Captain Marvel ★★

I had to sleep on this one before I wrote my review, but I have to make the unfortunate declaration that Captain Marvel is the first Marvel Studios movie that isn't just okay, isn't just mediocre, but is flat-out pretty bad.

You'd really think Brie Larson as a strong punchygirl, Sam Jackson playing himself, and Ben Mendolsohn as an alien in a rubber mask would have at least made for a passable movie on their combined charisma alone. But, no, the script is far too poor for that. It's truly baffling how poor it is.

Captain Marvel is, at first, some sort of mystery/thriller involving an amnesiac with powers and a war between two evil alien races, one of whom is a bunch of shapeshifters. This is the perfect setup for a super great movie! Who wouldn't pay to watch paranoia-fueled sci-fi thriller about a character who can't trust anyone around her? Unfortunately, the plot developments suck! What kind of thriller movie becomes LESS interesting as the twists come up?

There's a lot of stuff about identity and "presdestined roles" set by others and forced on the protagonist that are actually the same ground Alita: Battle Angel treaded just one month ago. It's good subjects, learning about a past life that isn't you anymore, trying to become your own person while others try to keep you in whatever box they prefer. But whereas the madcap plotting of Alita allowed for a whole lot of ideas this direction without giving firm answers, Captain Marvel turns it all into black-and-white morality stuff that takes nuance and grinds it into dust in some obligatory CGI action sequences.

The buddy cop stuff with Carol and Fury was the best part but unfortunately Fury gets extra sidelined extra quickly. It's tragic.

And when we're on the note of tragic, what WAS that first act? The opening twenty minutes of this movie are a full-on disaster and I can't even believe it made it into the final product like that. How?

I was actually looking quite a bit forward to Captain Marvel but... whatever. Nothing nice ever happens in Hollywood these days.

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