Almost a Marvel
Unfortunately designed as a plot gap filler before the main events of Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel entertains in the way all Marvel films too. It’s funny and fast, playing enjoyable loose with reality, with a dazzling stream of fireballs. Captain Marvel hits forcefully at the current gender gap’s zeitgeist, but being forced to contort around the established lore doesn’t allow breathing room. Lots of brand nostalgia tries to cover story grievances. Plus, the overwhelming pro-military themes lessen the intended zip.
Disney makes sure the brilliance of glowing hands, electrical sparks, and lasers stand out. The rest of Captain Marvel isn’t testing anything. It’s even dull for HDR, held back in shadows and even hard to see in some of the opening act’s action. It’s dim. Shadows suck out some details. Even if impressive, black levels seem to cloud the image rather than offer support. Captain Marvel is reminiscent of Solo, but where that film aimed for a grungy, smoggy aesthetic, Captain Marvel isn’t.
To match the rest of the films in this decade-long story, color holds back. Muted, but firm. By the finale, things open up with richness in Captain Marvel’s red/blue suit. Shots from space give Earth a saturated glow. Explosions brighten through some heavy oranges. Black levels help give weight when ships or superheroes begin traveling through space, a better utilization than earlier.
Fidelity doesn’t aim for anything extravagant. Some facial texture and a few environments show sharpness from a 2K finish. Again, like the color, this softer aesthetic fits with Marvel’s look. All of this reaches a fine, slightly-above-average tier for the format.
In Atmos, when Skrull begin searching through Marvel’s memories, voices begin piling in from overhead. That’s fun mixing, more so when considering her position as they dive through her past. Occasionally, a ship or plane will zoom through those upper channels, say in the canyon run where pans push to the left and right, catching rears and heights.
Captain Marvel is fairly traditional otherwise. The focus stays in a seven-channel space, rendered well and consistently active. Inside a hangar, the sounds of mechanics working on engines and such fill the soundstage. Battles zoom around with plenty of accuracy.
This is Disney though. That means low volume and neutered range. Other than one or two jolts, flat LFE never gains wings. There is low-end support, if reserved and held back from full potential. It’s a thing for Disney. A mystery thing. Also, it sucks.
Six fluffy featurettes run 23-minutes total if EPK stuff holds any interest. Six deleted scenes scrape up a little extra material worth watching. A two-minute gag reel shows the sense of levity on set. Co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck record a commentary, but that comes only on the Blu-ray. The same for all of Captain Marvel’s extras.
Rushing to fill story gaps before the main event, Captain Marvel feels narratively shortchanged despite the colorful action.
User Review( votes)
The following six screen shots serve as samples for our Patreon-exclusive set of 60 full 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: