Captain Marvel ★★½

“You were the most powerful person I knew, way before you could shoot fire through your fists.”

Neither as great nor as awful as our public discourse would suggest, and to my relief neither as bland as I had feared. This is a perfectly functional, watchable, and amiable film, with enough good ideas and game performances to keep it afloat. Ben Mendelsohn is particularly compelling here, and that makes a big difference. Even so, this is still among the most generically-directed films of the MCU, never as weird as it could be—I wanted to see more Skrull disguise hijinks, more trippy memory rewinding scenes, and more cues from Men In Black, but alas—and never as profound as it thinks it is—can we please stop pitting reason and emotion against each other without establishing a nuanced synthesis?

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