Is It Fair To Ask If Brie Larson Is A Great Captain Marvel?
Three out of Five Dangers
(DL) — Batman is bitter. Superman is stoic. Everyone loves them despite their dry exterior. Why shouldn’t a woman be able to pull off these same characteristics and be just as engaging?
Brie Larson plays Captain Marvel with the same acting skill as any actor has portrayed a Batman, Superman, Ironman, name any hero, and yet her Captain Marvel doesn’t connect.
If you are being honest, Brie Larson is the reason for the following question:
Is it because she’s playing the Captain Marvel role without any feminine characteristics? she only looks the part and doesn’t feel the part?
So much hype has been on this special Marvel character. The concern of a less than charismatic Carol Danvers — a humorless Carol Danvers, and unrelatable Captain Marvel is a fair argument.
Dare I ask — Is Brie Larson Great As Captain Marvel?
Yes, I ask. And the answer is no. She does not suck as Captain Marvel, but she could have mailed it in and have been equally stiff. While she is a good Captain Marvel, Brie Larson does little to move forward past efforts of women being great in superhero films.
Captain Marvel is good. It’s not great.
Similar to Brie Larson’s overall appeal as Captain Marvel, the film doesn’t reach greatness. The movie Captain Marvel is good. It’s not great. Captain Marvel comes in just barely better than an Ant-Man but can’t compete with a Thor Ragnarok. It’s a safe three out of five dangers.
Why then ask the question if Brie Larson is not great as Captain Marvel? Is this clickbait? Not at all. The question has merit because of the importance of the character in the MCU.
Let’s get one things straight, the character Captain Marvel is amazing. The character should be strong, independent, resilient and have every bit as much the masculine characteristics of any male superhero. That is who the character is. Many will refuse to entertain the argument that despite appearing fantastic as a physical representation, Brie Larson is missing something in delivering Captain Marvel.
She’s not Christensen Hayden as Darth Vader bad. On those lines She’s a stellar Captain Marvel, but within the context of this story, maybe Brie hasn’t quite found the character?
One example throughout the movie is her failure to deliver a punchline. Every line delivered intended to make you laugh falls flat. If Brie has comic delivery, it never manifests in Captain Marvel. Not once, and it shows. This movie is not funny. There is but perhaps one surprising moment which brings out an audience laugh. That’s it. One.
Let’s be clear again. Like so many others waiting, this has been an eagerly anticipated Marvel movie. We’ve all been ready to witness the power of Captain Marvel. And yes. She red lines a 5 on the Marvel superpower 1 to 5 power scale.
Is Brie Larson A Good or Great Actress?
Is Brie Larson a great actress in this role? In style points, yes! Is she convincing as Captain Marvel? Again, yes.
Where then does Brie Larson fall short of greatness? What is it that holds her back from completely embodying Captain Marvel? She’s a great actress with a 20 year career in TV and film. One reason may be the director.
Without good direction an actor will only deliver the lines with the best interpretation they can offer. Little to no effort is made get us close to Carol Danvers early in the story. With that opportunity gone, all we can do is keep up with the current story as we try to get to know Carol Danvers.
Brie Larson is an acceptable Captain Marvel in every scene, until the scene is over. It’s then you register the lack of connection to the character.
Captain Marvel Retcons Carol Danvers With A Good MCU Origin Story
Captain Marvel as an origin story is storyboarded perfect. It’s a hollow perfection which delivers a somewhat hollow story. It’s a broken record of course, and it’s one tied to the same concern over Brie Larson’s level of quality in embodying Captain Marvel. It lacks heart.
Captain Marvel Is A Story Built On Assumptions
Could it be that with so much outside understanding of the Marvel universe, it’s easy to accept this uninspiring story without hating on it?
Marvel made good decisions in storytelling this time out. It also failed in storytelling. These two truths occupy the same space. What is right is Marvel abandoned the old origin story formula. To stay clear of spoilers, we’ll leave it at that. This Captain Marvel origin story has familiar tropes such as memory loss, but other cliche elements are noticeably absent. Comparing it to early Marvel efforts this is an improvement.
Brie’s Carol Danvers is Flawless
That’s not a compliment. Carol Danvers has no shortcomings. Her perfection becomes obvious during her journey of piecing together fragmented memories. Her flashbacks to hardship have zero impact in making her hero’s journey the least empathetic.
One area of perfection that is not hollow is the pacing. The steadiness of the editing is in many respects some of Marvel studios best.
Yet Brie Larson. This is her film. She owns it. And for it, there is just something off, something not right. We just don’t get to know her enough to be invested in our spectator role.
A lot of time here is being spent breaking down Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. Is it fair?
Was it fair for the world to hate on George Lucas for his choice in actors portraying a young Darth Vader? People didn’t just adopt a heard mentality and collectively reject Christensen Hayden as Darth Vader. That role was iconic. The choice was critical. George blew it. The rejection of Christensen Hayden was an organic rejection based on what everyone couldn’t help but see. He was bad on film.
Captain Marvel is meant to be the new leader in the next phase of Marvel superhero releases. For such an important character, Captain Marvel’s origin story fails to make her relatable. Need proof? Compare this origin story to Captain America, The First Avenger.
