By Marc Woodfork
The first of 2019’s many superhero films slated to come out is “Captain Marvel.”
Academy Award winner Brie Larson dons the uniform as Captain Marvel. The film is an origin story of how the character Carol Danvers becomes one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe, while at the same time, saving Earth from becoming a casualty in a galactic war between two extraterrestrial groups. Even with the over saturation of super hero films in recent years, I was very excited to see this one. Being a big fan of Brie Larson, I wanted to see where she would take the genre. Just over two hours later, I left the theater disappointed, unfortunately — not so much with Larson’s performance, but more with the material they gave her to work with.
The major problem with “Captain Marvel” is it doesn’t know what kind of movie it wants to be. The script is a muddled mess. If the filmmakers want to make an origin film, then make an origin film. Origin films need character development, which gives the audience a reason to care about them. There is not one character in this film that I genuinely cared about at the tne. There is familiarity with many of the characters because of the past Marvel films, but with this film, who cares? There is no emotional connection. As far as the story develops and how it connects to the present Marvel Universe, your guess is as good as mine.
The few attempts that are made to connect them are unconvincing and nonsensical. And, as with all the other Marvel superhero films, the filmmakers inject humor into the script, and really the only time that it worked was with the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie. It didn’t work for “Captain Marvel.” Marvel has an established core audience and they will no doubt love this film, but Marvel’s first shot a female lead superhero deserved more.
Audiences have evolved and can handle a mature film; a smart film; a film that pushes the boundaries of what it means to suddenly discover that you have superpowers and what that does to one’s psyche. I hope at some point filmmakers will figure that out.