By Megan Bianco

It’s no coincidence Captain Marvel was released on International Women’s Day, so it hurts me to say that the movie mainly just left me fatigued. The film mostly proves what every naysayer has been tossing around for years: Marvel movies are just too safe and pedestrian and don’t take any real chances.

The film stars Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson from Short Term 12 (2013) and Room (2015) as the title character, who is super powerful, strong and from a galaxy far away. She also has various flashbacks of a previous battle that included her former superior, Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening). The second act has Carol “Vers” Danvers (Larson) crashing into a late-1990s-era Earth, where she discovers that she had amnesia six years earlier and is actually a human U.S. Air Force pilot.

Photo: Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Photo: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Because the 1990s are now appealing to modern middle schoolers and high schoolers, there are a lot of shoehorned-in pop culture references during the Earth scenes. It’s a little awkward, but not entirely eye roll-inducing as it could be. What is annoying in Captain Marvel is the now-normal use of “de-aging” CGI on actors to make them look like their younger selves. No matter how advanced CGI becomes, those young faces still don’t look genuine to me. Now, let me say what does work: Larson, even with as little development as she’s given, proves she’s still a memorable actress; and there is a pet cat who is adorable. Captain Marvel is called “Ms. Marvel” no more, but her first film could’ve benefited from more risks taken. Now, we wait to see if Vers/Carol/Marvel fare better this summer in Avengers: Endgame.

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