Coming off the cultural revolution for Marvel that was 2018, including Academy-Award nominated hits and winners such as Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, and while Ant-Man and the Wasp may not have reached the same cultural heights as its predecessors, it was still a hit from both fans and critics, earning a respectable crunch at the box office. Captain Marvel comes off such a wonderful year and is the precursor to one of the most anticipated films of all time, Avengers: Endgame.
However, when delving right into the point, Captain Marvel is unfortunately anything but marvelous. It frequently confuses complicated plot structuring for sophistication, an issue that exerts throughout. And the star-studded cast isn’t able to pull something salvageable out from this mess, including Academy-Award Winner Brie Larson whose role feels inconsistent and incoherent at times. It’s only when that she’s steadied with the charming performance of a younger Nick Fury, created by stellar CGI and a charismatic as always Samuel L. Jackson. Their bouncing of fast-paced, comedic dialogue helps the film gain enough momentum to propel viewers all the way through the film and the two post-credit scenes. Unfortunately, their combined efforts aren’t nearly enough to save the movie. Captain Marvel is never quite able to fully live up to its name, bogged down by fundamental structuring issues, an uneven batch of performances, and a messy, muddled story.
Taking place in the 1990s, and stuffed with nostalgic moments from that time, we follow Carol Denvers (Brie Larson) in her personal journey to both become the titular hero Captain Marvel and discover who she really is, beneath the red and blue rubber suit and bravado. When compared to other installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s hard to avoid the similarities the film shares with Phase One entries, such as Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, and how it differs strongly from origin stories in Phase Three, including Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther. It’s ultimately the same sequence of events, just arranged and measured differently. Instead of taking a traditional act by act structure, Captain Marvel insists on doling out Carol’s backstory in slow methods. This wouldn’t be such an annoyance if her backstory wasn’t so perpetually boring and predictable. It causes the film to come off as overly pretentious as it assumes this one moment is some massive shock, even when it’s been revealed and mentioned constantly in the marketing campaign and even in earlier moments within the film itself.
In addition to its unsatisfying result, the structure just doles out additional baggage for Larson to contend with. Firstly, the pacing of the film is furiously off-course. The first act, which should contain backstory about Carol, is limited to seemingly just five minutes as directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck charge through it to get into an action sequence. In most films, this decision could have resulted into an effective way of telling the audience
about this character, but instead it’s more lazy and impatient than anything, especially sin