by Chris Leonard a.k.a. The Digital Realist
Recently, I’d seen the theatrical release of Captain Marvel, the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I can sum up the entire movie in two sentences: Everyone is intelligent. Everyone is doing dumb things.
Let me start off by explaining where my perceptions are coming from because there has been (and still is ) a lot of controversy about this movie – it having a feminist political agenda, and the lead actress Brie Larson, perpetuating this agenda. I am not giving a review based on my opinions of feminism. Also, I’m not a comic book aficionado. I won’t be defending the comic-to-live-action accuracy in any way because I’ve never read Captain Marvel and I’m not in depth in knowledge of all the Marvel characters and their reasons for living.
What you can be sure of, and where my approach to this review will be coming from, is my complete understanding of story development – plot, character development ( or character arc), visual narration, writing continuity, gags, colloquialisms, emotional development, logic and actions pertaining to logic, and other literary devices , etc. Basically, I will be giving a review by going scene to scene explaining why characters did a thing thinking it was intelligent, but in reality, it was really unnecessary and dumb. Really really dumb.
• Act 1. Scene 1.
(Also known as scene 143…256…14349…and so on, because they literally played these scenes over and over again throughout the movie. Even in the end credits)
We’re shown images and occurrences that are flashbacks of whats-her-name and the actress Annette Benning as her character. I’m not calling Brie Larson ‘whats-her-name’ to sound unprofessional. I’m calling her ‘whats-her-name’ because, for the first eight minutes of the movie, no one says her name. W-H-N wakes her from her flashback dreams (what looked like scenes from The Wonder Years mixed with The Sandlot ) in her bedroom that’s clearly of a different place and time because of all the flying cars and future furniture from The Fifth Element. The very next scene is whats-her-name at whats-his-name ‘s door, played by Jude Law, asking if they can spar because she had a bad dream. The very next scene after that, they are in what looks like a remake of Morpheus fighting Neo where Jude Law is fighting whats-her-name and winning apparently.
Why is this a problem already? We’re ten minutes in the movie and no one has said anyone’s name! Not a brief camera shot of a nametag. Not a line of dialog from a neighbor. The mailman could have driven by and been like, “Hey, [insert protagonist character’s name here], let’s have a great plot today, okay?” Even when she got to Jude Law’s door, I could have said, “[Insert protagonist character’s name here], what are you doing at my futuristic house this early??”
Exposition is a crucial element of storytelling. It gives the audience details about the character that is needed to understand the plot, y’know? What makes the character get out of bed in the morning? We literally see Brie Larson get out of a bed in the morning, after having flashbacks for twenty seconds, only to then go to have a sparring battle where she’s fighting this guy we don’t know yet. Nothing has been explained at all! I’m a guy coming to see an action movie with no background knowledge of the text or media about it and the least you can give me is a name!
• Act 1. Scene 3.
Let’s spar, but I’m going to win anyway.
Although movie didn’t help me as I watched, I’m going to use names now. Brie Larson, at this point known to be Vers, is fighting actor Jude Law, known to be Yon-Rogg in a training room (not related to Balrog from Street Fighter). As Yon has the upper-hand in the battle, Vers is getting irritated and decides to use her Weapon X powers and shoot a laser out of her fist at Yon’s face. Before firing, Yon says,
“Control your emotions.”
And Vers stops. Immediately after, Yon says something witty and Vers shoots a hole into the wall anyway. So, sparing is now officially over. Let’s get on a train.
Now, how do you, the reader, feel right now? Feels like I’m rushing a bit?; As if I might be skipping over some details? Am I being a little too anxious to tell you the story? No. I’m not. This is the first ten minutes of the movie and we’ve learned nothing. Neither did I. Why can she shoot lasers from her hands and not Jude Law? What were the flashbacks about? They look like they took place during episodes of Full House and yet here we are in the future of flying cars and spaceships sparing with Jude Law in all nylon skinny jeans.
What the fuck is happening? Where is exposition? I felt stupid. Audiences shouldn’t feel stupid. Especially, not in the first ten minutes. Just like an essay has a thesis statement with three to five sentences to dictate the body paragraphs, the first three to five minutes of a movie are going to dictate what the entire movie is going to be about. If it’s an action movie, then the first three minutes should begin with action. The first ten minutes of Captain Marvel was confusing and dumb. So…….
• Act 1. Scene 5.
Look at me. I’m a computer.
After some exposition on the train from Yon (I will call Yawn now because he is boring); honestly I can’t even remember, it was so unimportant. Something like,
“Control your emotions. Ignore those dreams you had. They’re bullshit. Go kill the Skrulls on this planet I know about. I’m like a brother to you. Byyeee.”
