For some reason, there’s been this toxic, volatile mass of incredibly opinionated people that have made their voices heard since this movie was announced in 2014, and their disgust for this film’s existence has only snowballed since. And here we are; the movie is out, the internet is pointlessly enraged (because internet), and people are dishing out their reviews. Some people just can’t wrap their heads around or accept that a female is the main hero, which is scarce throughout all superhero franchises at the moment. Is it fear hidden behind disgust? I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s pretty sad.
Here’s the thing, it’s okay not being interested in a movie, but the way most negative people are coming across is sheer disapproval, not apprehension or scepticism. This goes for any film or franchise that has done the same, or is planning to do so. Heaven forbid we get an overdue female hero lead, twenty-one movies in, right?! But with all this being said, I’m going to review this movie simply as a movie. I’m not going to give it bonus points because she’s a woman, nor am I gonna lower my score because she’s a woman. I’m reviewing it as the next installment in the MCU, and as a standalone piece.
Right off the bat, I thoroughly enjoyed Captain Marvel. I’d read a few reviews before going to see it, but after seeing it for myself, I’m genuinely confused as to why the majority of people are giving it a “Yeaah, it’s alright”, reception. That’s fine of course, but I found a lot to love about this nostalgic, sci-fi, buddy-cop movie. It’s an above-par film when comparing it to other cinematic releases, but because we only tend to compare these films to other MCU installments at this point, people’s standards are incredibly high, and dare I say we’re somewhat spoilt because of this? I try to appreciate a movie for what it is, rather than what it isn’t… Regardless I enjoyed it.
Think of it this way… Imagine how hard it is to keep finding new/fresh ways of doing an origin story for a new character, whilst making sure it’s not the traditional style of origin, this far into a franchise. The lost memory and mystery keeps you guessing, and there were some very satisfying revelations. You have an idea of who she is and what she stands for, but you can’t help but think she’s being suppressed for some reason. You follow her journey, watching Carol slowly re-find herself to eventually let loose, showing what she’s truly made of (literally). The intrigue and mystery elements aren’t difficult to follow either so don’t worry about the movie unintentionally muddling itself with too much shroudery (yeah, I just made that word up, but you know what I mean).
Brie Larson plays both a convincing Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers. The stubbornness that masks her compassion lets you know that yes, don’t get on the wrong side of her, but it’s never in an arrogant way. She’s very likeable in the sense that she’s never unnecessarily rude. Yeah, in her urge to prove herself initially, she’s a little reckless, but that goes for every superpowered person that’s finding how far they can push it. As the movie goes on, the more she discovers about herself and the world she’s a part of. I could see a slow transition from start to finish. The human she truly is eventually works hand-in-hand with her god-like power, so you’re not just watching some crazy omnipotent being rip everything a new one, you see Carol at the same time.
It’s obvious I’m going to say Fury was awesome in this. I’m glad he had a lot to do in this, because I was worried he was gonna be a glorified cameo overused in the trailers, but he’s not. It was cool seeing this pre-avengers Nick not quite on top of the S.H.I.E.L.D foodchain, but you see how he eventually becomes so. Somehow, he has the most sass in the movie. The de-aging technology is literally unnoticeable too, it was like genuinely looking at a younger Sam Jackson. The same goes for Clark Gregg as Coulson. I was trying hard to spot any rubbery CGI on their faces, but I couldn’t. It was great.
Okay, I’ve been dying to talk about the Skrulls. I love, love, love them. I desperately want more of them in the future of the MCU. I don’t care what direction they take with them, I just wanna see them again. I appreciated the use of practical make-up for them, and I really dug Talos’ aussie accent. If I had to come up with an accent for a Skrull leader, I wouldn’t have thought of giving him such a voice, but I’m glad they did because it’s great. I have no issues with the supporting cast either, other than perhaps I’d have liked to have seen more, but there’s only so much you can fit into a debut film, when the hero is the focal point. What I will say is that it was nice revisiting the Kree and fleshing out their portion of the MCU.
