Captain Marvel was not all that marvelous for fans


WestSide Story

Brie Larson stars as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in the new film, Captain Marvel.

Ben Roto, Staff Writer

Captain Marvel was written and directed by filmmaking duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and was released on March 8 (yes, International Women’s Day). Many pictures and comments from social media have shown great appreciation for the movie, especially from women all over the world. The more heroes for a new generation of young girls to idolize and appreciate are an amazing aspect of this film.

Brie Larson stars as Vers/Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role as a younger, greener, less cynical Nick Fury, and Ben Mendelsohn is Talos, a Skrull general. Jude Law plays Yon-Rogg, while Lashana Lynch portrays Maria Rambeau. Djimon Honsou, Lee Pace, and Clark Gregg reprise their roles as Korath, Ronan the Accuser, and Phil Coulson, respectively. The former two were in Guardians of the Galaxy while Coulson appeared in a lot of different Marvel movies. Akira Akbar plays Maria’s daughter, Monica, and Gemma Chan, Algenis Pérez Soto, and Rune Temte play Minn-Erva, Att-Lass, and Bron-Char, respectively, all members of Starforce. Finally, Annette Benning actually plays a number of characters, but revealing anything else would give away one of the film’s more clever reveals.

“I thought it was a great movie with a good plot, and I enjoyed seeing it,” said sophomore Emma Stylianos.

Mendelsohn absolutely steals the show as Talos. You’d expect a generic bad guy from his previous roles, but then you’re greeted with a laid-back and quippy villain that completely turns the film on its head after the midpoint. The film absolutely deserves credit for this. Not only did it turn a Marvel concept that dates back to the second issue of the Fantastic Four completely on its head, but it was also pulled off with flying colors!

Jackson is fantastic as a younger Nick Fury. He has great chemistry with the rest of the cast, and really holds the film together. Meanwhile, Lynch is a great wingwoman for Larson, and Akbar is a star in the making. She’s really very fun and has some of the most charming moments in the film. Many viewers have high hopes for the young actress’s future!

That being said, the film is somewhat disjointed. Scenes don’t flow well together, and the film lacks a strong visual presence in many parts. The green uniforms of the Starforce don’t help, especially when they blend into the background half the time. Captain Marvel also lacks strong directorial presence. Boden and Fleck are competent filmmakers, but the film lacks the same sense of vision as others with stronger direction, such as Iron Man 3, Thor: Ragnarok, or Black Panther; it just doesn’t have the same glimmer.

Speaking of Starforce, the way they were handled was not proper. None of them, not even Yon-Rogg, have much depth, and viewers were left feeling bored by them. Law’s performance is hard to judge because while he is trying, he has little material to work with. The characters’ extensive histories had more potential to grow than they did. Yon-Rogg has a long history in the comics, while Minn-Erva has a history of working with Att-Lass in the comics, as well as being a geneticist. Korath first appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie back in 2014 as Ronan the Accuser’s henchman! Unfortunately, none of them get the due they could’ve gotten. Especially Korath, as watchers hoped for some backstory on him, maybe showing how he became a cyborg. Sadly, viewers get none of that. Bron-Char and Ronan the Acuser were also extremely under-represented throughout the film. While it was very fun to see Clark Gregg in a Marvel movie again, he doesn’t get to do much.

“The film can help redeem characters who may not have lived up to their potential,” said journalist Richard Newby in an article for The Hollywood Reporter.

Unfortunately, much to fans’ disappointment, he was very wrong.

Larson stood out in comparison to older Marvel heroes. Other Marvel heroes might start out their movies as selfish playboys who need to mature and learn. Vers is more of a jerk. She’s an aggressive, rude, and quick-tempered, which are all attributes that are disapproved of by the Kree. We do see her mellow out over the course of the film, as she learns more about her past and becomes more secure in herself. Her acting isn’t the greatest, but she’s very good at exuding presence, especially when she’s in the superhero outfit. Other than being good at hero poses, she’s at her best when she has someone else to play off of, whether that be Jackson, Mendelsohn, Lynch, Law, or even a cat.

“Too much captain, not enough Marvel,” said sophomore Max Cruz.  “The movie was eh; it didn’t stand out for me.”

The mediocre action, including a bog-standard car chase and a final brawl with the Starforce that almost made viewers angry, and an third act that made some go, “That’s it?” made this viewing experience less than spectacular.

All in all, the movie is not a complete flop. Several Marvel movies have amazing main characters, but a supporting cast and story that falls a bit flat. Captain Marvel is the opposite. While Larson isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, she doesn’t leave as much of an impact as other heroes have in their big debuts, and the good supporting cast helps to lift her up when she falters. The story is actually very good, with a shocking twist at the midpoint. However, several mediocre action sequences and a lot of missed potential bring Captain Marvel down to the lower tier of Marvel films. Even though, considering the quality output of Marvel Studios over the last decade, it still makes it better than a lot of other movies.

Captain Marvel is by no means marvelous, but it’s a fun ride with enough awesome to outweigh the problems. Just like the suit of its heroine, it’s nothing revolutionary, but it gets the job done.