Vers goes to Supreme Intelligence to ask the computer lady, with the same name, if she can go do something today. Supreme Intelligence (Sup’ Intel) would have Vers walk into a room, stand on some Ivan Ooze that would seep into her brain and connect her to The Matrix. I use movie references a lot. Once there, she’s greeted by Supreme Intelligence’s proxy (played by Annette Bening). The proxy takes on the form of someone important to your memories. Remember the flashbacks from the earlier?; Remember my thesis earlier?; That in this movie, everyone says intelligent things…everyone does dumb things? So, earlier I felt dumb because I didn’t know who was who and what and why and where. The movie didn’t feel the need to tell me for several minutes what the hell we were here doing. When Vers lands at Supreme Intelligence, there’s literally a caption that appears on the screen in big bold letters that says ‘SUPREME INTELLIGENCE’, to say, ‘Hey.. just so you know, we’re here at Supreme intelligence’s house. So…. you good? You got it?” Yeah. ….I got it. But, movie, you couldn’t tell me the main character’s name or the main villain’s name? Jude Law is the main villain so let’s get that out of the way.
Then, you show me a flashback of something that supposed to be important with Annette Benning and now, five minutes later, Vers is standing in front of Computer Annette Benning. Movie, this is a significant plot twist, but it should not be happening here. Annette’s appearances in the flashback should have been much later than this. We’re literally talking to the answer to the whole movie’s climax right here and you’re not going to explain yourself? Imagine watching Mulan and you’re like, “I wonder how and when the soldiers are going to figure out she’s actually a woman?”, and ten minutes into the movie Mulan walks around topless and the rest of the soldiers are like, “Is that soldier a woman? Hmmm. Let’s find out…but later.” Movie, I’m not dumb but you’re acting like I am! Computer Annette not being the one in the dream is clearly a plot twist for later. CLEARLY! I’m getting angry as I type this. No filter.
The conversation with Sup’ Intel is the same as with Yawn;
“Control your emotions. Ignore those dreams you had. They’re bullshit. Go kill the Skrulls on this planet I know about. I’m like a mother to you. Byyeee.”
Already at this point, I’m taking it all in like I’m watching Batman Forever – very gimmicky, very corny, but to hell with it. We should have some fun, right? Nooooo.
• Act 1. Scene 9.
We should have started here! The movie should have started here, you idiots! Also, Jude Law, …what?
So, what you’ve learned as I did is that Yawn is trying to control Vers for some reason, obviously evil and that Sup’ Intel takes on the form of someone important to Vers, obviously good, and the movie thinks that you’ve not figured this out yet. SUPREME intelligence there, movie. On the way down to the planet with the Skrulls, we meet the Ninja Turtles. Why do I call them this? Because again, movie doesn’t want to introduce names or powers. It was just “here is this group of people that are going to help. They all laugh and joke like they know each other, but you don’t need to know who the fuck they are.” Wrong, movie. Wrong. A character’s development is not only solidified by his/her struggle, motivation, failure, come back, and victory (none which Captain Marvel had as I’ll explain later), but also by their companions.
Every Blade movie, they at least took thirty seconds to introduce Blade’s crew and their unique skill or powers; So did Mission Impossible, Ocean’s Eleven, Kick-Ass, Mortal Kombat. Watchmen, Hellboy, X-Men, A-Team, Deep Blue Sea! (I’m reaching with that last one). In Captain Marvel, here are these team members that I don’t know, all with no proper introduction. I’m not exaggerating. The movie is going so fast with exposition, my head was spinning. Why are we here? Who is this guy? Who is that guy? Imaging watching Ninja Turtles having never seen or heard of the concept and you see Leonardo walk up to a 5-ft tall talking rat and the rat says, “Hey, Leo. These guys are going with you to fight blades, man.”
and Leonardo says,
Then, nunchucks guy, stick guy, sai guy, and hockey stick man all follow Leo out the sewers. No one says any names. No demonstration of power level or skill. No backstory. You just witness a bunch of turtles, a rat, and a grown-ass man wearing a Jason mask climb out of the sewers drenched with fecal matter while eating pizzas. You would be confused as hell.
But, I’m not dumb, movie. I figured it out on my own despite your terrible character development and writing. I used my SUPREME intelligence. The only ones that are significant are, who I named thusly: Sniper Girl Bangs and GiveUs-Us Free, The rest could kiss off. Their mission is to land on this planet where Skrulls have taken a POW that has intel on a powerful element advantageous to their regime. Yawn, Vers, and the Ninja Turtles are Space Seal Team Six sent to intervene. They see a cave where their target is located.
“Don’t mess with the locals.” says, Yawn. “Sniper Girl Bangs, you hang out back and cover us. Everyone else, we’ll sneak in carefully because this is CLEARLY an ambush.”
Just then, Vers says,
“No. I wanna do it. By myself.”
Now, typically, this kind of action is for the bafoon of the group – the one that goes out and gets shot first: Your Star Trek red shirts, the hard head brute with the mini-turret gun, or the guy in 90’s horror movies that says “Hey, did you hear that? Let’s go check it out.” However, this is SUPREME intelligence – our hero. She knows what to do…even though she is not the commander of this group. Even though, twenty seconds ago Sup’ Intel just fucking said don’t do shit like this. So, Jude Law tries to counterpoint by saying something like,
“Hey! Link! LISTEN!”
For some weird reason, the camera shows Brie Larson turn to Jude Law as he says this but cuts away from him back to Brie Larson before he could even finish his line? This happens a lot from then on. Jude Law will say something and the camera will cut away in mid-sentence as if to say “yeah…whatever.” Or he’ll get cut off in mid-sentence by Brie Larson. This is our villain, folks. The MAIN villain. Lex Luther in Batman v. Superman is more threatening.
