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Captain Marvel Cannoli Send a noteboard - 09/03/2019 01:12:00 PM

It's not bad. It's a MCU film. One of those. Okay?

"Captain Marvel" is about Brie Larson, who is a Kree commando. Her team leader is Jude Law, and her team members include Gemma Chan and Djimon Hounsou who is apparently the same character as the one from Guardians of the Galaxy, and a bunch of those characters. Some of the Kree are human colored, like Larson, Law & Hounsou, while the others are blue. Even though under the blue, they are a white guy, black guy and yellow gal. Also, Ronan, from Guardians, is in command of their air support, with the space ship class or the ship squadron known as "Accusers". I suspect the latter, since there are references to Ronan the Accuser, but you never hear about "Maverick the Tomcat" or "Von Richtofen the Fokker" (I just now conceived of a drama about the sexual misadventures of a pair of womanizing, time-displaced, fighter pilots. It will be called "Wingmen" ). Anway, Larson, whose name is "Veers" is suffering from amnesia and has trouble controlling her Kree powers and achieving a proper state of detachment for a Kree warrior, despite the counseling of Law and the AI that leads the Kree, called the Supreme Intelligence, which in an intergalactic polity, governs by having individuals come to its HQ to be plugged into VR and directly speak to an avatar, whose appearance is determined by the subject. Then her team goes on a mission to retrieve a covert operative from a planet that is being overrun by Skrulls. The Skrulls are shapeshifters whose base form includes bad mouth prosthetics so they don't talk very well, and looks like green reptilian Romulans. And they are not carbon-based lifeforms, either. There are a lot of signs that suggest things aren't as straightforward as the troops are led to believe, and the mission goes bad, despite their heroics. Implanted memories are discovered in Veers and her attempts to follow up on their source leads her to planet C-35 or Earth, where the locals have obtained Kree technology that they have reworked into lightspeed travel, which the Skrulls are desperate to get their hands upon in order to beat the Kree. So Veers has to wander around Earth in 1995 trying to find and contain the Skrull infiltrators and chase down her weird memories which suggest a connection to the lightspeed project and that at least one Kree has been here before, since a prominent feature of those memories includes Annette Benning, who also is Veers' version of the Supreme Intelligence.

Veers soon encounters SHIELD agent Nick Fury & his rookie partner, Coulson, and he gets involved with her search, being very much interested in aliens infiltrating Earth and possibly involving themselves in defense research projects. And we kind of learn what he meant by "the last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye."

The CGI or whatever they used to make characters look younger is pretty good, being used on Samuel L Jackson, Clark Cregg, possibly Hounsou and Lee Pace (Ronan) and also apparently, Benning, for inexplicable reasons (aging should not be an issue for her character's two periods of appearance). Samuel Jackson carries most of the scenes with Larson and Ben Mendelsson, playing his boss at SHIELD, is great, serving as the second act villain. Unfortunately, Larson is not very impressive and seems poorly cast for what the role ultimately turned into. The actress is more of an Ant-Man type character and they want her to be Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman. Larson, whom I have seen on Community, the latest King Kong remake and a crime drama, is more of the quirky comic type. Trying to appear imposing or majestic, she looks like a kid play-acting. Other times she seems bland or bored, when she should be projecting supreme confidence, like a fighter-jock type. She can be cocky but falls on the swagger. But like most blonde Marvel heroes, the movie does not depend on her performance, and her ability with the quirky types of Marvel humor (I think of Thor hanging Mjolnir on a coat rack and stuff like that) should endear her to most viewers.

The Girl Power stuff is not overwhelming or very distracting, and unless you are aware of the specific issues and buttons they are trying to push, might even fly under the radar. Furthermore it doesn't even stand up to any scrutiny (the feminism of this film is about as effective as the environmentalism of Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia). Honestly, a lot of things that might be construed in the filmmakers' minds are 'girl power' are more like 'human power'! Not least because Veers' Earth friends are more essential to her success than, say, Jane, Solveig and Darcy were to Thor's (and it's probably not a coincidence that the more those three had to do, the worse the Thor movie was).

