The hype over ‘Captain Marvel’

A Captain’s take on the recent release: I’ll take another Marvel movie

*Spoiler Alert* Over the last decade of its existence, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has placed a tremendous standard of quality upon each of its new films. Most, if not every film in the MCU lineup is very high quality, meaning that you should be at least somewhat entertained whenever you watch one. The MCU even holds some of the most cherished films in modern history, like “Guardians of the Galaxy” or any of the Avengers movies. 

However, with such a high standard of entertainment, it’s hard for some films to stand out within the MCU. 

Coming into the recently-released  “Captain Marvel,” I figured that, while it certainly would be entertaining, it wouldn’t be as great as some of the other films. After seeing it, I found it to be an enjoyable movie that stands decently on its own. 

Simply put, the plot is a bit basic. The movie focuses on the mystery Captain Marvel’s identity and how she comes to terms with it. It’s a basic premise that the film executes well. There’s some twists and turns that keep the movie interesting, but it’s easy to see them coming. 

The plot is ‘by the numbers’ and ‘predictable,’ but is still fun regardless. The film also has a decent themes about true strength and the costs of war that help make “Captain Marvel” more relevant and engaging. 

A basic and predictable plot can still be good as long as it’s executed well, and I believe “Captain Marvel’s” execution is fine enough. 

Above all, the movie’s characters carry the film and make up for its plot. This is especially true for the titular character. Brie Larson brings so much charisma to her role with her witty lines and character interactions, making her  character likeable and enjoyable. Not to mention Captain Marvel herself is shown to have a truly kind heart and a benevolent sense of justice. These attributes really help her hold her own when compared to the countless great characters of the MCU (bonus points for being a strong, feminine character—we certainly could use more of those).

The supporting cast is equally as splendid. First off, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury steals the show. It’s Samuel L. Jackson, what else would you expect? 

Also, the fact that his de-aging CGI looks so real is a testament to the movie’s fantastic effects. 

Talos, leader of the Kree, is also funny and likeable character. I’m not going to go into detail as to why, as I want to avoid spoilers, so just take my word on this one. 

Just like the rest of the MCU, this movie shines through its characters. So, even though the plot is relatively weak, the film still works. 

Even if “Captain Marvel“ isn’t exactly one of my favorites in the MCU, I would still generally recommend it to anyone. If you’re a diehard fan, simply a fan of Samuel L. Jackson or someone looking to fill the hole before “Avengers: Endgame,” you should see this. One of the benefits of being a part of the MCU is that “Captain Marvel” was destined to be at least a good movie. 

It’s interesting what this movie will be remembered as in the future. Maybe it will be overshadowed by the rest of the MCU, or maybe it will be fondly remembered to those who see the strengths of its characters. 

In any case, “Captain Marvel” is a solid movie that is worthy to be apart of the MCU legendary legacy.

~Elijah Basu, Staff Writer~

Character Nick Fury leaves plenty to be desired

The amount of controversy and discussion around the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) most recent film shouldn’t surprise anyone. As the final movie before the massive culmination in “Avengers: Endgame,” “Captain Marvel” was destined for drawing attention. 

There are a lot of reasons for growing tension around the film, but I’m going to discuss how “Captain Marvel” treats its one true legacy MCU character, Nick Fury, and drops the ball on multiple movies of setup.

In the MCU, Nicholas J. Fury, played by the legendary Samuel L. Jackson, is the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., a secret government agency created to deal with extraordinary threats. He is guarded, intense, dangerous, cunning, and not least of all, the man who assembled the Avengers. His most prominent feature is an eye patch that covers his left eye and his ever-present dark coat. To quote Tony Stark, “Captain, he is the spy. His secrets have secrets.”  This is not at all the Nick Fury that appears in Captain Marvel. Instead, he does not possess a single secret of his own, lacks any infamous paranoia and takes the time to coddle the first cute animal he sees. Every behavior is the exact opposite of the character we are shown, starting in the end credit scene of “Iron Man.” 

Many will be quick to point out the long span of time between the events of “Captain Marvel,” which take place in 1995, and “Iron Man,” which takes place in 2008. While  thirteen years is a long time, there are certain characteristics  essential to Fury’s character and referenced in “Captain Marvel” that should have been present. For example, in “Captain America: the Winter Soldier,” Fury tells an intense story from his time in the military and clearly looks back on it with a grim bitterness. Nick Fury is, above all things, a soldier. This is true in the comics, all the way back since his first appearance in 1963, and is even referenced in “Captain Marvel.” 

Instead of a veteran of at least ten years of combat, Fury behaves more like the quirky partner in a buddy cop movie. He does not display traits of a competent soldier and only ever excels at driving and not much else. He never shows much competence as a spy either, without the intense paranoia shown in “Winter Soldier.” At the end of the film, instead of being so scarred by the potential of the skrulls that he drives to become the man we know him as, Fury happily washes dishes and just makes up with every alien left. 

The pinnacle of this is how Fury loses his eye. In the “Winter Soldier,” Fury says that “the last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye,” in a moment that clearly indicates great pain and betrayal. Having a shape shifting group of aliens take responsibility for such a lack of trust makes perfect sense, and could be an awesome source of character development, or at least it would have been.

Instead, Nick Fury loses his eye while cuddling a space cat for comic relief. Not in some intense, emotional and brutal fight with a skrull who had been impersonating one of his friends, but by a cat, for laughs. And at the end of the film, Nick Fury, the most paranoid man in the entire Marvel Universe, laughs at the fact that there are shape shifting aliens, and doesn’t seem to care at all that there are millions of them in the galaxy. 

The character we see in Captain Marvel isn’t Nick Fury, but an easy source of comedic relief in a movie with too many jokes and not enough character. 

Considering that there will likely never be another MCU movie that takes place pre-Iron Man, this mishandling will likely never be corrected. It’s unfortunate that the character that brought together the Avengers has fallen so far from Marvel’s grace. Let’s just hope he’s given a bit more love in June with his appearance in “Spider Man: Far From Home.”

~Daniel Mosakewicz, Staff Writer~

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