With the breadth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe eclipsing most television series, it’s understandable that you’re going to have a few dud entries – just as even the greatest TV show has a few dud episodes.
Captain Marvel isn’t quite a dud. There’s much to recommend it, beyond its stand-out status as the first female-led MCU movie: it boasts a gimmicky but enjoyable ‘90s soundtrack to complement its retro setting, winning chemistry between Brie Larson (as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel) and Samuel L. Jackson’s impressively de-aged Nick Fury, and a great subversion of Ben “Mendo” Mendelsohn’s established persona.
Still, there’s no denying that this is a film that – like many MCU films before it – strains under the obligation to set up playing pieces for future instalments. There’s a lot of narrative character development but piecemeal emotional character development, while the prequel setting (more drab warehouses than Blockbuster Videos) robs the storyline of peril. Ragnarok demonstrated how fun stand-alone adventures could be, but here we return to too many well-trafficked origin story tropes. At least the action is fun!