NEWS

Captain Marvel reviewed – calm your tits!

It’s a bit of a shame we can’t talk about captain Marvel without talking about all the bullshit that’s played out in the leadup to it’s release.

Propaganda style poster of Captain Marvel flying

Bullshit I was blissfully unaware of until I put it on the content schedule and started to do research for this review.

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The controversy

I’ll give you a quick rundown on what this white male critic—who, apparently because of my skin colour and what’s between my legs sits in the majority before I even speak—thinks.

The trailers introducing us to Captain Marvel were mediocre at best. Expectations were high off the back of Avenger’s Infinity War with the impression that Captain Marvel was gonna swoop in and be bigger and more powerful than Thanos. Not the first time there’s been an underwhelming trailer released for a movie. Better the trailer suck and the movie rule I say.

The casting of Brie Larson was brought into question because the trailer didn’t show that much range and that kicked off some serious trolling. Fans start messing with images of her, and posting some revolting and antagonising comments across social media. Larson herself speaks out and says stuff like;

I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ It wasn’t made for him. I want to know what it meant to women of color, to biracial women, to teen women of color, to teens that are biracial.”

In reference to the gender and racial imbalance among film critics, which pours more gasoline on the fire when people take it seriously and out of context. People start to supposedly ‘review bomb’ Rotten Tomatoes to drop the film’s ranking before release which see’s the Rotten Tomato people shut that shit down and remove tens of thousands reviews that were allegedly put up on the site before the movie even opened.

None of this helps anybody.

Whenever an actor uses their celebrity as a platform to make a political statement I always take it with a grain of salt because I find it hard to care about or trust the opinion of someone who lives a world away from us common folk and plays make believe for a living. However, I think Larson is to be applauded for firing back, this is absolutely in the spirit of the character she’s portraying and I think a deliberate ploy to drag Captain Marvel from a C-list character up to the big league and even out the gender balance in these superhero sausagefests.

Speaking of sausagefests, Marvel’s Captain Marvel has been around since 1967 and was a male character designed to put a trademark on the name because DC also had a Captain Marvel that had been around since 1939, although these days you’d know him better as Shazam. Fast forward to present day, Marvel now owns the name outright and he is a she. There’s more to it than that but I’m gonna have a crack at reviewing the film if that’s ok with you.

Please excuse my whiteness and penis while I proceed.

The movie

This is the first foray into superhero territory by writer directors Anna Boaden and Ryan Fleck, whose previous work includes the critically acclaimed indy flick ‘Half Nelson’.

Captain Marvel is the origin story of how test pilot Carol Danvers becomes one of the mort powerful heroes in the universe and gets involved in an intergalactic war that happens to be staged on Earth between the technologically advanced militaristic Kree and the more guerrilla force of the shape-shifting Skrulls. Its set in the mid 90’s in Los Angeles and introduces us to a young Nick Fury, the agents of shield and connects a few dots that will help set the stage for Avengers Endgame, which is due for release really soon.

The cast

We get to meet Jude Law as Kree military commander and Marvel’s Mentor Yon Rogg, Anette Bening plays the Kree Supreme Intelligence (among other things), Lashana Lynch is Danver’s best friend and fellow test pilot Maria Rambeau, Akira Akbar as Rambeau’s daughter Monica and Ben Mendelsohn plays Skrull leader Talos. Renewing their roles from previous films are Clark Gregg as agent Coulson and Samuel L. Jackson of course as Nick Fury.

Let’s not forget the woman of the hour, Brie Larson as Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel.

All the cast perform great, Ben Mendelsohn is excellent as Talos and adds some dimension to his character that makes him so much more than a black and white bad guy. Samuel L Jackson turns in his best performance of Nick Fury yet and seems to be having a lot of fun with the role in this one. And people need not fear for the fate of Captain Marvel because it turns out that she’s in excellent hands with Brie Larson. She does a stellar job bringing with just the right amounts of sass, drama and even humour throughout. Every scene with her and Jackson was great, and the rapport that they seem to have off screen really comes through.

The story is a bit light, but there’s some really nice messaging at it’s core about the importance of family, getting in touch with your feelings in order to reach your full potential and compassion for others less fortunate. These are all great things.

There is a little virtue signalling about toxic masculinity in there, particularly in one scene where Danvers is hazed by a male pilot who dismisses her ability as a female pilot stating “it’s not called a cock pit for nothing” and another where a biker bloke runs the old “hey baby give me a smile” line. But it’s hard to be triggered by that when concept of a super hero, with all the strength and qualities that we mere mortals can only hope to achieve is just one big virtue signal anyways.

The verdict

Captain Marvel is a decent example of a hero that everyone can look up to regardless of what’s under your tights.

With any superhero blockbuster you know there’s gonna be some big digital effects but the best ones in this film come in the way they digitally de-aged Sam Jackson to look like a young Nick Fury. There’s some great fight scenes in the first half of the film, and one really bad one at the end that takes place in really low light and it’s hard to tell what the fuck is going on.

Unfortunately the direction lacks some of the panache that previous Marvel directors like Ryan Coogler, James Gunn or Taika Waititi brought to their films. It reminded me a lot of the style of the earlier Marvel movies like Iron Man or Captain America and perhaps because of the links to Endgame Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege may have been more hands on.

I went in with some low expectations and ended up actually having a really great time. It’s a fun movie, and had points where I laughed out loud, which is rare thing for me, being a sour old toxic male. I’d even as far to say that I enjoyed Brie Larson’s portrayal of Captain Marvel as much is I did the late great Christopher Reeve’s version of Superman. Are you triggered by that comment? Well calm your tits.

Captain Marvel is like jumping into a shallow pond, if you expect depth and dive in you’ll get hurt, but if you take it easy you’ll have a refreshing dip.

It’s also entirely optional, no one’s making you jump either way.

🍿🍿🍿1/2

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