Skip to content

Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Captain Marvel

2019 | United StatesAustralia | 123 min | More...
A still from Captain Marvel (2019)
C+: 3 stars (out of 5)
on Sun Nov 08, 2020

Brie Larson deserves better. She’s a rare performer whose innate charisma can smooth over a film’s rough edges. Captain Marvel has many. Consider the film’s first quarter. An exposition-laden opening meanders to a surprisingly cheap-looking set piece on an alien world. The script proffers a mystery around Larson’s character’s identity, but it doesn’t engage. Larson does.

After another forgettable set-piece, the film finds its feet. Larson crash-lands in 1990’s Los Angeles and teams up with Samuel L. Jackson who’s reprising his role as super-spy Nick Fury. The Larson-Jackson pairing proves inspired. Their scenes together provide the film’s best moments.

But about those rough edges. Like skips on a record, their incongruity pulled me out of the narrative. We have a scene where Annette Bening, blue blood trickling from her temples, struggles to pull a ray gun from her bomber jacket to “blast the core.” Ugh.

Or Ben Mendelsohn—in full alien makeup—sitting at a dinner table in rural Louisiana trying to invoke gravitas regarding his people’s plight.

The Marvel movies usually nail this sort of thing, whether it’s a talking raccoon, or a Norse God exiled to Earth, by finding the right tone—whether it’s comedic, sci-fi adventure, or heroic epic. But Captain Marvel fails to mesh its comic book escapism with its earnest aspirations regarding female empowerment and imperial condemnation. Tonally, it’s all over the place and the shifts are jarring.

It’s not a total disappointment like Doctor Strange or the Ant-Man films, but imagine what Larson could have done with a better script.

Viewing History

    Watched on
    Sun Nov 08, 2020 via 4k UHD Blu-ray (2019 | Disney / Buena Vista)
    Watched on
    Sat Mar 16, 2019
    at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - One Loudoun