Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Writers: Anna Boden (screenplay by), Ryan Fleck (screenplay by)
Stars: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn
Movie Couple here! We rushed out to see Captain Marvel this weekend! Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies! We’re here to tell you if we liked it. Film students we are not! Just a quick reminder of our rating system.
Mrs. Movie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out. we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system. 1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money! 3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent! 5-6 Bills equal Wow! Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter! Please take our money again!
I love all the MCU films and have not missed one in the theatres yet! I have read comic books my whole life, so I can remember the character of Captain Marvel from the printed page, back when she was Ms. Marvel! Mrs. Movie Couple does not. She has seen all the MCU movies, but her history of the characters does not go much beyond the films. This is just to let you know the type of familiarization we both are bringing with us to see this film. We both were anticipating this movie the way we do most Marvel films, we expected this to be connected to the MCU, but also an introduction to a hero we had never seen before. Much like Ant Man and Doctor Strange. Black Panther was in Civil War prior to his solo film (which we loved BTW), but Captain Marvel seemed to remind us of Ant Man and Strange as we have never seen her until this film.
I will do the set up for this review but since we saw it on International Women’s Day, we will let the actual reviewing be done by Mrs. Movie Couple this time! The film starts in space, on a Kree homeworld, if you don’t remember the Kree alien race brush up on your Guardians of the Galaxy films to not feel lost. This is where we meet Carol Danvers as an amnesiac known as Vers on this planet played by Brie Larson and Yon-Ragg portrayed by Jude Law. We get introduced to some very alien concepts very quickly. The Kree seem to be inconstant war with an alien species called the Skrulls that can shape shift and are a somewhat conquering, terroristic race. How Carol (Known on this world as Vers) is a part of the Kree soldier squad and has the ability to fire energy from her glowing hands is part of the mystery and teased early on. The Kree has a Supreme Intelligence that all Kree meet sparingly and seems to rule all. Imagine a space Wizard of OZ if it helps. It appears to each Kree as the person they admire most. To Carol, that is the form of the amazing Annette Bening, for reasons you will learn later and we will not spoil. We are shown part of the conflict, as the secret “Star Force” encounters a nasty cell of Skrulls during a mission gone wrong. Suffice to say, Carol ends up escaping to Earth (circa the 1990’s, as we are shown constantly thanks to a Blockbuster video store, Nine Inch Nail T-Shirts and slow internet) where she encounters not only a Skrull infestation, but a young Nick Fury and Agent Coulson (played by Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg with a little CGI help)! Oh and she learns a lot about her true past and how she got her amazing powers. There are a few twists along the way, that we will not spoil. A great cat sidekick, some human allies, a surprise call back to Carol’s comic book origins and a final fight scene that sets Captain Marvel up as the “Superman” level power house of the Marvel Cinema Universe! We are not here to tell you the entre movie, so that’s all you get in the form of a description. Did we enjoy it? Take it away, Mrs. Movie Couple!
Mrs. Movie Couple here! So let me get right down to the brass tacks, I loved Wonder Woman! It was one of my favorite superhero films and I was super (forgive the pun) excited to see another solo female hero given her very own film! Bottom line though, this movie was bad. Brie Lawson as Carol Danvers gave a wooden almost forced performance in my opinion. She was amazing in Room and I expected so much more from her. Sam Jackson was his regular self, but the chemistry the script tried to create between them never came across on film. Their banter and jokes fell flat as if they were reading from a script rather than bringing words to life. I felt more chemistry between Jason Mamoa and Amber Heard in Aquaman and I wrote that they had zero chemistry! Not sure if the fault lies with the script itself or the direction of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, but it was notable. The action scenes were a bit on the shaky cam side, which I find distracting, but that’s a preference. The entire train fight scene and chase set piece had a TV energy level and was no where near the movie cinema quality I expect from these huge Marvel blockbusters. The comedy fell flat as well, other than a scene or two featuring the cat Goose (a scene stealer) and a joke or two involving the Skrulls all other attempts were grown inducing. Most Marvel films have a great use of comedy! See The Thor films or the Guardians of the Galaxy movies to see it done in spectacular fashion! Even Paul Rudd’s Ant Man series has a nice and easy flow to its comedy. Even tense or serious solo MCU films have found natural ways to drop humor in their movies, look no further than Black Panther or Dr Strange for how to do this correctly. Speaking of groan inducing! My eyes rolled halfway into my head, during a scene where Carol is tossing bad guys left and right just as No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” plays in the background! I am not kidding! Subtle this is not! Besides the observations of lack of chemistry or good humor, this movie just bored me. I did not feel any stakes, never for one second felt that Carol was challenged, she overcame any and all obstacles with nearly zero effort. This MCU entry felt like a cash grab at worst and at best an introduction forced just so we all know who Captain Marvel is before she shows up to pick up Thor’s hammer, grab Captain America’s shield and kick Thanos tail all by herself and save the Avengers in Endgame, as Alicia Keys “This Girl is on Fire” plays in the background. I was really disappointed. The acting, plot and directing all ranked this in my book, as the weakest Marvel entry yet. Here’s hoping for Wonder Woman ’84 to come quickly.
So here we go!
Mr. Movie Couple: Who am I to disagree with my wife on International Women’s day? I agree with most of what she already said. As a lifelong comic fan I loved seeing the Skrulls on screen! Not sure I agree with a twist involving them toward the end of the film, but those of you that are comic readers can judge for yourselves. Again, the comic fan in me wanted more explanation about where her powers come from and how she uses them, but maybe that will come in Captain Marvel 2. Sadly, all that Mrs. Movie Couple said about acting, chemistry and balance of comedy and action all ring true. This movie will get far more positive reviews then negative, because its simply not acceptable to be hard on this movie without being labeled a misogynistic, anti feminist. This is a shame, because the character is fine, but the film just isn’t good. Marvel has many strong females portrayed in film, Wasp in the Ant Man series, Shuri from Black Panther, The Black Widow, Scarlet Witch from the Avenger films and of course, Agent Peggy Carter from the Captain America films who also starred in her own TV series! They are all strong female characters, that is not the issue. The issue is this movie isn’t nearly as entertaining as the previous Marvel films. Just being honest. Mrs. Movie Couple hit it right on the nose!
Mrs. Movie Couple: She hated it! She found its message as subtle as a hammer to the head and the direction, acting and script well under par. On the drive home she told me she wanted to watch Aquaman on demand to cleanse her palate and she didn’t even like Aquaman!!!
Mr. Movie Couple: I was really disappointed as well. Larson and Jackson let me down. The script was dull and the direction was choppy and lacking. The largest sin for me was that everything felt forced and due to that it was not enjoyable. Even the worst Marvel films so far have been enjoyable. Just a huge let down for me. Please don’t label me.
The car ride home comments were all negative, so we both decided to give this movie 2 Bills. Mrs. Movie Couple wanted 1, but I say 2 for the Cat and Skrulls alone! Captain Marvel gets 2 Bills! A waste of both our time and money!
So until we head out to the cinema again, See you next date night at the movies!