Captain Marvel ★★★

Captain Marvel is very cool. She's tough, and doesn't crack under pressure. She's also incredibly powerful; powerful enough that she has no reason to be intimidated by anyone or anything that she's facing. This is an issue. Especially since she doesn't grow into this role. She starts this movie already cool and rebellious and awesome. She doesn't really have to learn anything to come into her own. The changes that come in the story are external, our Captain needing only to remember that she is one of the most powerful beings in the universe.

Symbolically, there's value in that. On a more basic narrative level, it results in a scattered, lackadaisical story that doesn't quite land its emotional punches. It's shooting out these vague waves of inspiration, never really as rousing as it all is in theory.

This isn't really a bad film, though. There are lots of fun moments, the film getting a lot out of the rapport the main character has with everyone around her. De-aged Sam Jackson is an amazing feat of VFX, and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos is a constant joy. And Brie Larson elevates the script by being Brie Larson.

But yeah, this isn't the home run I was hoping it was going to be. And as someone who came of age in the nineties, the chintzy recreation of the era through clunky markers really wore on me as the film went on. There's a fight sequence in the back half set to 'Just a Girl' that really should have been rethought.

Ah well. Looking forward to seeing the titular character again in a little over a month.