Finishing up, I can’t wait to watch Captain Marvel again. The score, the aesthetics, the characters, and the references to the wider franchise (subtle and on the nose) were contributing factors to my enjoyment, but Captain Marvel as a hero is a why this movie succeeds. Well done Brie! Another fine addition to the MCU, and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the table for Endgame! If you’re not scared about a female being the lead role in a superhero movie, then you should enjoy it also.
There’s at least 20 more, but Tumblr limits me to 10 pictures per post. The recurring themes I can gather is that Brie Larson nails it, Captain Marvel is a badass, Goose the cat is a scene stealer, there’s so much cosmic awesomeness, and people are wanting the Skrulls to be the next big thing in the MCU (equivalent to what the Infinity Stones are at the moment). Everyone’s loving it!
Okay, so yesterday I asked you guys which is your least favourite MCU movie and why. I said I’d take the most commonly disliked film and try and defend it, using my personal reasonings as well as attempting to counter what issues you had with it yourselves.
Firstly, I’m quite surprised that Ragnarok was the most hated! I was expecting Age of Ultron or Iron-Man 3 (though they weren’t too far behind). To make it clear, it’s okay to dislike this movie, my attempt at defending the movie is just a bit of fun, but if it lets you see and appreciate the movie in a different light then that’s cool! If it doesn’t then that’s cool too! Here goes…
I’ll start with why I personally love Ragnarok, and how it was actually my favourite MCU movie, until Infinity War inevitably took that spot.
Thor was the first character in the franchise to introduce outerspace, and the cosmic side of the cinematic universe. With Iron-Man, Hulk and Cap being restricted to Earth, Thor was key to broadening what types of stories they could tell, what sort of threats and stakes could arise etc. The first Thor movie was certainly a bold move at the time, hoping that audiences would embrace the fantastical themes that he and Asgard brought to the table. Bar Thanos, Thor and Loki are the reason sh*t’s going down in the first Avengers movie, so you have them to thank for that.
Flash forward to Dark World however, at this point we’ve seen Asgard already, so the novelty has worn off slightly. As much as the movie expands our view of Thor’s home, we still feel very restricted, as though we’re only seeing through a keyhole, when we actually wanna bust the door down and see what an outerspace adventure could really offer, hence why people gravitate towards Guardians of the Galaxy so heavily, because it let loose and didn’t feel like it was shying away from the sci-fi elements that made the property what it was.
So with Dark World leaving a bad taste in our mouths (even though I think it’s underratedly funny, but perhaps another time), and Thor not quite standing out in Age of Ultron, we’re left thinking, do we really even want another Thor movie at this point? Something had to change. The studios’ take on Thor was good in ways, but wasn’t gripping people as much as say Iron-Man and Cap. If Captain America could have an amazing sequel, why couldn’t Thor? With the damage already done via Dark World however, Ragnarok had to be Marvel’s shot at redemption and reinvigoration, and I personally think it was.
There’s no arguing Ragnarok was a bold step to take Thor, though not everyone agrees it was for the better. Could the Thor we were used to still work given the correct writing and direction? Who knows, but with already ‘failing’ once with Dark World, it was surely less of a risk to go for something completely unexpected. We go from majestic golds and elegant architecture, to crazy, vibrant, jagged imperfections that you’d expect to see in a retro sci-fi movie. The Thor we knew and expected has lightened up a little, during his few years between Age of Ultron and now, scouring the universe for information on the Infinity Stones. No pun intended, but perhaps his absent couple of years provided some much needed soul searching. So to those that wonder why Thor is suddenly so funny and witty, he’s been out and about off-screen for quite a while loosening up! That’s how I like to see it at least.
In the first 10 minutes, we’re given more cosmic calamity than any of the other Thor movie has provided in their joint runtimes. He’s in the fiery realm of Muspelheim, kicking the crap out of hellish minions and their giant demonic flame lord, Surtur, whilst the Immigrant Song plays. Then moments later, there’s a damn dragon beast that’s on fire that chases him, as the coolest little synth melody twinkles in the background. That cool little action scene not only gave Mjölnir the ultimate send off, but I remember thinking just from that point, “This is what Thor movies are meant to be like! This is already my favourite MCU movie!”