So, with no counterpoint from Vers, Yawn literally sighs from the fatigue of the…argument? He literally says. “NO.” and then Vers says “Fine.” and then Yawn was like, *sighs* ….”okay”.
Who is strong in this movie? Who is LEADING this team? They approach the cave all at once as Vers goes inside. Meanwhile, Sniper Girl Bangs sees a group of locals approach Yawn outside the cave and realizes they are the Skrull in disguise.
Now, Skrull are these race of alien that can shapeshift into any walking and talking lifeform only differed by their blood. The Ninja Turtles can only tell who’s who by either safeword or shoot-first-ask-questions-later. Sniper Girl Bangs has a sniper rifle that can target multiple enemies at once and shoot an energy blast that will hit all targets consecutively. SUPREMELY intelligent gun. She takes out multiple Skrull imposters saving Yawn and the rest of the Turtles from a complete ambush. Meanwhile, inside, Vers is tricked by the POW who’s actually the Skrull Master himself, named Talos. Talos kidnaps Vers and escapes back to his ship with her.
THIS IS WHERE THE MOVIE SHOULD HAVE STARTED! The introduction of the Turtles, Yawn, and Vers with her flashbacks with the action could have all started here! We’re 15 minutes in and we just now get action and in less than two minutes it’s over. Also, Jude Law’s line when he’s ambushed, “s-s-s -SKRULLS!”, sounds like Shaggy from Scooby Doo and again they cut away from him as he says it. Editing is amazing at this point. Cinematography is amazing at this point. My sarcasm is obvious at this point.
• Act 1. Scene 15
Cockpit…. Men say this. Contradictory….. Movie does this.
Scene transition and we’re back in Vers’s flashbacks again. Movie wants to make sure you don’t forget that she has flashbacks. While traversing in the past, you can hear Talos talking to his crew in the background. He’s clearly in control of the replay button of Vers’s mind as her memories hold the clue to the location of the super-element for Lightspeed Travel. In the memories we see a few instances of Vers fucking up go-kart racing, and fucking up swinging from ropes ( two very easy things to do but somehow gives her the will to go Super Saiyan Blue later) and then ejecting from a plane (which didn’t actually happen in the real memory which we’ll also see later) until Annette Benning, a.k.a. Sup’ Intel, now known to be Dr. Larson, appears again. She, also in Air Force attire, is on Earth with Vers in these flashbacks. Before exposition could finish, a plot device in the form of a small Yoshi taps Vers on the face in the real world and wakes her up. She’s now hanging upside down hands and feet bound (with her shoes removed. Not the super-powered SUPREMELY INTELLIGENT suit, She can keep that because this clearly isn’t significant to her combat abilities, but the shoes had to go) and charges up her Weapon X fist breaking herself free.
Now, I get it. Talos didn’t want to kill her because of plot. But, c’mon, movie. He’s supposed to be the INTELLIGENT one here. He stunned her all by himself. Why not just have everyone with stun guns ready just in case she breaks free? Movie tells me “You worry too much” and begins a fight scene with Vers running around an alien ship with no shoes on beating everyone up – her Weapon X hands still bound with SUPREME metal. She has to open a door with her toe (because alien smart doors also work with human-toe-recognition) and she’s met with more aliens to pummel. After breaking a hole in the spaceship, its integrity is lost and it’s crash-to-earth time. Just before Vers can jump ship. Talos wittingly says, “Leaving so soon?.” Isn’t the entire ship blowing up, my guy? Shouldn’t you, too, be evacuating?
In the flashback of this scene earlier, there’s a guy who says “That’s why they call it a cockpit.” Everyone who’s got ill-will in this SJWs vs ManBearPig debacle has said everything that’s needed to be said in their reviews and I said I wasn’t going to attack the movie about its femm-puter political agenda but here’s my problem with this dialogue. At no point was there any exposition to explain why the guy was being … a jerk (??) to Vers. It’s not like they had a jet race and he beat her by half a second like or that he took her cornbread earlier that day in the Rec room. This is not another teen movie about boys in puberty teasing girls in high school. This is a Marvel action movie. If it was because she’s a woman, then movie YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY THE GUY DOESN’T LIKE THE WOMEN. Did he have a misogynist father who abused women during his childhood? Was his heart broken by some high school crush so he’s vindictive? Was he stung by bees like in My Girl and now he has a misguided vendetta against ladies? All characters influencing the plot need exposition or else it’s just pointless dialogue. He just appeared, said it, and then left just as quickly. Again, movie reference. You’re watching Mulan as is, and just before she fights that Genghis-Khan-looking-dude, she has a flashback to when she was in 3rd grade where some kid pushed her and says, “I’m king ding-a-ling!” and suddenly Mulan wakes up and her sword lights up and she does a twenty-hit combo on Genghis Khan with a Mu-shu co-op hyper combo finish. That would make no sense. That’s this movie. And it’s not the only time the movie does this. We still have to get to Earth.
