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

Trump brushes off Romney’s criticism, points to loss in 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Mitt Romney says he’s “sickened” by the dishonesty the Russia investigation…

Democrats subpoena Mueller report amid calls for impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, has issued…

Trump’s legal team breathes a sigh, takes a victory lap

WASHINGTON (AP) — First they cooperated. Then they stonewalled. Their television interviews were scattershot and…

‘A good day’: Trump Claims Victory with Mueller Report Out

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before the world glimpsed the redacted version of the special counsel’s report,…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

[OPINION]: Central Florida’s Regressive Prosecutor

In 2016, Central Florida elected Aramis Ayala as Florida’s first African-American State Attorney. Given her…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces the Governor’s Initiative on Lawyers Assisting Warriors (GI LAW)

Eglin AFB, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Governor’s Initiative on Lawyers Assisting Warriors (GI LAW), an…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

VIDEO: Governor Ron DeSantis Highlights First 100 Days in Office

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Governor Ron DeSantis released a video highlighting his administration’s first 100 days in office.…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

City of Edgewood Elects New Mayor

EDGEWOOD, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - At Edgewood City Council’s monthly meeting on April 16, 2019,…

FNN SPORTS

  • Tiger Woods celebrates his 5th Masters win after sinking the final bogie Sunday. Photo: Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock
    AUGUSTA (CBS Sports) - 2019 Masters: Tiger Woods Storms Leaderboard, Wins Fifth Green Jacket in Furious Finish (Photo: Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock)

MORE SPORTS NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Orlando City Earns Late 1-0 Victory Over Vancouver

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Source: Orlando City SC // Orlando City SC (3-3-2, 11…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Governor Ron DeSantis, Former NBA Star Tracy McGrady Sit Courtside for Game 3 of Orlando Magic Playoffs

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Florida's 46th Governor Ron DeSantis (R),  First Lady Casey DeSantis…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Jaguars Unveil New Logo To Celebrate Team's Historic 25th Season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Today the Jacksonville Jaguars kicked off a yearlong celebration of the…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

MATCH RECAP: Pride Shutout by North Carolina Courage

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Pride (0-2-0, 0 points) fell to the defending National Women’s Soccer League…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers announce 2019 regular season schedule

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2019 regular season schedule, released today by the…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Jacksonville Jaguars unveiled 2019 preseason and regular season schedules

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars have unveiled their 2019 preseason and regular season schedules, the…

BUSINESS NEWS

  • Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh held a press conference Monday on returning $1 billion to the tax roll. (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)
    ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) - Property Appraiser Rick Singh Recovers $1 Billion for Orange County Tax Roll (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Bank of America Raising Hourly Minimum Wage to $20

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Pinterest sets sites on $1.5B in first public share offering

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinterest, among a gaggle of tech companies planning to go public…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Gone in 6 minutes: an Ethiopian Airlines jet’s final journey

From nearly the moment they roared down the runway and took off in their new…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Linda McMahon to exit role at Small Business Administration

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon, is…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Facebook charged with housing discrimination by HUD

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government charged Facebook with high-tech housing discrimination Thursday for allegedly…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • Pictures of Nipsey Hussle's life were displayed during his memorial service. Photo: Getty Images.
    LOS ANGELES (BBC News) - One Person Killed During Nipsey Hussle Memorial Procession (Photo: Getty Images.)

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Aretha Franklin makes history with posthumous Pulitzer win

NEW YORK (AP) — Aretha Franklin is still getting R-E-S-P-E-C-T after death: The Queen of…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Trivago Hotel Website Actor Arrested in Texas on DWI Charge

HOUSTON (AP) - The actor who has become something of a sex symbol as the…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Jay-Z to Perform at Newly Renovated Webster Hall in NYC

NEW YORK, N.Y. (AP) - Jay-Z will help re-open the newly renovated Webster Hall concert…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

One Person Killed During Nipsey Hussle Memorial Procession

LOS ANGELES, Ca. (BBC News) - A person has been killed during a memorial procession for…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Netflix launches comedy channel on SiriusXM

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix is launching its first audio venture that will feature the…

LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL & TOURISM

  • TRAVEL AND TOURISM | MIAMI (FNN NEWS) - A World of Adventure Awaits: Royal Caribbean Brings Together Bold Itineraries and Unrivaled Innovations for 2019-2020 Season. Credit: Royal Caribbean International

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

Trivago Hotel Website Actor Arrested in Texas on DWI Charge

HOUSTON (AP) - The actor who has become something of a sex symbol as the…

"Unplanned" Movie Comes to Orlando, Inspired by Conservative Activist Korrie Lupino Stevenson

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - On Wednesday, March 27th, Unplanned the movie will be viewed…

Garden Rocks Concert Series Expands to Every Day of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 6-June 3

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Garden Rocks Concert Series is back – every single day…

SPECIAL REPORT: Non-Compliance with State Law Plagues Orange County Soil & Water Board

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Florida currently has 58 Soil & Water Conservation Districts which were…

Chairman Daisy Morales Announces New Website for Orange Soil and Water Conservation District

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – After four years of ongoing board meetings and delays to…