Captain Marvel Flies High, But Not Above its Predecessors

Welcome to a story about how a fighter pilot is kidnapped by aliens and given amazing cosmic powers to fight evil and… hey, wait… is this Green Lantern? Have I been tricked into seeing Green Lantern again!?

Okay, okay… So, Brie Larson stars as a little kid who, upon saying the word “Shazam!” becomes embed with the powers of the Gods and takes the name, Captain Marvel!

Okay, Okay… for serious.

Brie Larson is Verse, a Kree warrior with no memories of her past who is helping other warriors fight the Skrulls, a race of shape-shifting aliens who are infiltrating planets all over the galaxy. When Verse and the Skrulls crash on Earth in the 1990’s, she begins to discover that there is more to her mysterious past than she believed and that not everything she believed is right.

While I am going to fully admit that I was somewhat concerned with Brie Larson’s performance given what I saw in the trailers, I’m happy to say that she was perfectly adequate. She wasn’t amazing and didn’t do anything outstanding, but she was perfectly serviceable in the role and I’m satisfied with that.

Truth be told, she was rather low-key and I guess that was required by the part, but near the end, she starts having fun and getting quippy and it’s only then that you feel that Captain Marvel has indeed arrived.

The most fun to be had in this movie is the rapport between Verse and Nick Fury. It’s snappy, full of one-upsmanship, and really makes the scenes enjoyable. Samuel L. Jackson is in top PG-13 form here and the de-aging effect used on him is virtually seamless, the best I’ve seen in a movie. After a few scenes, I forgot that Samuel L. Jackson isn’t 40 anymore.

Captain Marvel is an enjoyable movie, but given that the last few films have been absolutely amazing, it feels like a step down… like how Ant-Man and the Wasp felt like a step down. It kind of stinks because, the deficit is not in the movie itself, but rather in the expectations of the movie and, to be honest, that’s rather unfair of us all. We go in expecting something on the order of Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War, and we get a quieter, more playful movie than we were expecting. It’s not the movie’s fault, it’s ours!

There is plenty to crow about in this movie. Goose the Cat is a fun addition to the cast even if it’s not entirely certain where he came from in the first place. The antagonists are kind of obvious, but then there’s a twist so that you’re surprised even when you’re still expecting what you were expecting from the beginning. There is also a Stan Lee tribute at the very beginning of the movie that celebrates the man without becoming overtly sentimental… it just reminds you of all the good things and still brings a tear to your eye. His actual cameo in the movie is so genuine, simple, and sweet.

So, I did enjoy the movie. Make no mistake that I enjoyed this movie even though origin stories where the hero doesn’t put on their costume until the last twenty minutes bugs me. I guess what I’m trying to say here is lower your expectations of what you’re going to experience… it’s a good movie, but pales with what the MCU has done in the past.

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