Trolls ruin everything.
First, they have to assault “Black Panther” with a plethora of negative Rotten Tomatoes reviews just because it’s Marvel’s first predominately Black superhero movie. Now the trolls attack yet again by swarming the internet forums with degrading attacks towards “Captain Marvel” — only this time it’s because a woman is leading the charge.
The really pathetic part is that the trolls’ extraneous hatred for this movie is completely unnecessary. There’s plenty to dislike here in “Captain Marvel,” and none of it has to do with the hero being a woman.
In this prequel to all of the 20-plus movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Captain Marvel” follows Veers (Brie Larson), a Kree alien who has the power to harness and project solar energy. She and her Kree kind are at war with a race of shape-shifting aliens called the Skrulls, but in the midst of one of their battles, Veers is left stranded on a strange planet called “Earth." It's then that she starts to see flashbacks to a life she doesn’t remember.
Now Veers has to retrace her steps to learn where she really came from and become the hero she was destined to be: Captain Marvel.
Like with any other Marvel movie, “Captain Marvel” has mesmerizing visual effects – equal parts spectacular, breathtaking and stunning all at once. Whether its Veers taking on a horde of Skrull soldiers or flying high through the sky in an epic and explosive space fight, “Captain Marvel’s” fight sequences are dizzying, high-octane and exciting.
It’s no secret that Marvel films are a dominating force at the box office. “Captain Marvel” continues to reinforce the reasons why.
The film also has an irresistible sense of style and a really nice throwback to 90’s nostalgia. There was one fight sequence in particular where No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” was playing, and the moment was so self-aware and infectious that I couldn’t help but grin from ear-to-ear.
All the same, there is much that doesn’t work with “Captain Marvel.” Take the film’s lead as one example. Don’t get me wrong – I love Brie Larson. She was mesmerizing in her Oscar-winning performance for “Room”, and she was a spit-firing force in “Trainwreck” and “Free Fire.” But her natural charisma and charm are essentially non-existent here, her blank face looking so dull and clueless that she looks like she’s searching for the cue cards for her next line.
Part of that problem is the material she’s provided to work with. While amnesia narratives play a relevant role in other superhero movies (see the “X-Men” and “Captain America” movies), “Captain Marvel’s” feels forced and unnecessary – like the filmmakers needed to differentiate between the usual superhero riff-raff and tried to switch things up.
I appreciate them trying something different, but the amnesia plotline just inhibits Larson’s talents as an actress. Instead of letting loose with her personality and having fun, Larson just looks confused and out of place – as if she wandered onto the wrong set and the camera just kept on rolling.
Keep in mind that I do not dislike “Captain Marvel” because it’s Marvel’s first prominent superheroine movie. In fact, I’m frustrated that the internet trolls have poisoned the dialogue behind this movie so much to the point that whoever voices their disapproval are instantly written off as misogynists instead of those who simply have a differing opinion. The demographics do not affect a movie’s quality, and liking and disliking a film solely because of who is in the lead has always been wrong and divisive.
The movies should be allowed to succeed – and fail – based on their own merits. “Captain Marvel” certainly has no issues performing the latter.
I give “Captain Marvel” two and a half lightbulbs out of five.
“Captain Marvel” is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.