Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame
I like the Marvel movies for the most part. I grew up reading The Amazing Spiderman comic, and a few other characters in Marvel’s vast library, so I am a fan to be sure, but many of these films are starting to look the same. The glowing McGuffin is really becoming old. I mean, I get it, they are popcorn entertainment, but I would be lying if my eyes didn't water a bit, my yawns get more frequent, and my urge to exit grow, when I see the formulaic studio tropes machine kick in at the two-hour mark. At this point, I need a little change.
I liked Captain Marvel, and thought (Brie Larson) did a good job of conveying a compelling character who didn’t quite know who she really was. The movies pacing and beats are a bit odd, and at times I was trying to understand what kind of film it wanted to be, but it has its own certain thing going on, gives some important history, and moves the story and pieces as we click to (Avengers: Endgame). Ace fighter pilot Carol Danvers (Larson) has some serious memory issues as she zips back and forth between her past life on Earth, and her present status as a member of an elite group of Kree interplanetary soldiers named Starforce led by the tough but understanding Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) as they battle their enemies, the shapeshifting Skrulls, who are headed up by Talos ( the always good Ben Mendelsohn). When Carol is sent back to Earth, her flashbacks become more frequent, she bumps into a much younger S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, with two eyes), a very cool cat named Goose, and slowly becomes to remember who she is now, who she once was, and what the bigger picture has in store.
Co-directed by the independent filmmakers (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck), it is set in the mid-nineties and has some funny nostalgic tidbits tossed in like Blockbuster Video, Alta Vista, and slow internet. In the rather large collection of Marvel films, Captain Marvel is a nice addition. It is good, not great.
After last years two triumphs: (Black Panther) and (Avengers: Infinity War) I had high hopes for (Avengers: Endgame). Where Infinity War juggled way too many characters and storylines, but somehow still did an extraordinary job in my opinion, Endgame drops a few. I still think this is a solid and mostly satisfying end to this long buildup of hero movies over ten years, but it does stumble a bit here and there.
After snapping his fingers wearing the Infinity Gauntlet, making half the life in the universe disappear, Thanos (Josh Brolin) is off resting his weary bones. Meanwhile, our remaining heroes are licking their wounds, and in despair over having failed the universe. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Nebula (Karen Gillan ) are stuck out deep in space, on a ship about to run out of oxygen, when Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) arrives just in the nick of time to save them, then returning them to Avengers headquarters, to reunite with their depressed friends. They can't believe what has happened, and decide that the group, with the help of the powerful Marvel, return to the planet Thanos is on, try to defeat him, get the gauntlet back, and reverse time before all this crap happened. I won't say much more about the plot, as it should be a surprise as to what happens to these characters whom we've grown so fond of over all these movies.
I will say that Endgame, while still being very funny in spots, has a more dire and serious tone, as it should, considering what these people are going through. Characters Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Antman (Paul Rudd) who weren't even in Infinity War, have substantial parts in this film. Their loss is particularly touching as it is explored a bit more, though many of the main players also have their moments which will tug at your heartstrings.
Needless to say, time, plays a big part in what transpires, and sacrifices are made. It is slow in some areas, quite wonderful in others, and it certainly has some fantastic action scenes. One, in particular, will certainly please you greatly, as it has all of the elements in it that make these movies such rousing fun, to begin with. In my opinion, some of the best Marvel movies have been directed by the (Russo brothers: Anthony and Joe) because there is a certain, messy gravitas, that their films have, that many of the others don't. But it's the characters and the actors who play them that ultimately make them so popular. The standouts for me are (Downey) and (Chris Evans) as Captain America. Evans has always been one of my favorites in the Marvel movies, and he ups his game in this one considerably. There is a lot of backtracking over the previous movies and plot points, and it does get a bit confusing at times, but the task the Russos took on in this huge film was great, and my guess is most people will love it.
Will you Laugh? Yes.