Captain Marvel is a formulaic and middling chapter in the MCU, and while it does have a fun factor in play, it never fully lives up to its promise.
The film follows a female Kree warrior who, in the middle of a war against the evil Skrulls, ends up on Earth, where she might learn about her forgotten past.
Being the 22nd film in this 11 year-old franchise, it takes a lot to produce something of notice in the MCU to stand out from the others. It has worked wonders for films like ‘Thor Ragnarok’ and ‘Black Panther’, which chance the formula up in an effective way. However, this is not the case for Captain Marvel, which can’t help but feel like a step down back to those average Phase 1 films that Marvel produced all those years ago, which at the very least had some neat visuals and didn’t carry any story baggage from a previous film.
Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck fail to make the film any interesting to look at, crafting some shots that you’d be forgiven to think they were straight out of a TV show, reminiscent of the “concrete” filter present in the Airport Battle in Civil War but without the good special effects. The pacing is also off, rushing through important scenes while lagging in other irrelevant ones.
Brie Larson, who plays the titular role, takes some time getting used to the role. She comes off as wooden in her more serious scenes, and while she is better once the film gets going and her character becomes much lighter, it ultimately feels like Larson and the screenwriters don’t know in which specific direction they want to pin the character, which could pose potential problems for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ later this year.
What ultimately saves the film, are Samuel L Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn and Lashana Lynch. The three actors deliver solid performances and are most of the heart and humor of the film, which are definitely helped by the script, that despite its unevenness, it does deliver some genuine moments and laughs.
In conclusion, Captain Marvel is an uneven and unnecessary chapter in the MCU that only exists to introduce a character into a new film, providing nothing meaningful to the franchise and nothing interesting in the quality department to note. While it does feature some fun moments, it’s ultimately not a necessary watch, a disappointing result for the first female-led film in the MCU.