It’s been a cliché for more than four decades now that spectacle can’t overcome a bad screenplay, but it’s still remarkable how many films can nail everything except communicating to a viewer what the heck is going on. With “Captain Marvel,” the fun and technically amazing 21st Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, I can’t discount that I may have spaced out on important details, but I do suspect I was spending too much time trying to figure out the nature of Carol Danvers’ (Brie Larson) superpowers rather than kicking back for the ride.
“Tomb Raider,” a reboot of the film series based on the popular video games, follows the same plot structure as 2001’s “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.” But it’s a much better film because, quite simply (that’s easy to say on paper), it takes itself more seriously. This is perhaps a reflection of what audiences want nowadays. At the turn of the century, substance-free actioners were common – and boy are those two Angelina Jolie films light on substance and heavy on silliness — but now filmgoers appreciate a veneer of seriousness.