Sunday, March 10, 2019

Captain Marvel Review

Despite the bad roads and hubby having to be on call over the weekend, we made it out of our house to see the latest installment of the MCU.

I had read some reviews prior to going and had read about the issues arising from the lead actress's comments about white male reviewers. So, here I am, a female reviewing the movie. More importantly, a white female who had not read the comics.

The movie started out with a dream/flashback that becomes clearer over the course of the movie until it all finally expands to the truth at the end. That worked well enough. And I didn't feel like this was a female-empowerment movie so much as a man-in-a-woman's-body movie as too many "strong female" stories have become. Unrealistic. But even the men in the movie showed more emotion than the main character.

The movie felt thin to me, like something was missing in the first half. It wasn't until the last half of the movie that I felt more engaged. I thought about it when I couldn't sleep (because life sucks that way for me) and before I took something for that. Here's what I realized about the movie:

In the effort to have a "strong female", the writer missed an important factor early in the story--MAKE THE AUDIENCE CARE. I didn't care about anything, except maybe Fury and Coulson, and that's because I had previously been introduced to them as fully-fleshed out characters with a reason to care for them. But Carol Danvers--nope. Two-dimensional. Female in body only. She felt cold in personality. (And that's another thing--strong female does not mean man-with-boobs. It means a woman who gets past her struggles to do what needs to be done and who isn't afraid to show emotion or even to let others take care of her. We all need to let someone care about us at some point so we can take care of ourselves. That's not weakness. That's inner strength--the confidence to let others see the vulnerabilities inside.)

And the lead character wasn't the only one with that problem. The Skrulls developed into sympathetic characters but that was totally a switch from the introduction of them. What the writer should have done was introduced some question at the beginning that would have made the audience wonder. Maybe the writer saw it as a plot twist, but I think planting the seed of doubt about the Kree and Skrulls in the audience's mind in the beginning would have given the story a lot more emotional impact and a reason to care about the story throughout the movie.

That reason to care has to come from the very beginning and I just didn't. Besides the character's (or actress's) lack of personality, that was the major problem with this movie. It redeemed itself towards the end, but for most of it, it was just action without any real purpose except... because that's what she was told to do.

The "cat" was an interesting tool too.

Poor writing throughout most of the movie, good production (as expected for Marvel), and decent acting. I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars only because 2 is just a little too cruel. MCU set the bar high with previous movies, so my judgment is weighed against that as a guideline.

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