Captain Marvel offers another origin story without any marvellous surprises. With 'Endgame' looming in the distance, slowly entering the back of our minds every night before we sleep, Feige decides to introduce one more character before the explosive finale. The over-powered Captain Marvel which could be the Avengers' answer to stopping Thanos. The question is, does Marvel's first female-led superhero film shine amongst its dense canon? Or does it sink into the forgettable pit much like its predecessor 'Antman and the Wasp'? Short answer: both. Carol Danvers is a Kree starforce member and is tasked with destroying a conflicting alien race known as the Skrull. However after being marooned on Earth, she starts to uncover the truth about the intergalactic war and discover her true powers. And thus Captain Marvel is conceived.
For a character to be introduced late into this sprawling cinematic universe, Boden and Fleck did an adequate job. For the uninitiated, this story will assist in giving life to the eponymous hero through a formulaic, predictable and simple plot. However, the tried and tested formula is still as effective as ever, making it accessible for all audiences. The world-building of both the Kree and Skrull civilisations was substantial enough to develop Danvers' motives as an individual. Larson gives a nuanced layer of dimensionality to her character that allows Danvers' extraordinary powers to come bursting through the screen. Whether she was firing proton blasts in space or punching Skrulls disguised as athletic old women, Larson consistently looked the part. Yet, this isn't just an origin story for one character. Oh no. Nick Fury also has the spotlight as we find out how he founded S.H.I.E.L.D and why he wears an eye patch. The two leads share the screen time for the most part, however it has to be said that Fury's story is far more interesting and engaging that Danvers', and that comes down to her lack of approachability.
Captain Marvel, for me atleast, is unlikeable in personality. Over-confident, cocky and dare I say obnoxious. Regardless if it is true to the source material (which I'm sure it is), I found it difficult to connect with her despite her acknowledging the brutal loss that war consequently results in. Her character development was limited, encountering a narrative structure that felt reminiscent to the 'Bourne' franchise. I will say that her independence allows themes of feminism to reign supreme, as she never becomes tied down by her male superiors. Still, I found her to be too smug for her own good. Will she blend in with the Avenger? Only time will tell.
The screenplay itself is somewhat of a mess. The first act suffers from mass exploitation and foreshadowing that makes the proceeding acts predictable and somewhat tedious. From Law's fathering Kree colleague commanding Danvers to not use her emotions, whilst he coincidentally explains the Skrull war, how the Supreme Intelligence works and giving backstory to Danvers herself (as if she doesn't already know), to the several nods to MCU events that will take place (this being set in 1995). It was clunky to say the least, fortunately the second act delivers thrills and enjoyable moments, only to then conclude in an underwhelming manner. The humour, aside from Goose the "cat" which singlehandedly made the film memorable, pretty much missed on all marks for me. Perhaps I'm immune to Marvel's charm? Or perhaps the wit and personable laughs from entries like "Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Iron Man' have set the hilarity bar high. The visual effects, particularly the fantastical planet Hala, were stunning. Even the spacecraft pursuits looked authentic. Although Marvel continue their streak of bad human CGI, this time when Danvers is in space. Incredibly noticeable and does unfortunately take you out of the film. Conversely, the effects to make Fury look youthful were exceptional and rarely noticeable, same for Coulson also.
Look, if you're a devoted fan of the MCU then there is no point in reading this. Your mind has been set and no review will change that. For a casual audience member, there are several aspects that hinder the overall potential of Captain Marvel. Whilst it is a good start to this year's blockbuster season, the messy story, forgettable villain and lack of personable qualities in its titular hero makes this entry underwhelming. I'm sure it will quench your superhero thirst before 'Endgame' (please do stay for the mid-credits scene, that's an order!).