Movie Review: The Marvellous Mrs. Captain Marvel

Movie Review: The Marvellous Mrs. Captain Marvel
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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All eyes are on Disney and Marvel studios as they prepare to release the indescribably anticipated Avengers: Endgame next month. Until then, audiences have been offered Captain Marvel – possibly the savoriest appetizer in the history of cinema.

Like many films in the Marvel cinematic universe, this movie is well-produced. It features humour, creative action scenes, sincerity and interesting heroes and villains at the center. This one happens to also feature a healthy dose of 90s nostalgia and the soundtrack to match.

Set as a prequel to most films in the Avengers series, the story begins when an alien solder named Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) crashes on Earth. As she tries to stop an invasion by a race known as Skrulls.

There are two things that prevent Captain Marvel from being truly excellent. The first, and most striking problem, is how wildly predictable the story is. Because we know Carol saves the day and we know how most of S.H.E.I.L.D’s history is set up, there’s minimal suspense to how it ends.

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

Abetting the problem are writers and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Their lazy efforts to shroud the mystery are ineffective, spoiling all attempts of surprise. Anyone who’s seen 2014’s popular Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, will be able to spoil the entire movie within 15 minutes.

Which brings us to the second, harder to criticize issue. The most interesting details of the story only connect to a few things that make it largely compelling through the rest of the Marvel universe. The dramatic purpose of Carol Danvers origin story existing is so audiences can know she is the most powerful entity in the galaxy.

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And, therefore, might be the only thing that can possibly defeat the colossal Thanos. But we’ll have to wait until next month to fully understand that scope.

Meanwhile, despite the passivity of Captain Marvel, there are many enjoyable moments and parts of the film. The ensemble is extremely well-cast and textured in their performances, creating a varied landscape of characters rarely seen in the superhero genre.

The usual ticked boxes of the genre shouldn’t be discounted, either. The special effects are terrific. The costumes are awesome. And Samuel L. Jackson proves Nick Fury still has new, interesting ideas to share – even in a prequel.

Amidst the mind-numbing anticipation for the Avengers series to conclude merely seven weeks from now, there’s a new hero to help mind the wait just a little longer. As Carol says in a climactic showdown, “I have nothing to prove to you.”

That kind of smart resilience, especially in Hollywood, proves that she truly may be something greater than human.

Captain Marvel
2 1/2 out of 4 stars

PG, 2hrs 4mins. Superhero Sci-Fi Fantasy Drama.
Written and Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.
Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Lashana Lynch, Annette Bening and Jude Law.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP. Also in IMAX.

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