Captain Marvel: Good, But Not a Must-See
Captain Marvel has finally arrived, Marvel’s 1st female-led superhero movie, which everyone and their mother at Disney has emphasized so much, that it got annoying a long time ago. Fans everywhere know that Black Widow should have gotten her own movie years ago.
But is Captain Marvel just Captain Feminism: The Movie? No. Fortunately, Carol Danvers isn’t running around, bragging about how she’s so powerful and such a strong woman, and isn’t it great that she’s so strong because she’s a woman. While the star, Brie Larson has been running around, making comments about how she doesn’t want to hear what a white man has to say about A Wrinkle In Time (so relevant), Larson’s toxic comments don’t run over into her film.
Now, I am personally tired of origin stories. We’ve been through so many and it’s obvious that these types of films have a sort of formula that gets a bit boring. But I like that Captain Marvel was not an origin story of Carol Danvers getting her powers, it was of Carol Danvers discovering who she truly is and how powerful she truly is.
But there is an obvious problem. Captain Marvel is a Mary Sue, to the utmost degree. If you don’t know what a Mary Sue is, look at Rey from Star Wars. A Mary Sue is usually a female character, who is idealized and seemingly perfect at everything. With Rey in Star Wars, while I do like the character, I understand people’s frustrations that Rey was just immediately good at everything she did with no experience and the same applies here to Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel is ridiculously overpowered and when she comes into her power set, there is no learning curve. She excels easily at her newfound powers. But what I do like about Captain Marvel? She is extremely competent and self-confident; her combat abilities are believable and there’s no hesitation in her movements. She isn’t walking around showboating how great she is; there is a matter-of-factness to her decisions and her combat that I love.
Where I feel the movie goes wrong, is trying to make Carol Danvers’ personality similar to Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. I’m not saying Tony Stark is the only one who can have witty humor in the MCU; but there is something just a bit off with some of Danvers’ quips and wit, some jokes worked and some did not. And the jokes that did not work is because Brie Larson is not a comedic actress and she was trying to emulate RDJ. And only RDJ can do RDJ.
Strangely, even though I like Carol Danvers, regardless of being a Mary Sue, I don’t feel emotionally connected to the character after seeing her movie. Something about her is emotionally distant, even though her character is actually accused of being too emotional throughout the film. I did not see that, at all. And I think that’s why I was ultimately disappointed with the final “power-up.”
As fans of these types of movies, we know these scenes. The character has finally come into their abilities and they’re ready to show it, it’s when Tony Stark fully suits up as Iron Man with his theme in the background and when Doctor Strange finally wears the Cloak of Levitation. It’s when Wonder Woman steps into No Man’s Land in her full costume. It’s supposed to be a moment of movie magic. But when Captain Marvel finally powers up, even though it’s bright and colorful, it just feels like an empty moment to me because I am not emotionally connected to the character.
But does this movie make me even more excited for Avengers: Endgame? No, not really. As a fan, I was expecting to get more information and clues for the final showdown on April 26th. Unfortunately, there are no big hints given for Avengers: Endgame, no surprises or big reveals. So, at the end of the day, Captain Marvel does not build my excitement for Avengers: Endgame any more than I already was.