Captain Marvel film review: Brie Larson has superhero strength

Brie Larson in Captain Marvel.
Brie Larson in Captain Marvel.

CAPTAIN Marvel is yet more evidence that Marvel Studios has complete confidence in its storytelling.

As the studio’s first female-led superhero movie, and with the film acting as a bridge between last year’s blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War and this year’s Endgame, the studio could have been forgiven for playing it safe with a traditional origin film.

Instead, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck throw convention out the window, delivering a film that is part mystery, part buddy road trip and part slapstick comedy.

With amnesia serving as a central plot device, Vers/Carol Danvers (Oscar-winner Brie Larson) unlocks the mystery to her origin.

Vers is an alien warrior with flashbacks to another life she can’t explain. When a mission goes awry, she ends up on Earth in the 1990s, hooking up with a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to find answers.

The ’90s setting is a refreshing change, giving Captain Marvel its own identity, as well as the opportunity for some surprisingly effective nostalgic comedy.

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Brie Larson in Captain Marvel.

Marvel continues to attract quality, acting talent, with Jude Law, Annette Bening and Ben Mendelsohn joining Larson.

Jackson, in particular, seems to be having a good time, enjoying great chemistry with Larson to play the comedic sidekick for maximum laughs rather than the usually taciturn Fury.

Despite being the studio’s first female-led movie, Captain Marvel never leans too heavily into ‘girl power’, with the exception of a soundtrack featuring ’90s power punk bands like Hole, No Doubt and Garbage.

Instead, the storyline treats its female superhero no differently to the horde of male superheroes populating our screens.

Nonetheless, it should still please female movie-goers, delivering a strong superhero who is never overly sexualised or reliant upon a male love interest: criticisms that could be aimed at that other female superhero Wonder Woman.

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THE ESSENTIALS

Captain Marvel

Four stars

Directed by: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L.Jackson, Jude Law

In cinemas: Now

Review by: Dave Friedlos