I think the comedy is people’s biggest issue with the film. Admittedly, the style of humour was a little jarring at first, but I soon let go of doubts and embraced what the movie was trying to do. Notice how I said ‘style’ of humour, and not just ‘humour’ as a whole, because a lot of people forget just how comedic the first two Thor movies actually are. I feel like humour allows a sort of alleviation to what could potentially be something rather odd on screen. That way, if the movie embraces it’s outlandish source materials, the comedy allows us to laugh with it, rather than at it. I think people are okay with the inclusion of comedic elements – I think they just weren’t expecting the amplification that it had. So as I said, you can either let that ruin the film, or you can embrace/accept it, because there is just as much heart in this film as there is humour.
I know there’s people that think Hela was wasted. Having watched these movies countless times, I rarely see any issues with villains anymore. The fabled ‘villain problem’ springs to mind, where everyone says that they were just there as a device to make the hero save the day. But what’s actually wrong with that technically speaking? And how is that any different to other movies outside of the superhero realm? I see most of these villains as stepping stones for the heroes. These movies belong to the heroes, so the way I see it, the villains are there to develop and shape the good guy into whatever the finished product may be by the time the credits roll, just like all the other characters do in the movie. To prove this point, everyone loves Thanos as a villain, but that’s because Infinity War was his movie, given the amount of time spent with him. I think the only exception is Loki, but his character is so well-received because he sits within the grey area of good and bad. We’ve seen both sides of him now.
Yes, I understand that villains are a little lack luster in most of these movies, but I liked what Hela brought to the franchise. We get the shock of discovering Thor has an older sister, she manages to take over Asgard, she demolishes everything in sight, she was the reason Thor is reinvigorated via his new right eye and weapon, she forced Thor’s hand, making him enact Ragnarok (even though there’s no stopping Ragnarok but it was a cool twist) and destroy Asgard, she was the first main female villain at long last, and she had a giant wolf. Some films spend more time with the villain, and some sacrifice it to focus more on the hero. There’s never a straight 50:50 between good and evil in their storytelling, and I imagine it’s always a hard call to make when balancing and ensuring that not only do the audience care for the hero, but also everything and everyone around them. Regardless the solo hero is always the focal point. Unless you’re watching Breaking Bad or American Psycho or… *Lists shows and movies told from the bad guy’s perspective*
I think the underlining disapproval stems from the fresh direction that it took. His hammer goes bye-byes, his warrior friends die just like that, Thor no longer looks or acts like the Thor we’re used to, and Jane moved on. People will either be okay with those things, or it’ll be too much to accept. Was the film too bold? Perhaps, but Thor can conduct lightning through his body now and that fight scene on the Bifrost bridge was badass.
Jokes aside, I suppose it’s up to the individual audience member to decide whether or not the change is too much. A part of me wishes that the Thor we currently have was the Thor from the get go – things would’ve been different, but I love the character no matter what weapon or haircut you give him. Ragnarok gave the God of Thunder the opportunity to prove why he’s a badass and not just a guy that relies on a hammer. They turned the dial up on his power level, and then again in Infinity War, which is good because I feel like prior to Ragnarok, Thor was kinda just there, y’know?
Everyone has their own favourite and least favourite movie, and no one should force you to alter your personal interests and disinterests, but if I were to wrap up what I thought of the film, Thor: Ragnarok to me is a fun, crazy joyride from start to finish, that provided a lot of heart as well as light-heartedness. It introduced some new, diverse characters whilst also giving the Hulk a much-needed story arc. A bold game-changer for the character and the lore he contributes to the MCU. It’s the type of change I can appreciate and most definitely get behind!
What do you guys think? Have I swayed your opinions, or do you hate the movie more now! Let me know. Thanks for reading! Shall I do more of these? Let me know that too. I’m off to buy snacks and watch Ragnarok now, no joke!