, including a 90th-minute equalizer,…

Orlando Pride to Celebrate World Cup Champions Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris on Tuesday Night

ORLANDO, Fla. – After helping lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to its fourth FIFA…

Joel Smeenge Named No. 24 On Jagaurs All-25

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jaguars DE Joel Smeenge has been named No. 24 on the…

Daytona International Speedway to Launch Fireworks Extravaganza on Wednesday Night

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway is going to finish its Independence Day holiday…

Philadelphia Union’s Explosive Plays Rout Orlando City 3-1 at Home

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Orlando City wasted no time upon their return home against…

It begins: NBA free agency finally starts Sunday

Kawhi Leonard is planning meetings in Los Angeles. Kevin Durant will do the same in…

BUSINESS NEWS

  • Nourishing Biologicals skin care line defies aging at the cellular level. Photo courtesy of Nourishing Biologicals.
    BAHAMAS & NEW YORK (FNN NEWS) - [WATCH] Nourishing Biologicals Launches Four-Piece Flagship Product Line (Photo: Nourishing Biologicals.)

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Apple Announces New Batch of Emojis on World Emoji Day

Cupertino, CA (FNN NEWS) — July 17th is National Emoji Day! What better way to celebrate…

Celebration is Chick-fil-A’s largest, single-day customer appreciation event

ATLANTA, Ga. – Get your cow costumes ready – Chick-fil-A is celebrating its 15th annual…

[WATCH] Nourishing Biologicals Launches Four-Piece Flagship Product Line

SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Nourishing Biologicals, a science-based skin care company created to fight and…

Getting to Know Sutherlin Nissan Co-Owner “U.S. Marine”

WINTER PARK, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - “U.S. Marine,” the man who owns Sutherlin Nissan, pretty…

Trump Delays Imposing Tariffs on Auto Imports and Parts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Caught in a sprawling trade dispute with U.S. rival China, President Donald…

US to Add 30,000 Seasonal Worker Visas as Soon as This Week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration plans to allow 30,000 more foreign workers temporarily into…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • blink-182 and Lil Wayne (center) launch their North American Tour June 27, 2019. Photo: Live Nation.
    LOS ANGELES, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - blink-182 and Lil Wayne Join Forces for Co-Headlining Summer Tour

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Game of Thrones cast talks divisive finale, water bottles

SAN DIEGO (AP) — “Game of Thrones” may be over but the cast can’t seem…

New Orleans Brass Band The Soul Rebels Open For The Rolling Stones!

NEW ORLEANS - In true NOLA spirit, popular brass band The Soul Rebels have shown…

Disney Skyliner Takes Flight Sept. 29, 2019, at Walt Disney World

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Disney Skyliner will begin carrying guests high above Walt Disney…

The Super-Busy Person’s Guide to the Top 10 Summer Movies of 2019

ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) - Is the July Florida heat getting to your head? Need something…

South Korea’s Top 3 Entertainment Companies Face an Intense Month of Scandals

SEOUL, South Korea (FNN NEWS) - South Korea’s top three entertainment companies, YG Entertainment, SM Entertainment,…

Singer and Songwriter Darius Rucker Visits Walt Disney World Resort

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Singer and songwriter Darius Rucker poses with Woody during his visit…

LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL & TOURISM

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Disney Skyliner Takes Flight Sept. 29, 2019, at Walt Disney World

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Disney Skyliner will begin carrying guests high above Walt Disney…

Before You Go: 5 Powerful Things You Must Know to Conquer College

College life can be rough, especially if you’re in a dorm or moved out on…

[OPINION] Tampering with Our Food is a Crime!

Thanks to social media, it seems a new fad or trend emerges every other month.…

Singer and Songwriter Darius Rucker Visits Walt Disney World Resort

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Singer and songwriter Darius Rucker poses with Woody during his visit…

[OPINION] Why are We Voting on Whether LGBTQ Parents Can Adopt? Let Them.

The debate for LGBTQ+ rights rages on, and whether or not they should be able…

Celebration is Chick-fil-A’s largest, single-day customer appreciation event

ATLANTA, Ga. – Get your cow costumes ready – Chick-fil-A is celebrating its 15th annual…