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'Captain Marvel' is an aimless superhero slog

'Captain Marvel' is an aimless superhero slog

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (if you haven't seen their wonderful movie Mississippi Grind, drop everything you're doing and rent it right now), Captain Marvel just might give us a glimpse of what Marvel has in store for us after this next Avengers movie.

While the good reviews veer closer to the centre of the critical aisle, highlighting the film's pleasures while reserving some space for their issues with the pacing and the plot, the negative reviews go all out.

Jackson's younger Fury, two-way paging his way out of trouble at times, is just getting a grasp of the world's unknowns in "Captain Marvel" - a stark difference for a character that has always been the glue of and an authoritative voice in the MCU.

Marvel's 2019 Captain Marvel is, thankfully, a solid action film filled with humor and powered by top-notch performances.

All is not what it seems in Carol's world; after being ambushed by the Skrulls, she has a rude awakening and comes crashing down to Earth-literally-sparking a quest to uncover the mysteries of her past.

Marvel's latest solo superhero outing provides adequate filler until the larger-scale "Avengers: Endgame" arrives next month, and has a literal girl power theme that is sure to please advocates of equality between the sexes. Larson's Captain spends much of the film as an amnesiac, and for some critics, that means her hero's journey feels weirdly muted and low-key. It no longer reflected the bra-burning activism of our mothers, rather, '90s feminism was about defining strength in womanhood, whether it be physically (à la Sarah Connor in Terminator 2) or tossing out the idea of an "emotional" female (see: Daria) or simply, defining who you are (like Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites). In the Captain Marvel comic books, what made Carol appealing is that she was the author of her own destiny. "Carol [Danvers, her character] changed my life and the movie hasn't even come out yet".

'Captain Marvel' is an aimless superhero slog
'Captain Marvel' flies into Marvel's elevated expectations

The pair also helped to write the screenplay for Captain Marvel, and Fleck said they were given a lot of freedom in the beginning, despite it being a big team process at Marvel, which is not what they are used to. Otherwise, this is one you can safely wait to see on pay TV or a subscription movie service. Not every Marvel movie has been a slam dunk, he notes, and Captain Marvel is a capable and fun movie that does a great job of establishing a new hero: "That said, it took three "Thor" films for Chris Hemsworth's thunder god to find his groove".

Within hours of Vers' arrival, she attracts the attention of one Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who at this point on the Marvel timeline still has both of his eyes and is a mid-level bureaucrat at S.H.I.E.L.D. who spends most of his time behind his desk, blissfully unaware of all the frighteningly powerful superheroes and archvillains in his future.

While the writer, editor, publisher and producer was often the man behind the stories, he also cropped up on the big screen every now and again with cameos in the films. It just proves that you can still be the size of a regular person and still pack as much of a punch. Carol Danvers drives fast because her Air Force co-pilot and best friend Maria Rambeau says she drives fast. This is Carol Danvers' story and we learn bits and pieces of her past as she comes to terms with her true identity and history. Explaining that the film spends so much time introducing its setting and character, it "doesn't leave an terrible lot of room for innovation".

Brie Larson is an inspiration here.

Despite featuring the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first woman lead character, Captain Marvel sticks to the overarching franchise formula.

If all of this sounds a little goofy while at the same time more than a bit old-hat, then you're pretty much on the money for what to expect here.

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