CINEMA REVIEW: Captain Marvel, a fine addition to the Avenger series

by Shane Dillon
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I have a confession to make – I’m pretty much all Avengered out, given the seemingly endless waves of Avengers films breaking upon Cinema’s shores in recent years.

The franchise is beginning to need something genuinely new, something fresh, to make me interested in yet another Avengers film.

Enter Captain Marvel (Cert 12A, 124 mins) with its hook: a retro-set origins film about one of the most powerful (but untapped) characters in Marvel’s range of characters and Avengers heroes.

Mostly set in the 1990s (as an origins story – and also as an excellent use of CG polishing to de-age Samuel L Jackson, as well as eventually explaining how he/Nick Fury lost an eye), Captain Marvel packs a lot into its run time.

Similarly to most densely-plotted Avengers films, there’s a lot of off-planet and Earth-set content to keep up with.

Long story short: Carol Danvers (Oscar-winner Brie Larson), who would go on to become known as Captain Marvel, is a pawn in a war between two alien races and eventually finds herself on Earth, in 1990s Los Angeles, where the war has found a new battlefront.

However, Carol has her own, very personal war to fight – the resurfacing of what seem to be forgotten or repressed memories, which suggest that she had a life on earth.

What’s she doing in the middle of an alien war, and more importantly, who is she – or rather, who was she?

The film is thus set for two major plots to run in tandem with each other: Carol’s need to fight in the ever worsening war, and her need to rediscover her own identity, which are both more directly tied to each other than you might think … Like I said earlier on, there’s a lot to keep up with here, with a dense plot that zig-zags about more than The Flash zipping across Manhattan.

Captain Marvel Brie does a decent job of fleshing out Captain Marvel’s story arc from fed-up footsoldier to an almost godly Captain Marvel once she unlocks her full potential and powers.

She’s ably assisted by the ‘young’ Samuel L Jackson (and a scene stealing cat), while the rest of the cast provide a solid crew, with everyone from Annette Bening to Jude Law popping up.

With its fusion of the Avengers universe with Top Gun (trust me – that nod will make sense), there are certainly some sky-high possibilities for Captain Marvel’s future here, and while the film is a bit hit and miss, it’s a decent, welcome introduction to a significant new hero. Maybe the next Avengers films won’t be too samey after all…

  • Our verdict: 7/10

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