• Act 2. Scenes 15- up to Act 3
Welcome to Earth
Captain Marvel (might as well call her by her hero name at this point) crashes into Blockbuster. Communication with The Ninja Turtles is lost and she’s looking for a phone. A security guard confused at what just happened (the MOST realistically intelligent person in the movie) calls Past-Self SHIELD to come. Meanwhile, the Skrulls …fell…to Earth? They don’t really show how they escaped their exploding ship in space. At least not all of them. Movie didn’t want me to worry about that. But, apparently, Talos and four of his Skrull crew survive and land on a beach nearby because of Earth’s orbit. They take the form of humans and look for Captain Marvel. At the same time, still at Blockbuster, Capt Marv is on a payphone using her SUPREMELY intelligent suit to call Yawn. He tells her to wait, but she doesn’t want to because she can”t follow instructions whenever someone tells her to. Everyone else follows directions but not her. So, how did she even get promoted to this crew? Why not keep her demoted so she’d never compromise missions and undermine authority? Jude Law is the villain. Oh, wait. I understand. Capt Marv not listening to him means she’s beating him. I just didn’t know it yet. Very heroic. Thanks, movie. I get it.
GiveUS-US-Free, says a line and then Sniper Girl Bangs says a line and then some other says an expositional line for time. Cut to Sam L. Jackson as Nick Fury (WHO DESERVES TO BE CALLED NICK FURY BUT DOESN’T ACT LIKE NICK FURY) arriving at the scene with Agent Carlson (played by Clark Gregg) as their younger selves – buddy cop movie music included. Now, it was to my understanding that there were people in secret organizations within the Marvel Universe that knew about space pirates and superheroes for decades since the 1960s at least. So, when Nick Fury showed up to Captain Marvel, still at the payphone (because this is the 90’s by the way. Hence, the Block Buster Video), I thought he’d be a bit more cautious. Maybe show up with two F-15’s hovering over the buildings just to be safe? Cap’t Marv trying to explain to Fury with her SUPREME INTELLIGENCE that shape-shifting Skrulls landed on Earth; And she explains stuff not in a respectful way, but in a kind of ass-hole way. Did the Kree teach Capt Marv to talk like this to all first contact of other intelligent life in the Solar System or is she just this kind of character herself? Seriously, there’s a scene later where Nick Fury is drinking some tea and Capt Marv know there’s some important plot device in the next room and she says, “You gonna go check on that?” and Nick Fury seems to choke on some tea and then skedaddles to the next room. Break character with me a bit. Imagine a guy leaning on the wall and he looks over at some woman, maybe his wife, girlfriend, or mom and he says, “You gonna go check on that?” You would think the guy was a jerk, right? Maybe, Logan, Dead Pool or Howard, the Duck can get away with that attitude. But no Avengers hero or heroine talks like this? So, why is Capt Marv talking like this? Movie, why is she talking to people like this? Anyway, after some witty banter with both-eyes Fury, a Skrull shoots at them and she gives chase…and so does Fury.
At this point, it’s not even Batman Forever corny. It’s Men In Black corny and movie is not giving a fuck as in this next scene. The Skrull disguised as an old lady and Capt’ Marv hop on a subway train (You may have seen this in the trailers). Capt’ Marv punches the imposter hard as hell in the face and the fight breaks out. The old lady Skrull is doing full somersaults and kickflip dropkicks on this compact subway train- more acrobatics than Spider-Man vs Doctor Octopus and the one thing that stood out to me mostly; the casting extras did not know what the fuck to do. Now, movie, decades from the story’s timeline people will be able to record and document such internet classics as MARTA Subway Girl and Girl Punched by MARTA Bus Driver – irrefutable truth that some women on public transit are insane. But, movie, are you going to tell me that an elderly woman is going to break out into super-human fight mode and hardly anyone is frightened by this? There was a moment where the Old Woman Skrull was doing parkour inside the train, connecting knuckles to knees and these three dudes grabbed Capt Marv and held her down. What the fuck? Why? Do you not see Golden Girls throwing hands right now? For all they know, Grandma could have rabies and Alzheimers. How are humans holding down Captain Marvel? Why isn’t anyone calling the police? It’s the nineties. At best, throw the Nokia phones at her if you wanted to stop her.
Meanwhile, Fury is in the car with Agent Carlson. At the same time, the real Agent Carlson calls Fury’s phone from the Block Buster. Before the Skrull on the passenger side can kill him, Fury swerves the car into on-coming traffic wreaking the car, killing the Skrull and injuring his eye (but not the eye we are looking for).
The Skrull, still inside the train, with Capt’ Marv in captivity, changes into another person and jumps into the sky to IN FRONT OF EVERYONE and no one is startled by this. There’s a guy stage left who see this and goes back to reading his newspaper like nothing just happened. What the fuck, movie? What human does this? What were directors thinking when they choreographed this scene?
“Okay, the old lady is going to kick her whole foot throw this window. So I want all the extras to think what you should do at this moment …and do the opposite of that.”
Capt’ Marv gets off at the train station having gained the lead then lost the lead. Nick Fury flashes his badge at the camera because they couldn’t hire enough extras to play as spectators to a FOUR CAR CRASH PILE UP and/or for scene transition. This movie was ridiculous.
