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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Captain Marvel is Exactly What Fans Wanted, but Would Leave a Non-Marvel Fan Wanting More

Captain Marvel is the latest entry in the mega movie phenomenon that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Staring Brie Larson as the titular superhero, the movie follows Captain Marvel on her journey to fight a shapeshifting alien race while also regaining her lost memories. Throughout, she meets up with a young Nick Fury in his earlier years at S.H.I.E.L.D., and an adorable orange tabby named Goose, and together they solve the mystery of who she is and where she came from.

There are certainly two different breeds of Marvel movies, those who emphasize action and plot, and those which emphasize humor. This movie is certainly on the funnier side, aligning much more with the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok than it would with Captain America: Civil War or Black Panther.

Larson has a sense of dry wit to her, fitting her 90’s grunge look with the ample amount of sarcasm. The fight scenes are full of quips and one-liners. Which is unfortunately necessary. The humor is mainly what you will get from the fight scenes, as a lot of the time they’re not lit well and shot in shaky cam making it hard to see what’s actually going on on screen. And, as I’ll get into later, the fights are nothing to Captain Marvel. Her opponents are laughably easy for her to defeat, to the point where no fight leaves an impact on her or on the audience.

Fighting is short with many jump cuts, never lingering on any scene long enough to really feel the impact of the fight. They could have done well by taking inspiration from the much more realistic and brutal fight screens in Black Panther, but as I said, the movie wants to focus on humor. Perhaps this was a stylistic choice to keep it light hearted, but it still left those looking for impressive fight sequences wanting.

The film looks incredible. The effects are top notch, especially with the make-up in the Skrulls. You can see the emotion on the actors faces clearly, despite the hefty amount of makeup they’re wearing.

For how closely Captain Marvel follows Guardians of the Galaxy in tone, look, and music direction, you’d think James Gunn directed it himself. And just like the Guardians movies, it’s a fun time the whole way through. Even the most serious moments can surprise you with a funny line of dialogue thrown in.

Reviews by online critics have criticized the movie for being slower, less action heavy, and more dialogue focused than previous installments. To me, this criticism doesn’t hold up. It’s not fair to compare Captain Marvel 1 to Captain America 3, Avengers 3, or Thor 3. There’s a lot of necessary backstory to say here. A ton of it. Brie Larson’s character has two backstories, the one she remembers from the last 6 years, and the one she doesn’t, from her life before losing her memories. Who she was then and now both have to be shown to the audience. And though we’ve known Nick Fury since 2008, this is where we learn his origins as well.

The movie also flowed in a way which made the dialogue feel natural. It can be hard to tell backstory in a movie without it being clearly for the audience’s benefit. But the amnesia plot point means we as the audience get to learn Captain Marvel’s history along with her, and it works extremely well.

I would also argue the movie does have enough action to break up this abundance of dialogue, just not at the end when it’s needed most.

This movie has no climactic battle. It has Captain Marvel turn an armada of spaceships around at the fear of her even existing, and then it steals a page from Indiana Jones’s playbook.

Remember the famous scene in Raiders of the Lost Arc where a swordsman shows off his skills only for Indi to shoot him and walk away? That’s basically what this movie does.

I won’t say who the main villain is, as that’s a twist, and a good twist the movie gives you. But at the end, the character challenged Captain Marvel, showing off his biceps and bragging that she could never beat him in a fair fight without her powers. Then she blows him into a mountain with a photon blast from her hand and drags him across the desert.

In Indiana Jones, this was funny because it was in the middle of the movie. The ending still had a real climax with melting Nazi faces. The audience wasn’t cheated out of a big climactic finale, but in Captain Marvel they were.

This was done for a purpose. Captain Marvel had to seem like the overpowered badass we saw here, or else her going toe to toe with Thanos in the next movie wouldn’t seem plausible, but that’s no excuse.

The fact that we’re promised a big climactic fight in another movie doesn’t dismiss this movie for not having one. If you came for Captain Marvel’s origins so that her inclusion in Endgame makes sense, you came to the right place. If you wanted climactic space battles with aliens and superheroes, you’ll have to wait until April 26th. Which is why I say Marvel fans were given exactly what they wanted, but any moviegoers who don’t plan on seeing Avengers: Endgame were cheated out of a real ending.

But as one of those Marvel fans myself, I’ll admit I loved every second of this movie. Now off to find where I can get a pet flerken.

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