After many years the Marvel cinematic universe has released a movie fronted by a heroine. Much to my disappointment however, the already established Black Widow was overlooked in favour of Captain Marvel. Not to be confused with the DC character of the same name, Captain Marvel is a lesser known hero who has been around since the seventies. I first spotted Captain Marvel in the nineties X-Men cartoon. She was the unfortunate person who Rogue absorbed her superpowers from. Back then Captain Marvel was one of the most attractive ladies from the Marvel comics. The same cannot be said of her present day incarnation though. A questionable redesign has robbed the former Ms Marvel of her feminine traits and cool mask.
The movie version of Captain Marvel is a Kree soldier named Vers. Film viewers who have previously watched Guardians of the Galaxy should recognize the Kree Empire, as they are the alien race that Ronan the Accuser serves. Set in the nineties, the film kicks off with Vers being assigned to a squad who are pursuing some nasty extraterrestrials known as the Skrulls. Unfortunately for Vers, the mission goes awry and culminates with her being stranded on a primitive planet called Earth. It’s a strange world, where inhabitants exchange currency for entertainment in establishments called Blockbuster.
Vers isn’t the only one marooned on Earth. A small group of Kree insurgents have also crashed landed on the planet. Vers attempts to track said greenskins down, but it won’t be easy as the Kree have the ability to shapeshift. Invaders who can transform into humans? Gasp! Looks like David Ike was right all along. Anyway, in order to catch the Kree, Vers teams up with a SHIELD agent named Nick Fury. As the pair travel across the States, searching for clues, Vers begins to experience flashbacks. The sights and sounds of Earth are awakening memories that Vers had thought she had lost. Memories that may explain the origin of the mysterious energy based powers she commands.
My rating for Captain Marvel is a two out of five. This is probably the weakest of the Marvel movies I have seen. It reminds me a little of the early DC live action films that I am not a fan of. The movie is so dull that at one point I lost consciousness and found myself transported to dream land. Eventually I awoke and rewound the film to see what I had missed. Turns out that I didn’t skip much. Just a bunch of slow paced scenes and one too many flashbacks, which reveal Vers’ backstory piecemeal. Marvel Studios, who usually flood their films with comedy, held back on the gags this time round. Shame, as more quips would have helped counter the tedium. The few one liners we get aren’t particularly funny or delivered well by uncharismatic lead Brie Larson.
There isn’t much to recommend here, unless you are a fan of Nick Fury. In this film the Avengers mastermind gets more screen time than he usually does. This version of the character is a little younger, goofier and sports two eyes. I was impressed by the fountain of youth CGI effects used to wipe years off Samuel L. Jackson’s face. Less impressive was the retcon that explains why the character now wears an eye-patch. It’s down right stupid in fact.
One of the biggest problems Captain Marvel suffers from is that it recycles ideas from other MCU titles. The cosmic scenes and nostalgic soundtrack felt like a budget version of Guardians. Meanwhile the tale of superpowered visitor trapped on Earth harkens back to the original Thor. For me, the movie didn’t pick up until the final half hour. The finale has some good action, but be forewarned that there isn’t much suspense once Vers unlocks her potential and goes Super Saiyan. At that point Captain Marvel becomes a Superman like figure who can single handedly destroy alien fleets. Given how OP she gets the final showdown with her rival, who I won’t name for spoilers sake, ends up being more anticlimactic than Game of Thrones. For the sake of female superheroes on film, I hope that Black Widow and the upcoming Thor turn out better than this two-hour snore fest.