The next scene, somehow, Capt’ Marv finds a computer cafe’ and tries to search info on Dr. Larson ( a gag on her not knowing how computers work) and then outside the cafe’, a guy on a motorcycle pulls up and riffs on her about her space outfit.
“Nice scuba suit.” and after a side-eye from Capt’ Marv, “Lighten up, Honey. Gonna smile for me?” , under his breath…”Freak.”
Now, a lot of people have expressed that this was another subliminal attack on masculinity. I’m going to be realistic. My guy was pulling up on his bike to go into the local shop (or the internet cafe’, who knows) and sees a grown woman wearing a suit looking like Green Lantern in broad daylight. I too would have some things to ponder. I mean, there’s a whole website dedicated to “The People of Wal-Mart” where some people should not have come outside wearing the clothes they wore. In this instance, Capt’ Marvel was one of those people. She might as well been wearing a Buzz Lightyear costume and it been to the same effect. Now, was the guy an ass for calling her “sweetheart”? Perhaps. But, movie, it’s my understanding that she doesn’t know how cell phones work or how to use the internet. She doesn’t even remember being on Earth before today so how would she even know what a “scuba suit” is or that the guy was patronizing when he said “sweetheart”. Why would it even matter? Her goal, I thought, was to find Dr. Larson and stop the Skrull. She shouldn’t care what human’s think. Since she’s been on Earth, she’s not asked anyone for help accept the SUPREMELY intelligent security guard. How does Capt Marv become a better hero having these singular occurrences in the movie?
Again, movie is trying to be intelligent with dialogue pop-culture social constructs and political agendas but is neglecting WRITING A CONSISTENT AND COHERENT STORY. Inserting misogyny tropes for humor without it being justified nor having a resolution, it just comes off as dumb dialogue. Take, for example, The Terminator. When he appears and asks for the thugs to give him their clothes. In that scene alone, we understand more about the Terminator. He, fully naked, asks street thugs to give him clothes. The Thugs dressed in punk delinquent attire, confused, make fun of The Terminator. They look like dangerous people. They are hostile, curse, and pull out knives. We, the audience, don’t sympathize with them. Their bad guys. They attack the Terminator and he kills them. The guy who lives gives The Terminator clothes and he leaves. Without having seen any more movie we understand the Terminator is cold-heartless killer but we know he’s not going to kill unnecessarily. He has an important mission. He can’t waste time.
Movie, what was Capt’ Marv teaching us so far? Really think. She’s a space warrior hero with SUPREME INTELLIGENCE to guide her and she doesn’t know how to use a basic map. She can’t ask for help even after she’s expressed how important the mission is. Basic human technology confuses her even though later in the film a little girl basically hacks her super suit with no training whatsoever. I’m supposed to sympathize with her because a guy called her sweetheart and a freak? Well, she’s standing in the middle of parking lot wearing a Buzzlightyear suit holding a map like A Goofy Movie. Yes, Thor also didn’t know how to order coffee. But, movie, you’re reaching for laughs too much. The internet cafe’ gag was enough. Motorcycle guy wasn’t only insignificant – it was overkill. Either Capt Marv is a bafoon or Capt Marv is misunderstood? BUT MOVIE. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SHOW ME WHY CAPTAIN MARVEL IS A HERO? It was just a few scenes ago on the train, she put innocent civilians lives in danger. She did. Not the Skrull. In Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man, while fighting Doc Octopus, saves several people from being flung from the train and then literally saves the train itself from destruction. He saves humans and city property. Will Capt Marv do something like that? – Intellectually? Creatively? Using her powers at least? We’re 30 minutes in and using a map and an AOL search isn’t the way. ….. Shortly after she steals the motorcycle and some clothes. Movie, how about this: She uses the SUPREMELY intelligent suit to just change into regular clothes. No? Okay. I’ll be quiet. I mean, the Skrulls can change their clothes so.. no? Okay. Let’s carry on.
Next scene is Nick Fury now with the dead Skrull from his car on an op-table being examined. The motorcyclist tipped Fury off to where Capt Marv is (because past-self Shield has no intelligence) and before taking a moment …to look at the alien’s…penis (??), leaves to go find her. Also, the head of Shield is replaced with Skrull Master Talos but has no significance in the movie other than more talking time.
Somehow, Capt Marv finds a bar with pictures in it from her Ace Combat days and just as she…finally asks someone…a guy…who is white (are you going to let him help, movie?) he’s cut off by Nick Fury standing behind her. More witty banter, wasting time, because Earth’s lifespan IS at stake here. Fury gives a quick background story – war stories, only to take a break for 6 years. (I’ll come back to this point later). Capt Marv, still not expressing how important the mission is right now, shoots a beam past his face blowing up people’s property. Not expressing anything heroic or noble in this scene. Just kinda giving Fury a lazy nonchalant vibe. Now, I’ve seen this kinda personna before. It was in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise (We all know how well that movie did. ….I-It did not do well.) Fury takes her to a secret underground base to find out where the plot is. I can literally sum up the rest of Act Two like this:
Nick Fury sees a cat appear out of nowhere. LITERALLY, out of nowhere. Capt Marv finds an address to another clue. You find out Dr. Larson is Mar-Vel (not to be confused with Kal-EL from Superman). Nick Fury gets beat up by Skrulls. while Capt’ Marv is on the phone. I’m not exaggerating. Nick Fury is getting his ass kicked by Att Lass-O-Of-Truth and MIB agents while Capt Marv is on the phone. Movie, this woman is so heroic. I see now. Literary devices and visual narratives be damned. They escape in one of the secret military air-to-space prototype ships that Capt Marv can fly (but still can’t use Windows ’97). Onward to plot-point and Act 3.