People might have problems with the continuity. They appear to have tinkered with the Skrulls a bit to make them fit the political mentality of the times and filmmakers. I could be wrong about what the comic backstory is, but it seemed like the war story could have been better served in a different way, albeit one highly unlikely, given all the Air Force worship in this film. Given that most of the Kree we meet from other films have been antagonists, they could have made this more evenhanded. As far as the MCU continuity goes, they seem to be trying to retcon Captain Marvel into a figure of greater and more seminal significance. We know why Fury did not send the signal from the end of Infinity War until then (not to mention why he used the device he did), but we don't really know why he looks at people turning to dust and thinks "We need Captain Marvel". Also, according to my mother (who has not seen it), Captain Marvel is a new thing and up until recently, she was Ms Marvel. I also understand that Jean from the X-men was actally Marvel Girl, hence why her non-MCU character was never called that in the movies, and there is another Kree character known as Mar-vell (and not the stupidest Kree name either). And there is a DC movie due out soon called "Shazam" about a character named "Captain Marvel" so maybe this is all about some sort of copyright or trademark thing, like "Winter Dragon". But even before these movies I heard of Captain America, Spider-man, Iron Man, Thor (Vincent D'Onofrio, FTW), Daredevil, Punisher, even possibly Hawkeye. Also Wolverine & the Fantastic Four. Also, I read a LOT of Twisted Toyfare Theater and I sort of remember the Skrulls (also the Infinity Gauntlet - Aunt May bought it at Doom's yard sale as a hot mitt and made infinite pancakes; Dr Strange did his out of body thing to fetch his wallet because he was buying comic books for Wong, but in the meantime, Doom sold his body as a sex doll to a gay guy. YEARS before Benedict Cumerbatch was even cast). But I've never heard of Captain Marvel, and you'd really think I would have. So there might be some backlash on this. I have no stake in that game, and even I thought some things were a bit much. Your mileage may vary, but I think some people might perceive some character assault, if not assassination, in regard to Fury going on here. This movie offers an answer to that question of why the last thing he did before dusting was call Captain Marvel, but I don't think some people will like it.

Another thing that I'm not sure how to take is that this movie has NO surprises. You see every twist coming a mile away, but I'm not 100% sure that was not on purpose. You know that trope where the good guys have to desperately keep something away from the bad guys, and are trying with all their might to defend it, only for the bad guy to get his hands on it and the established stakes make it clear that this is game over for the good guys, except WAIT! It's a fake or a decoy or the important part is missing and we cut directly to the other good guys who have the actual thing and they're doing the save the day thing and maybe we get a flashback explaining how or when they pulled off that deception? Well the good guys do that in "Captain Marvel" but they don't try to fool the audience, either. We see at the outset that they are running a decoy scam and understand all along, and Larson's smirky demeanor actually works for that way of doing it. So maybe the other failures to surprise are not really that at all and they were not actually trying to thrill you with the reveal. But, in any event, the movie does not depend on twists, so even if we are talking sloppy execution, I didn't feel it detracted from it.

Also, does the name Monica Rambeau mean anything to Marvel fans? Because I suspect SHE'S going to be the REALLY obnoxious girl power hero in the MCU going forward. A child at the time of this movie, she's pretty annoying and unnecessary and makes another character seem rather implausible, but is clearly being seeded as someone with a destiny, and she's the perfect age to be played by some popular black actress is the current time line. Who's in her 30s and was too busy for Black Panther?

All in all, "Captain Marvel" is a fine Marvel film. It's probably not essential for seeing "Avengers:Endgame", unless that gets taken over by her, and I wonder if they realize this was kind of a lower tier film about a seemingly obscure character and tried to make it seem a necessary prologue to "Infinity War" and "Endgame" to boost attendance. I would not put it as low as "Incredible Hulk" or the crappy pre-MCU ones, like Hulk, Daredevil, Punisher or Ghost Rider. I'd say it's as good as Iron Man 2, or Captain America 1 or Thor 1. A little better than Thor 2 & Iron Man 3. Definitely no "Winter Soldier" or "Avengers" and not really lovable enough to be the kind of surprise "Ant-man" or "Guardians" was. But not the worst thing in theaters right now. Definitely not a "Last Jedi" thing.

Cannoli
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
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Captain Marvel - 09/03/2019 01:12:00 PM 217 Views
2 post-credit scenes, neither great (spoilers) - 09/03/2019 02:14:51 PM 52 Views
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To summarize: hero being female twists Cannoli's knickers. *NM* - 09/03/2019 10:16:46 PM 19 Views
Your illiteracy always surprises me, when I should be used to it by now. - 10/03/2019 03:55:39 AM 57 Views
Cannoli you say things all the time... - 10/03/2019 06:26:07 PM 49 Views
How? - 10/03/2019 10:02:00 PM 48 Views

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