While Brie Larson is good Captain Marvel, she could be a great Captain Marvel. Many may decide to be contrary for whatever reasons they need to defend her. Others will simply accept her because she is. That may be true. Captain Marvel now is established. We now know her motivation. Accept her.
Avengers End Game is around the corner, Brie Larson may have been warmed up enough in this initial offering that she will indeed better express and better embody Captain Marvel in End Game.
Despite drawbacks, the film still plays well. It doesn’t take long to get past the internal movie goer observation (and distraction) of Nick Fury and Colston being de-aged. Both Samuel Jackson and Robert Clark Gregg undergo the full CGI treatment for the duration of the film.
Marvel Drops The Formula
The plot twists are a huge relief in departing from past Marvel climaxes which seemed to all require a major villain battle sequence. Here, Marvel tells a story. One in which they don’t sell out and don’t force plot devices. Nope. No formula storytelling here.
This change is a double edged sword. This dramatic change in dropping the boss fight may in fact be the major reason Captain Marvel is a good movie and not a great movie.
The replay value as a superhero movie is not really there. It doesn’t suck, and it doesn’t suck enough that it reaches the level of good.
Personally, my favorite moments of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel were the times she let out her whoo-hooos in battle. It was then I finally felt some small connection with the character. I finally got a sense of how Carol Danvers knew she was a badass and should not feel the least bit constrained in her joy.
We must drop a truly small spoiler here. When Captain Marvel faces Ronin (Lee Pace), the director made a perfect point of matching Captain Marvels confidence with no need for unnecessary violence.
This is another selling point in how Captain Marvel operates. Danvers knows she’s got
instant-on god mode, she’s portrayed with a measured respect for life in a way I’ve wanted to see superheroes operate for years. The only problem is for all of Captain Marvel’s compasion, we get no real connection with her for where her compassion comes from.
The Feminist Agenda
Now for the elephant in the room. Some have taken sides on this movie being for women as if men should just shut up and let women have a powerful independent female superhero. And?
Men in general don’t care. In fact, men will see a pattern of misandry in Captain Marvel and
let it roll off their backs. Men want to see Captain Marvel to experience a great superhero escape. In general.
Yes there are ding-dong misogynist out there. Bad people reside in every sex, culture, race, job, you name it. Making Captain Marvel a character that represents only one group of people is a cheap co-opt that should not sully this character. Those very people who use her and claim her now will dispose of her like a used paper towel.
Men will watch Captain Marvel for a singular reason. They want to see yet another superhero jump from the pages onto the big screen in a fantastic two hour escape from reality. Tell a good story.
The comic was being purchased by men for 30 years, making this character mean something more than she should be cheapens her value as a meaningful character in the Marvel story. Can and should Captain Marvel be a meaningful symbol to women? Of course!
Let’s just keep in mind she’s a comic book character like Batman. Real heroes exist in real life. That perspective may help us all better enjoy this movie for what it is.
But as a man, the message was clear throughout Captain Marvel. It was obvious and almost preached characterizing many men as either chauvinist caricatures or subservient.
Samuel Jackson’s portrayal of Nick Fury is almost completely out of character in Captain Marvel. It is a huge and obvious mistake. These portrayals did not ruin the movie at all. They drew the proverbial eye roll at worst.
Nick Fury Forgot His Big Boy Pants
So Nick Fury was a softy? Cooing over cats, stopping to smell the roses, switching from edgy to goofy and back was more confusing than convincing.
Yes you can argue the Nick Fury character later evolved into the hard boiled agent of shield we know in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This almost feminine Nick Fury in Captain Marvel scores 3 out of 5 dangers because the Nick Fury we receive is so unlike the Nick Fury he should be. Captain Marvel could have been great with Fury more true to character. At least we could have seen the early stages of his character arch, that never happened.
This review will be lost in the sea of praise for Brie Larson as a badass Captain Marvel, but just as people came down off the high of Black Panther being one of the greatest movies of all time because it was unabashedly black, eventually politically correct reviews will be seen for what they are too.
I can easily recommend this film. It really is a good story, well acted and showcases the major Marvel character Captain Marvel for all her power with hope for the Avengers in Avengers End Game.
For all the positives to be found in the Captain Marvel film, it should be obvious to anyone that something is missing in movie. It’s like a romantic comedy with two leads who share no chemistry. And while there are sparks and even a small flame in Captain Marvel, it’s no bonfire, it’s really just a warm fire.
For all of Captain Marvel’s vast and enviable powers, asking the question of does Brie Larson suck as the superhero Captain Marvel is fair game. The answer is clear, she does not suck as Captain Marvel, but she needs to be a lot better. Good for her, she’ll get that chance in numerous Marvel movies ahead. Let’s all root for her to be a great Captain Marvel and everyone wins.
Do you think Brie Larson sucks as Captain Marvel? If so, does that make any case for the argument what women suck as superheroes? To date, only Wonder Woman has broken the pattern of bad female superhero movies in the past.
DangerMan’s Film Review Ratings Explained
DangerMan awards a gracious 3 out of 5 Dangers to Captain Marvel.
One out of Five Dangers
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Five out of Five Dangers
Did you know only two films have received FIVE Dangers? Check out the REVIEWS category to find them for yourself. We welcome your comments!