•Act 3. Scene 1.
With Great Friends Comes Great Responsibility
Capt Marv and Nick Fury land the very conspicuous, highly incriminating, super-secret military prototype plane at Maria Rambeau’s house, single mom to Monica Rambeau and a friend of Capt Marv back when she had her memories and was known as Carol Danvers. After some exposition about why they’re good friends (no scenes of them actually flying planes together or being in basic training. Heroic things heroic people do) Talos appears…in a suit for no reason…to say he’s got Rambeau’s daughter with a Skrull mom-copy outside (Rambeau sees this herself and isn’t shocked in the slightest) and won’t harm her unless Capt Marv sits down in front of a computer outside in a shed and listens to his mixtape… I- I mean the black box record of the crash from her memories. I shit you not. The computer is not in the main house. It’s in a sub-let outside 20 yards away from the main house.
Back in my day, before smartphones and Dark Scrolls 2, computers were a commodity mainly for bookworms and office types. So let’s assume that Rambeau was making this an office. Why would you install a 90’s computer in a shack 20 yards from your home? Single mom, why would you leave your child unattended to go to a shack inconveniently 20 yards from the house to use a computer. Why would you do this? Movie, why would she do this?
Now, the actress herself Lashana Lynch did act her ass off when she needed to be sad. She emoted very well. But, I fell like that’s the only reason she got the part because her actions in every other scene were written as if movie didn’t give a shit. Best friend comes back from the dead after half a decade. She is not afflicted. Best friend lands a secret military plane in her yard because the government is after them. She is not afflicted. Best friend has superhuman powers. She’s not really interested. Aliens are coming to extract memories from her best friend’s brain and maybe kill them. She’s not afflicted. She even answers the door to a potential Skrull not giving a fuck and neither superhuman Capt Marv nor Agent of Shield Nick Fury tries to stop her. Daughter is seen playing with Skrull imposter-mom that looks at her menacingly like a scene from This Is Us. She’s barely inconvenienced. Alien calls her ‘young lady”.
Her: “hOL’ UP hOL’ UP! YOUNG LADY? WHAT CHU MEAN YOUNG LADY?!”
This actually happens in the movie and I’m really sacrificing my essay writing skills just to get my point across how ridiculous this movie is – a MARVEL MOVIE. Why would heroes give a shit about being called “young lady”? Movie, Earth is going to be blown up soon. People are going to die. Y’know Stan Lee is dead, right, movie? The guy who started all this? The guy in the movie? Such honor to his name, the effort you put in, movie. Such honor. Very Heroic
• Act 3. Scene 5
I actually don’t know if my numbering is accurate, but neither are snipers
Insert another gag about how computers were slow in the 90’s – a great buildup to tension for the exposition that’s about to happen by the way. The CD reveals that Dr. Larson/Mar-Vel realized the Skrull are actually refugees and wanted to help them escape their Solar System with her LightSpeed technology. The Kree, including Yawn and the Ninja Turtles, found out. So, Mar-Vel with refugees in tow fled to Earth. There, she assimilated into Earth’s population and took on the identity of Dr. Larson. Using Earth’s tech, she began to make prototype ships that could travel light speed using the condensed energy from …the Tesseract – that blue square thingy that Thanos gets later. Yeah. Carol Danvers, was trained to be her test pilot (not an actual heroic fighter pilot that’s seen combat or is afflicted by a war in any way) and one day while flying, Yawn shows up and shoots them down. They crash. Carol not injured….at all, (So very heroic) pulls Mar-Vel from the wreck. I shit you not, Mar-Vel exclaims how they must destroy the ship so Yawn and the Kree won’t get the technology THEN PROCEEDS TO TELL A LONG WINDED STORY TO CAROL ABOUT WHO SHE AND THE KREE ARE.
Mar-Vel, my gal. Sweetheart. Young lady. The Kree are on THE way. Blow up the ship now. And I mean right now. This movie went from Men In Black to Pearl Harbor real quick. After her long speech, she pulls out her P-38 Space Modulator to shoot the ship and suddenly…out of nowhere….unexpectedly….Yawn appears, in place of the Talos memory, and shoots a whole hole in her chest. So, Mar-Vel is dead. Carol picks up the gun and points it at Yawn. Then, at the energy core of the ship Mar-Vel created and fires. It explodes and all the energy is absorbed by Carol. This is how she got her powers. She is now Alex Mack. The Secret World of Alex Mack. Shortly after, Sniper Girl Bangs appears wanting to shoot Capt Marv but Yawn says no. Hmm. Movie. Question. In the beginning, Sniper Girl Bangs shot the locals because she assumed they were Skrulls in disguise. Carol, a local of planet Earth, a place that Sniper Bangs calls “a shit show” so she must not have any sympathy for humans, to begin with, is pointing a deadly weapon at Yawn the Commanding Officer of The Ninja Turtles. Why didn’t Sniper Girl Bangs shoot her? Her only power is she shoots people before they hurt Yawn. It’s the ONLY thing she does in this movie. Why today of all days does she decide to come out of a sniper stealth mode to be completely contrary to the only thing you told us she can do? Oh. because you’re Air BnB roommates with plot armor. Sorry, I asked.
