Captain Marvel is the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) series of films, and Marvel’s last film before the climax that Marvel has built towards for over a decade now, Avengers: Endgame. Captain Marvel is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jude Law. The story follows a young, emotional Kree warrior named Vers. She and her planet’s war against the Skrulls cause her to be stranded on Earth in 1995. As she attempts to hunt down the Skrulls that have also infiltrated Earth with cop Nick Fury, it is revealed to her that she once had a life on Earth as an Air Force pilot.
Captain Marvel is a difficult film, and one with many flaws. For one, the film feels too thematically driven. The themes of any literary or cinematic work should be subtle and should be left to the viewer’s interpretation. Captain Marvel, however, puts these themes at the forefront, pushing an agenda of women’s empowerment, and a stance against oppression and racism. These are very powerful messages, but when they feel forced and are blatantly obvious, the power of these themes are diluted.
Another flaw I find with Captain Marvel is that the plot twists could have been handled better. While plot twists in other Marvel films inspire curiosity, Captain Marvel’s twists actually leave periods of total confusion as to characters’ intentions, and as to deciphering between who is a good or bad guy. Captain Marvel can at times be a bit of a mess, and definitely does fall well below the expectations of viewers and does not reach the potential this film had.
Regardless, I feel Captain Marvel equates to greater than the sum of its parts. Marvel always seems to pull through with striking a near-perfect balance between comedy and drama, as well as always having strong character development. Samuel L. Jackson is brilliant as ever, and Brie Larson, though I feel she could have been punchier, is effective as Captain Marvel. The movie is visually pleasing, the CGI is flawless, and the film achieves what it set out to. Captain Marvel does not quite stand up to the other films in the MCU, but I believe it will find its niche with audiences and will be memorable in its own way.