Captain Marvel is a dispiriting adventure, says Rashid Irani
This is the Marvel studio’s first standalone female-fronted superhero flick, and that’s more or less the most exciting thing about it. It’s also the first Marvel movie to be directed by a woman, Anna Boden, albeit in collaboration with her longtime partner Ryan Fleck.
Almost everything else about Captain Marvel tends towards the sub-standard, from the special effects to the action sequences, the scattershot storytelling and the slapstick.
After a lengthy opening segment set on an alien planet, the titular spacefarer whose DNA has accidentally fused with those of extraterrestrials crash-lands on Earth (cheekily described as ‘a real shithole’), circa the mid-1990s.
In quick succession, Captain Marvel aka former test pilot Carol Danvers encounters the fledgling SHIELD supremo (a digitally de-aged Samuel L Jackson), strives to assemble the pieces of the puzzle which left her an amnesiac, and gets caught up in a war between rival intergalactic factions.
Viewers may need superhuman abilities of their own in order to keep track of the diverse plot strands. A potpourri of secondary characters, including a duplicitous mentor-warrior (Jude Law) and an omnipotent scientist (Annette Bening) flit in and out, making it impossible to care about any of them.
Some of the banter is cute. But the slapstick sequences involving a chubby cat are downright silly. Overall, Captain Marvel is a wasted opportunity.
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