• Act 3. Scene 9
Give Me Some Space
With full Carol Danvers flashback DLC completed, Talos tries to convince Capt Marv to help him find the Tesseract so he can finish Dr. Larson’s research. She’s not confident with herself as a murderer of innocent Skrulls. She’s heartbroken that she can’t remember who she is and can’t trust anyone. With the help of some tears from Rambeau, Capt Marv decides to help. This is a serious moment. In the same scene, they realized that Dr. Larson’s lab is in space with a one-off line done by Nick Fury for a cheap laugh (who was also eating a sandwich the entire time. No bull shit). But, why? Movie, you were just serious two seconds ago? Rambeau put them tears on. Also, aren’t real comrades dead? Nick Fury killed a Skrull. Capt Marv killed a bunch of Skrull blowing up Talos’s ship. Not sure how many people were killed years ago during all these battles that were mentioned in throw-away lines, but movie says fuck it, let’s tell some jokes. Very heroic.
Also throw-away is the Skrull scientist who conveniently can reconfigure the military (still stolen and very detectable in U.S. air space) airship. He dies later. Capt Marv also throws away logic by asking Rambeau, the single mom with no powers, to go into space and leave her daughter alone on Earth. So heroic and smart for plot. But, Rambeau needs more screen time and Nick Fury (who could also have piloting skills because he’s been in wars) has to hold the cat. I am not exaggerating. Before take-off, Rambeau’s daughter hacks Capt Marv suit and makes it go from shit green to the Red, Gold, and Yellow. I am not exaggerating. This 9 year old girl hacks Capt Marv SUPREMELY intelligent suit giving it new a Fortnite decal. Meanwhile, Capt Marv still can’t use AOL keywords to search. Also, Capt Marv was brainwashed by a SUPREMELY INTELLIGENT computer built on an alien planet with highly advanced technology but a CD-rom on a Macintosh computer just restored her entire memories? At this point, I’m like,
“Movie, what are you doing to me? I think I’m in love. Logic and reason be damned. I’m enjoying this Disney remake of Spy Kids 2”
In space, Fury is playing with the cat. Talos tells him he’s holding a “flerken”, a cat/ hentai octopus/deus ex machina hybrid and not to wave it in his face. Fury, the alientologist is telling you that you have a dangerous space alien in your hands. Fury, why aren’t you listening to him? Everyone reaches the space lab. Capt Marv finds the Tesseract. Other Skrulls appear…wearing raggity clothes? Why not just shapeshift into decent clothes? There’s a line Talos says about shapeshifting being more like a talent than a bodily function, but you can’t tell me NONE of the Skrull refugees on the ship can shape-shift. Not even into a decent pair of pants? Anyway, we meet Skrull Master’s family and then Yawn and the Ninja Turtles show up with the high ground. Everyone is captured and Capt Marv is taken to SUPREME INTELLIGENCE via Wifi. Inside Sup’ Intel, Capt Marv’s like,
And then she remembers how she fell down a bunch of times and becomes ultra instinct. I shit you not. She remembers falling down a bunch of times, and dudes getting mad at her clumsiness makes her go full Super Saiyan Blue. Those fucking flashbacks. I was surprised Andrea Day -Rise Up didn’t start playing in the background. Movie, I get what you were trying to do. But here’s how you use visual narrative to express heroism. Character loses a leg. Character gets a prosthetic leg. We watch character train to win a marathon. Characters find out they’re unable to have kids so they decide to build an orphanage helping orphan children find homes while becoming loving parents to them as well. Or the character is Jackie Chan. These are heroes. What you don’t do, movie, is use what looked like a bunch of stock images from a Go Army commercial and call it a plot point for heroism.
So, Capt Marv breaks the internet and causes the lab to glitch setting everyone free. Yes. Capt Marv has freed everyone from captivity by thinking about it. Yawn and the Turtles see this. This would be a great time to shoot her now. But, we forgot about Capt Marv’s plot armor. She stands up and knocks all the Turtles down. At the same time, all the hostages including Fury escape. They meet up with Capt Marv who has the Tesseract. The cat eats the Tesseract. No one gives a shit. I’m not exaggerating. The item that Thanos comes to Earth later and kills half the universe with, the cat eats it….and no one gives a shit. Not about the cat. Not about the Tesseract. Movie. at this point, if you like it, I love it. They split up with the plan to trick Yawn into thinking Capt Marv has the Tesseract while Fury and cat-box go the other way. Kree guards are about to shoot him and the cat opens its hentai mouth and eats all of them. Capt Marv links up with the Turtles and fights them solo. So, movie, earlier three human men held Capt Marv down while an old lady Skrull bear her up. Now, she’s going to o.p. all the Ninja Turtles in a one-on-five? Sure. Why not? Y’know what would be cool ‘tho? If Sniper Bangs Girl would just take her SUPREMELY INTELLIGENT gun and just shoot all the refugees and heroes in one shot as she did earlier in the movie. No? Okay, movie, you’re right. I’m the stupid one. You got this.
