By Ryan Keating-Lambert

★★☆☆☆

Captain Marvel serves more as an Avengers prequel than a stand-alone origin story for Marvel’s overdue female superhero. Despite the fun and the ’90s goodness, we’re left wondering who Carol Danvers really is and if we even care.

Directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden – Marvel’s first female director, Captain Marvel sees Kree warrior and superhero Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and her fellow warriors, including a yellow-eyed Jude Law, caught in a war between two alien races.

As Danvers tracks the interstellar conflict to Earth, she teams up with a much younger and surprisingly OK looking Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who actually has a sense of humour this time round.

Although the hero manages to scout out bits and pieces of her past life on Earth through broken memories and alien tech, as well as unveil a bunch of dirty secrets about the supposed ‘war’ thanks to Annette Bening’s ‘Mar-Vell’, her character barely ever scrapes the surface emotionally.

There’s a hint of a heroic feminist fable, but Larson doesn’t seem to have much to work with, especially when I compare it to the incredible Wonder Woman. The whole film I was waiting for something on par with that WWI ‘No Man’s Land’ sequence, but it never came.

Larson goes from scene to scene with what appears to be the same wooden and disenchanted look on her face, and rarely gives way to anything else. There is the occasional chuckle, but Jackson and the brilliant Ben Mendelsohn, who plays shape-shifting alien ‘Talos’, steal the show. Whatever movie they were in, I wanted to be there.

There are plenty of MCU Easter eggs to please even the most hardcore of fans, but towards the final act, it feels like there’s too much. I’m not really interested in how ‘The Avengers’ got their name.

For once, could we have a franchise prequel film that doesn’t feel the need to explain absolutely EVERYTHING? The Stan Lee cameo was wonderful though – a poignant and much appreciated nod, and I loved that he was reading Mallrats.

From Blockbuster to No Doubt, the film is deep fried in ’90s and I was definitely into it. My only criticism of that is how she could sport a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt and there not be a single track in the film. Trent said ‘no’, I guess.

Captain Marvel feels rushed, like we needed a quick little reminder that there’s another Avengers film coming in a couple of months, rather than a standalone female superhero film to inspire young women.

Even the CGI seems kind of cheap? 90% of the film she looks like a dodgy gas stove in desperate need of repair… but the cat is cute.

Photo: Falcon CZ

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One thought on “Captain Marvel review – standard superhero slush, but there’s a cat

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