I’ll be honest: I didn’t originally plan to go see Captain Marvel. Unfortunately, this is a pretty dead season for movies, so when I wanted to escape the stresses of junior year for an hour or two I opted to see Captain Marvel rather than Wonder Park or Dumbo. I was neither disappointed nor impressed. I didn’t hate Captain Marvel, but it was certainly not my favourite. I liked some things about it, but I don’t think I would pay to watch it again. It was fine, but not Marvel’s best.
That being said, I did enjoy some elements of Captain Marvel. One thing I really enjoyed was Goose, Carol’s cat (Carol is Captain Marvel’s real name). That probably sounds dumb, but I really do think that Goose made the movie better. Of course, I’m pretty biased as a cat lover in the first place, but I think the use of a cat as the comic relief character was genius. Most Marvel movies have a comic relief character, and the second they come on screen you think to yourself, “there they are!” I think making the comic relief character a cat was a cool idea, because cats can’t crack witty jokes like most Marvel characters, so the humor feels unique and fresh.
The other element, or elements, of the film I really liked were the characters Agent Coulson and Nick Fury. It was cool that they took existing characters and explored them more. Unless you watch the Marvel TV shows, you have no real concept of what Nick Fury and Agent Coulson are like, and they seem really generic and bland. Captain Marvel doesn’t focus on them a whole lot, but the elements of characterization that they do add are interesting. I loved the scene where Coulson encounters Carol and Nick on the stairs, hesitates, and then yells up at his superior that no, he hasn’t seen them. It was a short scene, but it revealed a lot about his character. That’s pretty cool in my opinion.
Now, I’ll get into the elements of the movie that I didn’t enjoy as much. First and foremost, I felt that Captain Marvel was overpowered. Perhaps this was intentional to set her up as the one to defeat Thanos in Infinity Wars, but regardless it annoyed me. How is the audience supposed to feel any suspense at all when the main character is capable of destroying an entire enemy fleet by just flying into it? There are plenty of battle scenes, but none of them are truly suspenseful because it never feels like Carol is going to lose. My larger critique, and the reason I initially had reservations about seeing Captain Marvel, is that the plot is boring and overdone. Ever since the success of The Avengers, it seems like Marvel has been recycling the same plot. Aliens threaten earth, looming above us in some futuristic spaceship and laughing maniacally, and we humans seem hopeless. Fortunately, an alien with cool powers shows up. The alien becomes sympathetic to the human cause, either because they are human/part human themselves or because of a love interest, and then the alien kicks the ass of whatever baddie threatens Earth. This isn’t entirely Marvel’s fault since they are working off of pre-established storylines, but I’m kind of over it regardless. My advice? Save yourself fifteen dollars and watch Guardians of the Galaxy on Netflix.