In 1995, while on a rescue mission to recover a spy from the Skrulls, Starforce member Vers (Brie Larson) is captured by the enemies and is subjected to certain psychological tests which bring back in her a series of flashbacks which she often sees as nightmares. Through her shrewd offensive tactics, Vers manages to escape the planet and land on planet C-53 (Earth) in search of Dr Wendy Lawson (Annette Benning) where she meets S.H.I.E.L.D agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Little does she know that this endeavour will change not just her own life but even the fate of the universe.
Positive Points: –
- The cast has given dedicated performances if not great. Samuel L. Jackson shines though (as always)!
- The visual effects are magnificent albeit unclean in a few occasions.
- Some of the actions sequences.
Negative Points: –
- Not merely as an origins flick but as a film in general, Captain Marvel is unoriginal, uninspiring and unexpectedly a huge let-down!
- The jerry-built screenplay and impercipient direction.
- The film didn’t really trigger any emotions in me. I felt a surge of impassiveness throughout the film’s run which could neither excite me or induce any admiration for any of its plot elements including the titular character.
- Captain Marvel is filled with a huge amount of talent both on the screen and off it. But most of these talents are squandered through poor filmmaking choices including pathetic character arcs especially those of its antagonists.
General Aspects: –
I have enjoyed all of the previous works of directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and they were my primary reason to be excited for Captain Marvel. Needless to say, its connection with the upcoming Avengers: Endgame was also an important factor behind all the high expectations levied upon it. Sadly, the movie acts merely as a filler in the enormous Marvel Cinematic Universe and exhibits none of the smart humour or sense of realism which is common in all Boden-Fleck flicks. It starts with a bang with great CGI of some advanced outer planet followed by some gripping combat sequences which include many characters along with the titular one. The ramped-up fun continues for some more time even as Vers lands on Earth and meets Nick Fury but it soon gets washed away as the story progresses and the film’s quality oscillates between mediocre and bad. Surely, the story is too simple and mainstream but the problem lies in how nothing is done to prune its ordinariness through intelligent filmmaking. Simple stories can also have great executions and Indian movies like Kahaani and Tumbbad can be some of the best examples of the same. But Captain Marvel is just a drag of weak sentiments and forced humour garnished with loads of CGI to make things more attractive than its thematic hollowness. There are so many characters who have been handed over to talented actors but most of them are poorly constructed and are nothing but underwhelming despite the committed performances. This movie seems more like Captian America: First Avenger than one of its own and exhibits the same kind of narrative jumps that the former has (though for the record I would wish to state that I don’t like the other film either). Flaws are of course extensive in its entire course and so are logical fallacies. I won’t get into the details of the flaws in order to not give away spoilers but let’s just mention a few of them so that people have some idea as to what I’m talking about. The weak security during Vers’ (and Fury’s) search for the files of Dr Lawson, the logic behind her getting powers, the fact that Lawson’s laboratory wasn’t on the ground (I imagine when she got time to go there), the reason why Vers is not killed by the attackers (when she gets her powers), and many other illogical sequences/moments occur throughout the film to such an unrelenting extent that one finally accepts nonsensicalness as one of the film’s traits (remember Captain Marvel’s first flight?). I’m not sure if it could be made great with the plain plot that it had but I pretty much know that it could have been a much better and a lot more compelling piece of work. But the saddest aspect of all of this is not that Captain Marvel is an underwhelming flick, but that any criticism that’ll be given to it will be seen as an act of sexism or misogynism despite the logical arguments to demonstrate the fact. But are we worried about it? Not in this lifetime; no.
Captain Marvel’s cast is filled with so many brilliant actors but hardly does anyone get to shine in it. Brie Larson is delightfully good as the eponymous character and is completely badass in her action sequences. But there are also times when she doesn’t get her body language in perfect sync with the required scene. Nonetheless, she gets a thumbs up from my side and it’ll be interesting to see how she performs in Avengers: Endgame amidst several other celebrated actors given the fact that she won’t be the focal point throughout that film. Samuel L. Jackson nails it as usual. His stint here is more comical and with his comedic acumen, he makes his presence a lot more delectable. Apart from both these actors, most others fail to make any mark, not because they perform badly but because of their poor character construction which diminishes their overall effectualness on the screen.
Final Verdict: –
Honestly, I would have loved sleeping while the film ran if I hadn’t paid over Rs. 550 to watch this in IMAX! Captain Marvel is an out and out demonstration of the problem caused by MCU’s induced mediocrity in the superhero genre and it needs to be called out instead of being handed some Oscars just so you look liberal and inclusive. People out there need to understand that if we continue to make superhero movies in such unoriginal and uninspiring fashion, then the genre will become as endangered as the western films. Coming to this film, it’s not entirely bad rather an insipid trite tale that belongs to the 70s and not the modern age of filmmaking. We could have done better and we should! By all means!