Review: Captain Marvel [2019]; Higher, Further, Faster, More — But Not By Much (Spoiler-Free!)

Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ Iɴᴅᴇx —

a review by the Azure-Winged Magpie.

This here is why there’s been no posts for the last few days. The embargo’s just gotten over and I’ve been waiting around to drop this review. I nearly messed up and posted this before the embargo was actually over, but stopped myself right at the last minute.
So… at least the Mouse isn’t going to come around for a fight anytime soon.
(I’d take the Mouse. Easy).
(But I do want to keep watching films early).

So before we talk about the film, I got to say a few things about the whole Brie Larson thing that’s got everyone so worked up. What she said was a bit… dumb. Okay no. It was really dumb. I don’t really know what’s going on with her but I heard she’s really doubling down on the silly things she’s said. I’m not a fan of what she’s saying even though the both of us here on The Corvid Review are exactly the types of people she’s saying she’s cool with. It’s just the way she’s gone around saying it that’s a bit annoying. 

But you know what? Far as this review goes… I don’t care. I’m going to review the film that I saw cause that’s what we do on The Corvid Review. Even when the 2016 Ghostbusters first came out (back when the Crow thought he could be funny), the Crow left all that media [BLEEP] surrounding the film out until the film went and just turned anti-men. If Captain Marvel did anything similar, I’d have pointed it out but I don’t have to. I can tell you right now that there’s nothing really like that in the film. The most we get here comes down to Carol/Vers reacting to what’s going on around her and it all made sense to me. I mean… she literally gets dumped into a hostile sausagefest and has her memory taken away. That’d put anyone on edge. 

Marvel knows what they’re doing and they’ve known what they’re doing for a long time. They’re not going to go and mess things up so close to Endgame. They’re not stupid over there. This is just an actress who was out looking for cookie points and the whole thing blew up in her face. Whatever Brie’s gone and said is her problem and not the film’s so I’m sticking to the film as just another Marvel “episode”.

A lot of things are going on around the internet and to any of you who’ve been bombing the Captain Marvel scores on Rotten Tomatoes… stop. Just stop. This is wayyy dumber than when the Godfather fans picked a fight with The Dark Knight. Remember how hilariously that ended? 

I didn’t know a single thing about the character of Captain Marvel when I walked into it so I really didn’t have too many expectations from the character. But I had a lot of expectations from the film. It’s only the second Marvel film we’re getting in between Infinity War and Endgame. Ant-Man and The Wasp didn’t really have all that much in it when it came to the story tying into the Avengers films, so I thought Captain Marvel would be the one to do it. 

And how‘s this film going to help us figure out how everyone’s dealing with Thanos? Is Captain Marvel going to be as powerful as everyone’s been saying? Let’s all hop off our branches, glide over to the cinema, and swoop in to take a look at… 

Captain Marvel

()

SPOILER LEVELS at MINIMUM

Okay. So here it is: Captain Marvel isn’t great. But it isn’t all that bad either. When I first saw the film I actually thought it was a little bit… meh, but I think I was just expecting way too much. Just on the face of it, it’s better than Black Panther (which was unfinished when it was released so I’ll always think Black Panther wasn’t all that great) because it’s a lot more polished and looks really really good. Even the de-aging thing which usually creeps me out is a lot better than it usually is (still a little creepy though). I liked the effects that were used for Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)’s powers. Some of the effects around the mask/helmet thing the character has were a little… off, but it’s not that big a deal I guess. There’s a good bit of punchy punchy and sparkly superpowers going on and sometimes it felt like there was a little too much going on at the same time. That’s the only negative I had about the way this one looks. Oh, and the alien Skrulls work pretty well too. 

So we got that out of the way. It’s a good looking film. Now let’s get onto the story! 

Something I was talking to the Crow about a few weeks ago is that we’ve come up to the end of the 80s nostalgia wave since (let’s face it) the last of us 80s kids are hitting the big 30 this year (😭). So you can expect a lot of 90s nostalgia to start popping up in the next few years kiddos! And Captain Marvel‘s one of the first films to use that 90s setting. And… it works. It ticked my boxes. I don’t usually talk much about music in my reviews, but the music in Captain Marvel is pretty on point. There are also a lot of references and call backs to the other MCU films in this film and they were pretty fun. 

There are some bits of the film which go a little slow (especially the first bit) but things pick up soon enough. The one thing that surprised me about the film was just how much of it was set… not on Earth. Captain Marvel has some strange things going on in it and I (mostly) liked em. The film really wasn’t what I thought it’d be like at all from seeing the trailers. This one was more like a Doctor Strange than a Black Panther (if I had to compare them). 

Like I said. A lot of strange things happen in this one, but I’m not just talking about strange stuff happening with the story but strange stuff happening with the tone of the film as well. There’s a really weird kinda… humour in this one that feels like it’d make more sense in a Guardians of the Galaxy film. I’m not sure that this… “quirky” funny bunny business worked all the time, but it was fun to watch the movie loosen up now and then cause when it gets serious. It gets serious. 

