Captain Marvel

Her Name is Carol


08 March 2019| Comments Off on Captain Marvel     by Sean Chavel


Captain Marvel transports the action from another part of the galaxy to the mid-90’s planet Earth, where Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson tag-team… nah, team up so Jackson can provide Larson with backup support, all to fight and to locate a blue glowing cube called the Tesseract, a much sought item through several Marvel Comic Book movies. The biggest shock for me is not that a girl is front and center as a superhero breaking the myth it’s a boys only club, it’s when I learned that the latest Marvel tentpole was directed by the indie team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the duo that made their low-budget debut masterpiece “Half Nelson” about a teacher with a drug problem, followed by a few more low budget gems including a great gambling addict movie called “Mississippi Grind” with Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds.

With this CGI-heavy gimcrack, I was lost during the first minute already during this latest superhero in outer space escapade, and lost more for another twenty. When the action jumps to planet Earth, one-time Air Force pilot Carol Danvers (Larson) may or may not be human, but at least I could follow the more simple requirements of the plot: There will be good guys and bad guys, and inevitably, one group chases the other through ramshackle locations. There is, truth in criticism, a cool underground Air Force base and a particular neat socko in a hall of records scene.

Sometime an hour later, the movie clarifies everything after most of Danvers’ amnesia is gone and after one explanatory encounter between the the shape-shifting Skrulls and the earthlings, and it appears their species’ objective is not as selfish as anybody first thought. Our sympathies shift, yet God forgive me, by the end I was damn confused what the hell I was supposed to feel for Annette Bening. I thought she was some kind of Earth genius with an invention to do good, but… oh, forget it. No, let’s not. The Bening story just made me angry.

I also have problems about the Skrulls planet, but didn’t realize I had problems with it until I was searching through hindsight. I thought it was just another whatever works type of action filler, but it turns out the plot hinges on what happened while the Kree people tried to go slaughter the evil Skrulls. The action and set decoration of these scenes are cheesily done, and shrouded in dim light. The visuals don’t help get the message of the plot across, so we see a couple Skrulls here and there with no comprehension who bands together, and then there is a blackout for the protagonist who is a Kree… I get it, we’re not supposed to fully comprehend. But, I’m sorry, I want to be able to comprehend with hindsight.

The banter is moderately amusing between Larson’s Carol and Jackson’s Nick Fury, they get a few splashy licks in with each other. And even as a casual MCU observer, I was jolly to finally get the answer during “Captain Marvel” as to how Fury lost sight in one eye that resulted in a permanent eye patch. Carol comes off confused and uncertain most of the time, and then over-capable when she does suddenly come to grips with all her powers.

I like the flying planes and space rockets, it’s the stuff of old 80’s outer space adventure flicks. “Captain Marvel” may be tooting itself for girl power, but its appeal is the eye candy. At least Boden and Fleck know how to select good camera angles to create eye candy. Still, I’m not sure if I care if we get another half dozen Carol Danvers movies. But I do care that Boden and Fleck come back to Earth to make indie movies again with interesting characters.

With Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Djimon Honsou and Clark Gregg. Plus, a load of female driven songs from the ’90’s.

128 Minutes. Rated PG-13.          


Film Cousins: “Independence Day” (1996); “The Avengers” (2012); “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014); “Wonder Woman” (2017).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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