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Captain Marvel
 
Year : 2019
Country : United-States


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DokBrowne  [ 8.0 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

Could be Marvel entering some kind of cinematic middle age phase or it could be entirely intentional, but I think the fundamental reason this movie is getting mixed reviews on opening weekend instead of the customary MCU raves is not so much because it's a bit more low-tech (by design, taking place in 1995), but that the novelties of its heroine have already been employed pretty memorably elsewhere in this film genre. Like, there hasn't been a Marvel movie about a female superhero yet, buuuuut Black Widow is in there, and Wonder Woman made a big splash across the way (though one progressive virtue of this movie that most people probably won't notice is that it never has to make a case out of Carol's gender; it treats her womanhood as a given and gets on with other business). Captain Marvel blasts energy out of her hands, just like Iron Man does. She's super strong, just like...all of them are. Her whole body lights up when she's pushed to maximum force, just like Thor's does. She's wry and self-assured, just like...again pretty much everyone. Untrustworthy mentors, an identity crisis, fish out of water comedy, a scene-stealing non-human sidekick, an origin-of-an-important-name closing shot that even Josh Trank's awful "Fant4stic" already claimed for its own. Even the loopier space stuff isn't that loopy in the wake of "Guardians" 1 and 2, "Thor Ragnarok", "Infinity War", and "Dr. Strange". So people probably see this and feel like they're getting a rerun in disguise, causing disappointment.

But in the spirit of magnanimity, let's cut the movie some slack and realize that if we ever go back and re-watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe chronologically, this will probably be the second entry in a pantheon of 20+ titles (unless Phase IV and beyond includes earlier 20th century period pieces than this), so its elements will still seem new and exciting. And Brie Larson's a good get here: friendly, appealing, great smile, but also sharp and poised. She captures what a worthy Marvel movie superhero needs: believable strength of will (a certain gravitas) and inviting screen presence (a certain unique charm). She may not have a whole lot of range at this point, but neither did Hemsworth at first, to say nothing of a few other Avengers who arguably still don't and never will have any. Future adventures will better challenge her emotional palette and I'm sure Larson will grow with it.

Plus as far as story goes, this one is actually fresher than usual for Marvel, an origin story kind of in reverse that unfolds like a satisfying mystery. One plot twist is fairly predictable (but still potent), another one definitely isn't (and is so much better for it), a third minor one is cute but entirely too hacky in 2019 (though it seemed to get a big crowd response). The big emerging hero moment in the climax is kind of exhilarating (and includes a wonderfully conveyed message about resilience), the culmination of '90s-era evocations somehow makes even the movie itself seem like it was made back then in some strange way which is a neat effect (were there a lot of deserts in '90s movies, or what is it about this that channels that decade even more than its pop culture references and primitive tech?), and watching Samuel L. Jackson driving around again in a buddy action comedy 25 years after he first (and best) did so in stuff like "The Long Kiss Goodnight", "Die Hard with a Vengeance", and "Loaded Weapon 1" made me happy. I know he still makes action movies pretty regularly even though he's 70 now, but this one de-ages him and literally puts him back in his glory days, so the nostalgia is particularly acute. Thanks for being such a great movie star for so long, Mr. Jackson. You are an immortal.

 
Weighted Rating : 6.9
No. Ratings : 1
No. Reviews : 1


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