But when you get down to the actual plot of Captain Marvel… there isn’t actually a lot there. Don’t get me wrong… stuff happens in it, but there’s really nothing new going on. It’s just your average Marvel film when you sit down and think about it. There’s a lot of mystery going on and it tries to do some new things with the formula, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. I think that was a bit of a missed opportunity but I can’t blame them either. Endgame‘s coming up so why fix what’s not broken? The Marvel “formula” works.

I don’t think I’m 100% onboard with Carol Danvers though. I get how her character’s become who she is and I liked watching her story get bigger and bigger but there’s something about her that I just can’t figure out. Maybe its how she plays herself off all arrogant and a bit “too much” at times (it got a little annoying, cause I can be like that and she wasn’t really selling it all that well). Maybe it’s something else. I think I’m going to need to watch this character in another film before I can completely get behind her.

And just to make sure everyone gets exactly what I mean… Carol has every right to be arrogant. She’s kinda… overpowered. It’s just something about the way Brie Larson was playing her that didn’t work for me. And that’s weird, because everything else I’ve seen Brie Larson in… she’s usually really good.
Remember when this happened? 

I’m not sure how she’s going to take over from Captain America or Iron Man and maybe they should’ve released this film a little earlier in case they’re replacing one or both of them with Vers. And I’m not sure if I’d be happy with her or one of the “recent Avengers” being played up in Endgame over the original six but I’m putting my trust in Marvel not to just drop Captain Marvel (or Black Panther or Doctor Strange) in above those guys. But we’ll see how that plays out once Endgame comes around.

I liked Nick Fury (Samuel L. “Glass” Jackson) in this one and I really liked having Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) back. This film has a lot of characters jumping around and I’m not going to name all of them but I liked the supporting cast even if some of them could’ve probably done better jobs. Ben Mendelsohn was great as Talos. I didn’t like him in The Dark Knight Rises (at all) but thought he was okay in Rogue One, but he’s actually really good here. 

Goose (Reggie, Archie, Rizzo and Gonzo) was pretty cool but I’ll let you folks find that out for yourselves. You should know I like cats. (I mean I spend like hours every day watching cat videos). And so should you. 

I feel like I need to to say this again: there’s so much space stuff going on in Captain Marvel. Of course I liked the flying scenes (especially the scenes with actual planes cause… that’s what we do) but at times when Captain Marvel’s zipping through space things got a little… messy. Some of the “cosmic” elements of the film were a bit too much for me and maybe could’ve been downplayed a bit. There were some “weird” scenes (I keep saying that) that felt more like they fit those other films that I mentioned above but I guess they did work in the end. They were just a bit much. 

And that’s pretty much it.

It’s okay. It’s even a little better than okay. It’s not great in any real way but it’s a good “episode” in the Marvel series. It’s a good lead-up to Endgame mostly because it does its own thing and keeps Captain Marvel to Captain Marvel. It’s very different from what the trailers showed off and even though I’m not completely on board with the way Carol acts, I can see Captain Marvel becoming a major character in the MCU. I just need to spend a little more time with her. The post-credits are completely worth it and I’m going to have to point something out: there are two.

It’s a good looking film, it has good moments, it has some good action and some action that could’ve been toned down a little. Everyone’s okay in it (I think I liked Samuel L. Jackson the most). It’s a nice step along the way to Endgame and that’s the only thing Captain Marvel needed to do. 

I think I can even say that this is one of the better “solo” films Marvel’s done. It’s definitely the fact that they’ve spent eleven years doing these that’s helped Captain Marvel out. Is it better than Captain America: The First Avenger? Probably not. Is it better than Iron Man? Nope. Is it better than Doctor Strange or the other “first” solo films? It’s hanging around their level. That’s for sure. I’m not going to say that it’s better than all of those films but I can say that it’s better than Thor. I changed my “rating scale” back in December (I’m being harsher these days) so maybe my ratings might not match up for all the MCU films (in case anyone’s keeping score). 

And that’s it for Captain Marvel. Too many people were saying too many things about it before it came out and now that it’s come (coming!) out… it turns out it’s just another decent Marvel flick. I can’t be bothered with the [BLEEP]storm surrounding this film but I’d like to remind everyone that there’s no point predicting how bad a film that hasn’t come out yet will be. And just to finish up that point: what Brie Larson said is her mess-up (and if she hadn’t doubled down so hard it really wouldn’t be an issue) and has nothing to do with the film. I’m a bit annoyed at what she said too, but I’m here for the movie. And hey… people mess up. It happens. Separate the art from the artist. It’s good practice. 

Captain Marvel comes recommended by us at The Corvid Review for anyone interested in Avengers: Endgame. You’re going to want to watch this one if you’re lining up for the next big Marvel film (who isn’t?). It won’t blow you away, but it’s the last episode before we get back to the big leagues.

We’ll return either tomorrow or day after with Star Trek: Nemesis. Until then, love you lot loads. Hugs and kisses and all that. I’ll see you in the next one!

(I just realised I finished this review six hours before the embargo lifts. Looks like it’ll have to be automated for release)!

Azure-Winged Magpie up! Up! And Awayyy! *BONK!*


Final Ratings

THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 6/10
THE CROW: TBA/10


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