2019, Movies

Captain Marvel (2019, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck)

As I have noted with Marvel movies, I only ever read X Men and related comics, so I have no skin in the game of whether or not Captain Marvel should be a man. But a quick Wikipedia search reveals that it’s not so controversial as some made it seem. But make no mistake, this is about as feminist a comic book movie as has ever been made. (I’d argue more so than Wonder Woman.)

Certainly as an antidote to all the male-dominated super hero comic book movies out there, this one is a welcome change of pace. And I will say that it avoids the thing I liked least about Wonder Woman, which was the very rote climax of that film, which I felt like I had seen many, many times. This film maybe overdoes it just a little on the “girl power” thing but when you have so little precedent to work off, I guess that’s going to happen. (Examples: the memory montage which feels like it’s a commercial, the “Just a Girl” fight sequence.)

I find the approach to the story of the character here to be a little refreshing too, though I have definitely seen it in more than one movie before. It does at least feel somewhat somewhat unique to the MCU. (Though I can think of at least one quasi parallel off the top of my head.) Having already seen Endgame, they did have me wondering “How does she become Captain Marvel?” So that’s too their credit.

But the iffiness of the “science” underlying all of these films is on full display here – though not to the extent of the Ant-Man movies – and it’s hard to fully unite this film in my mind with all the other mythology. (Though the movie tries its hardest.) Did Thanos and the Kree ever bump into each other? If I missed that, I’m sorry, as it’s very hard to keep track. But if I didn’t, it sure feels as though Thanos might want to go after the Kree more than, say, humanity. And everyone speaks English. (Though the film does try to explain that with a lame “universal translator” thing I think they stole from Green Lantern.) And some plane they found on earth has a switch that turns on artificial gravity. And so on.

Inevitably, as with nearly all Marvel films, the stakes are extremely high. Only this time, it’s a little easy. I guess that’s on purpose, to let audiences know what is coming in Endgame. But it still feels a little cheap.

I’m glad this movie exists, and it is a welcome change from most comic book movies. But I must say that the issues I have with Marvel films mostly arose in this one too. And it didn’t really make me care about the character who, in effect, realizes she’s a god.


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