Captain Marvel (2019)

An unoriginal WW/Supergirl/Green Lantern-ripoff w/ ultra-politicized one-liners, weak (contrived) origin-clichéd plotting, complete waste of Marvel’s iconic villain The Skrulls, gimmicky cat-pandering, and absolute *trainwreck* casting in Brie Larson. 3.2/10.

Plot Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the Skrulls.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

Review

‘It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s [MARVEL’S WONDER WOMAN].. ergh, attempt’ – with a wholly-unoriginal hero stealing Supergirl’s look/motif/alter-ego (Kara Danvers -> Carol Danvers), Shazam’s name (original Captain Marvel), and Green Lantern’s pilot-turned-spacecop backstory (& even green suit/Corps). There’s a reason Captain Marvel has been rejected in comics for decades having to be rebooted 6 (SIX, yes: 5+1) times and still failing to fly off the shelves alongside Marvel’s otherwise strong female characters: Jean Grey, Elektra, She-Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow (10 years w/o a solo movie from MCU (yikes).. Ant-Man & Groot got 2..), etc. An unoriginal WW/Supergirl/Green Lantern-ripoff w/ ultra-politicized one-liners, weak (contrived) origin-clichéd plotting, complete wasting of the Skrulls, gimmicky cat-pandering, & an absolute trainwreck casting in wooden, pulse-less Brie Larson.

There is just so much wrong with Captain Marvel, I’m not even sure where to begin. Brie Larson might literally be the worst casting in comic book film *history*, a truly mind-boggling pick from her arrogant, pompous, and thoroughly-unlikeable personality to her controversial, simply-imbecilic past comments (look up: saying white guys shouldn’t be allowed to watch/review movies, guys daring to talk to a girl warrant “defense from”, and my favorite: self-proclaiming the CM trailer was going to “break the internet” (spoiler: it didn’t. Did halve its box office projections though!). She is positively somnambulistic sleep-walking through the entire film, without even a remote sign of life or human emotion for most of the scenes she’s in besides the occasional snarky smirk or know-it-all remark – almost comes off as even disinterested or (self-importantly) thinking she’s too good to be there half the time. One of the most hollow, wooden performances in eons. She absolutely dooms the film from the start being, by leads’ nature, the central crux films are built or collapse upon foundationally, but only one (albeit the biggest by far) problem with it.

The plot, politics, and hero. What everyone feared going in: the false-feminist pandering/politics are strong with this one. There are so many unbearably eye-rolling/cringy one-liners forced throughout this thoroughly-unenjoyable experience, it will make your head spin! From constant superiority-complexing and demonizing guys with laughably-ridiculous lines like “only guys can be pilots.. that’s why they call it a C*CK-pit”….. to portraying them only as creepers, idiots, or pushing down girls for fun (just.. what?).. I cannot fathom why Marvel thought this was a good idea to entrench itself in so prevalently. People go to the cinema for escapism, not to be lectured on politics by multi-national companies. There’s a reason Wonder Woman, The Force Awakens, Alien(/s), Moana, Alita: Battle Angel, Terminator, and many other female-led blockbusters got absolutely *none* of the hate Captain Marvel is (despite having the same core ingredients to squash the “it’s because it’s a woman lead” excuse/narrative) – they portrayed strong women and empowering narratives without *once* getting political/preachy/ condescending/superiority-complexed – and no sane person has a problem with that (why no one did). Here, everything is distorted and twisted unnaturally to show how great and flawless Brie is and how not men are, even to the point of insulting its own franchise and incumbents ill-advisedly handing-out the ultimate role of solo savior of the universe from Thanos to her (before even a proving/testing-film) over veterans like Cap and RDJ proving themselves for over a decade, plus even going as far as to disrespectfully write in that she’s *so* important, she’s the sole reason they’re called the Avengers in the first place!! (erasing the titular film’s far-better Coulson-reasoning..). Yikes.

The film is deprived of even basic plot conventions in order to continually uplift Brie and stay “woke” without the possibility of daring to challenge her. CM isn’t even allowed to have a true VILLAIN or final fight, one of the most jarring and imbecilic plot decisions I’ve ever seen in a superhero film and one leaving you dizzy/unresolved leaving the theater. The Skrulls are *completely wasted* despite being decently rendered and shown glimpses of their signature paranoia/shape-shifting havoc (with fine space CGI and action scenes like the Old Lady one from trailers but not much of an accomplishment given the budget), and neutered from comic book Secret War-level power/potential to being wholly-unintimidating and even victimized by film’s end being scared of freaking cats for cheap laughs.

That brings me to Goose, ooooh boy what a shameless pander to animal-lovers and cat-ladies that drew a few aww’s but comes across as a lame last-minute attempt to (like they usually do with humor) hide MCU flaws with childish sentiment and feel-goodedness to trick mass audiences into forgetting/thinking the whole film was good. The final post-credits scene (first one was fine but should’ve been saved for Endgame) is literally just a shot of the cat to fill this purpose, exploiting and milking the gimmick to woozy levels. The film is truly all-over the place, starting snail-slow, being decent in self-discovery revelations in its middle act, but crashing and burning in its ending completely failing in every aspect of cinema and its genre to end epically, resolve its contrived (Walmart-generic) Kree/Skrull scripting, or leave any sort of lasting impression or existential point beyond a bad aftertaste.

Conclusion

Although Captain Marvel has a few moments like its 90’s soundtrack, okay galactic CGI/Skrull-action, Sam L. Jackson, and its self-discovery thread/(stolen) powers, its muddled in an otherwise *unbearable* outer shell. A breathtakingly-unoriginal hero extremely unpopular in comics stealing everything from Shazam’s name to Supergirl’s look/alter-ego to basically everything about Green Lantern’s pilot-turned-spacecop backstory and Corps IP is given a brutally-weak film with ultra-politicized plotting riddled with eye-rolling false-feminist diatribes, cat-pandering for cheap gimmicky laughs, a contrived generic narrative with no real villainous or strong opposing presence to purposely coddle/uplift its hero, & an absolute trainwreck of casting in Brie Larson being *thoroughly* unlikeable in every way and sleep-walking through the film with the collective emotive display of a wet rock. One of the worst superhero films of the decade.

Official CLC Score: 3.2/10