• Act 3. Ending
No More Heroes
Fury and the refugees escape with Rambeau in the military space ship only to be chased by Yawn and Sniper Girl Bangs. Capt Marv jumps out the ship grabbing Yawn’s plane. Several times in the movie Capt Marv would alter her SUPREMELY intelligent suit so she could breathe underwater and in space. She does this once again while grappling Yawn’s ship. This is important later. She falls off Yawn’s plane and plummets to the Earth. Now, when I say plummet, I mean quick fast and in a hurry. Movie has me watching the entire fall from orbit to grass but lo and behold, just before Capt Marv hits the ground – and I mean within an inch of impact she closes her eyes and then opens her eyes and flies.
Now, the late Robin Williams was in this movie called Hook. In this movie, we the audience had to watch him leap to his doom trying to remember how to fly. He busted lips. He broke glasses. But, when my guy William was about to crack ankles on attempt number 97 and had that happy thought, that was a moment. All the children of Never Land looked up in the sky and saw their hero had come back – he had remembered who he was -Peter Pan. More than that, however, the visual narrative was clear – happy thoughts of love, joy, and friendship bring peace and hope. Children are literally in the scene hopeful and joyful because Peter Pan is back. When my guy Neo (The Matrix) gets shot in the chest 7 or 8 times and Trinity on Boost mobile is like, “You can’t die because I love you” and my guy Neo gets up, stops bullets in mid-air, and then uses a mortal kombat fatality on Agent Smith, that my friend is a moment. The Terminator. Peter Pan. Neo. I described scenes where without having to see the beginning or the end, you can understand who the characters are and what they’re about. Movie…..what the fuck was this moment with Capt Marv? Why can she just fly now? What made her fly? Is it because we don’t want her splattered brains on gravel? Because that’s all you gave me. There’s no moment that visually or narratively explains why she can fly. Comics can’t tell me. Movie has to tell me. Movie can’t be lazy. But, movie is lazy. The writing is lazy. Captain Marvel is lazy. So, movie just…gives her flight.
Rambeau kills Sniper Girl Bangs in a one-on-one pilot dog fight because she’s human? Malicious cat doesn’t eat Nick Fury because he’s human? Jude Law loses in a fist fight with Capt Marv because she’s human (even though technically there was no ending fight scene. She just shoots at him with her Weapon X powers before he can finish his sentence like in the beginning.
Talos enjoys a nice Sunday dinner at Rambeau’s house with his family…wearing human clothes…on top of their alien clothes? Capt Marv vows to find them a home and the next scene is her in space, with no helmet, flying warp speed 10 into the galaxy with the refugees. The end. Movie had to end letting me know that Capt Marv can also breathe in space now. She needed the helmet earlier but now she’s Dark Phoenix so…
This movie did do throughout exactly what it did in the first three minutes – be confusing. Brie Larson is an ass hole to people who don’t need the jokes, she shoots everything with laser beams damaging public property and cuts Jude Law off in mid-sentences. I can’t think of what else this movie wanted to be? A hero movie? Well, the dictionary term of a female hero is a heroine and Capt Marv doesn’t make a name for herself nor takes ownership of the ones given to her. If I wanted to watch a wanna-be hero break city property and be an ass-hole to people, I’d watch Hancock. Better story. Better hero. Even The Hulk movie is looking kind of “thicc” right now. Don’t see Captain Marvel. It ruins anything and everything Marvel cinematically. Aquaman is better than this movie. Aquaman felt like I was watching a Power Rangers movie – wacky but fun. Captain Marvel was low-quality writing, pacing, acting (except for Lahanna) and Nick Fury doing failing prat comedy routines. I don’t believe in that cat. I don’t care why the Tesseract was eaten or how it ended up in Dr. Larson / Mar-Vel’s ownership. I don’t know how 9 yr olds can operate space alien technologies. I don’t even acknowledge Fury’s eye injury. Just continue to believe he lost an eye. Don’t EVER worry about how or why.
There’s a serious fight coming up with Avengers Endgame, and Captain Marvel is not a great appetizer. Think of the most serious movie you can think of, for instance, the movie Taken. It’s date night and you want to get Taken from the Red Box. So, you buy it and you take it home. Your spouse is next to you ready for flix and/or chill. You take the disc out the box to put it in the disc player – it’s got the logo on the cover and everything. You press play….and season 3 of Sponge Bob Square Pants cues up on the television screen. That’s Captain Marvel. That’s how this movie made me feel as I left the theater – that I did a thing thinking it was intelligent, but in reality, it was really unnecessary and dumb. Really really dumb.
– Chris Leonard a.k.a. The Digital Realist
“I do music and stuff.”
My Main: DigitalRealist.net
My Reviews: https://disqus.com/by/theDigitalRealist/
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