Nick’s review published on Letterboxd:
An earnest and yet all too meandering cog in the seemingly unstoppable Marvel machine, Captain Marvel feels like a slightly more ardent attempt at a filler to quench the thirst of a massive fanbase still ripe from the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War. It feels all too familiar, for the story, it attempts to subvert genre conventions of the typical superhero origin story, but it turns out to be woefully formulaic in its execution and even laughably predictable at times. Clearly riding off the coat tails of Gunn’s Guardians universe within a universe, Marvel sadly fails to live up to its name.
At it’s center, starring as the titular character, Larson gives a performance that is about as flat as the comic book sheets the character originated from, and the script does her zero favors. She lacks the charismatic bravado and hilarious smart-assery of Tony Stark and the stoic charm and raw emotion of Steve Rogers to carry a solo film, let alone lead the Avengers eventually.
Its also riddled with eye rolling callbacks and obnoxious easter eggs to and from the MCU (Ronan’s appearance is a mere cameo that should’ve been kept a secret), and there’s nothing really here to separate this film from the rest of the dull and dreary snoozefests that Marvel has shat out of their cinematic conveyor belt as of late. The bland, uninspired direction just left so much to be desired, aside from some impressive action set pieces in the beginning and end aided by some absolutely gorgeous CGI. Needless to say, cool action sequences and Nick Fury are not enough to make a good film, we learned that long ago. (Looking at you Winter Soldier!)
Speaking of Fury, Jackson is great, per usual, and is really the only funny guy around, thanks to Jackson’s unmatchable charisma in hollywood, but oh did the film try its very best to make you laugh.
Not long after the film started, Djimon Hounsou’s Korath utters to Larson’s Carol Danvers, or Veers as she’s referred to amongst the Kree, “You think you’re funny, but I’m not laughing”
I couldn’t agree more. It’s almost as if this was a meta cry for help from the directors who are heavily weighed down by the inherent corniness and unbearably unoriginal wackiness of the MCU.
Additionally, it merely toys with broad and shallow ideals of feminism, making use of flashbacks to bring about an unearned, albeit mildly entertaining figurative and literal rise to power moment for the Captain herself.
MCU fans will be pleased with the events that occur in the film and what it means for Endgame, especially the mid credits scene, and admittedly, it did raise my excitement for it as well. And anybody worrying about a Mary Sue like character in Carol can rest easy, she was, if nothing else, developed properly (in spectacularly boring fashion) with justifiable powers that foreshadow her eventual meteoric rise to the top of Marvel’s power rankings.
PS: X-Men Origins fans! All 3 of you, get hype, you’ve got yourselves a prettier (and slightly better) rehash!