Captain Marvel ★★★★★

2019 Ranked
MCU Ranked

So ambitious, delightfully weird, sincere, unique, and overall just absolutely fucking wonderful that it’s legitimately shocking that this is a Marvel production, one that actually has a directorial voice (Boden & Fleck’s fingerprints are all over this, especially in terms of their character-focused/outsider approach and their signature use of closeups) and never once feels manufactured. Successfully blends sci-fi noir, buddy comedy (the Carol/Fury stuff is very much akin to the central friendship in Boden & Fleck’s Mississippi Grind), indie drama, and space opera while having a genuine beating heart at its center without ever once creating tonal whiplash or feeling incoherent. Also successfully subverts various genre tropes (MCU tropes, origin story tropes, tropes in terms of how women are often depicted in these types of films...) and does a far greater job truly capturing various elements that made Stan Lee and his works so iconic and beloved than any other MCU installment, such as clever twists, real world allegories, and, most of all, what it truly means to be a superhero: Not fighting villains, but saving others, especially when selflessly risking your life to do so. The filmmaking is exceptional (a Marvel production with cinematography and editing that are both not only, at the very least, exceptional, but actually adds to/benefits and enhances the film’s narrative? How rare!), the central character-writing is incredible (ironic how people, namely dudes, say that Carol Danvers is “bland” when she is one of the only protagonists in this franchise who has genuine complexity to begin with*), and the acting is well above par for a Marvel production, with Brie Larson and Ben Mendelsohn in particular delivering phenomenal performances. Yeah, I’ll admit that some of the action is a bit rough (though most of it is good) and some of the CGI in the third act is a bit shoddy, but these are very minor nitpicks (both of which are often recurring within the franchise either way).

Not only Marvel’s best offering to date, but also the most wholesome MCU installment since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the most subversive MCU installment since Iron Man 3, so it’s not surprising in the slightest that the fans hate it.

*More on that here:

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