Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel Review #3

Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel Review #3

All these questions, and more, swirl around a film like this and create an nearly unfair environment for both critics and the film itself. Danvers only assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel - a role that has had several inhabitants, much like Spider-Man - in 2012.

The back and forth over Captain Marvel being able to time travel in the MCU is nearly as confusing as time travel itself. And what really sells this film is that playfulness.

Supposedly the 21st film in the MCU, this has also emerged as one of its most inexplicably controversial due to the gender of its lead character.

Skrulls with their leader Talos (left, Ben Mendelsohn) arrive on earth. (Fortunately, she will have another shot at it when the character returns to be the wrench in Thanos' world-destroying machine in Avengers: Endgame this summer.) Jackson, perhaps hampered by playing a character who is roughly 35 years younger than his actual age, gives a less full-blooded performance than we've grown accustomed to.

Vers begins searching for the missing power source, but must move fast because the Skrull are on her tail, adopting the forms of passing humans to make themselves harder to spot. Emotions and heart don't seem to have anything to do with her decisions. The problem is that this blankness robs Larson of any character to build or, really, act. Larson was asked if this was put in after the first criticisms surfaced.

Where the movie comes alive is in the moments in between the action. With the exception of a mid-credits scene that takes place after the events of 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, the primary connection here is Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), largely pre-eye patch and sporting a full head of hair, who shows up when Larson's unusual being crashes to Earth claiming to be a soldier engaged in a massive alien war, many galaxies away. Captain Marvel is poised to flip that convention by leaving out the traditional love story. Larson's Vers is like someone trapped in a matrix - she has to shake off the dream of who she is to locate the superwoman she could be. Seems like only yesterday we were being introduced to Iron Man, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Hulk Man ... you get the picture. How can this movie make a sea change for film culture broadly when it doesn't signal even the tiniest break from the norm of its own house style?

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The movie's co-director Anna Boden added: "It was always in the script".

In a key moment, Captain Marvel's shadow will fall across the face of one of her worst enemies as he literally cowers in the sand at her feet. Larson can quip and smirk and take a punch, Boden and Fleck can create a fully-realized and damaged character for her to play, with sharp dialogue and grounded storytelling.

Here's Brie last night at the Captain Marvel New York screening. Also, obsessive funnybook fans may regret that significant pieces of Carol's résumé-she was a different superhero known as Ms. Marvel, then Binary, then Warbird before taking on the Captain Marvel mantle from someone else in the comics-are missing entirely. It becomes a kind of scratch test for one's strengths.

They'll be even more unhappy when they actually get to see it, because in a way this sometimes formulaic but intermittently very amusing movie is all about female self-determination.

Unlike many a Marvel superhero movie, though, "Captain Marvel" doesn't feel overstuffed, clocking in under two hours if you don't count the credits, with the requisite pair of mid-credits extra scenes.