Posted Mar 08 2019
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Captain Marvel - This Movie Rocks The interim

Dir: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

Starrng Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg, Gemma Chan, Djimon Hounsou

We remember when Captain Marvel was a bloke (had issue 1 and he had a tousle of blond hair and a mask that Brie Larson eventually – and briefly - dons.) But now Cap has become a woman (she was briefly a misjudged ”Ms.” comics wise – had issue 1 of that as well, but only for the short skirts – can you still say that?) All of which goes to say that the latest offering from the MCU comes replete with baggage – that of it being their first lead role for a lady – despite the fact that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow has been more than holding her own for several movies now. And how!

But this is the society we currently address -and so, how significant is the fact that this Marvel movie is female-led? To which the answer is Yeah – but.

What co-writer-directors Boden and Fleck do really well here is to tackle the superhero origin movie – and God knows we’re all sick to death of every radioactive spider of those – with a fresh eye. With more than a nod to Cristopher Nolan’s Memento, they structure their movie as a deep dive into the mind of Larson’s Carol Danvers, who emerges in the world of the alien Kree and develops – or even re-develops – the knowledge of the fighter pilot and human she once was.

That takes up a good deal of the movie, but is rewarding, and interspersed with her life on earth circa the 1990s, with a de-aged Nick Fury. There is fun to be had, but dial up tones and Blockbuster stores soon wear thin, joke-wise.

But there’s a lot to like here – despite all the responsibility a female-led Marvel movie brings. Larson is perfectly cast as a hero for the ages – not just the ‘90s, and Jackson clearly enjoys picking out the details of the younger Fury.

Ultimately though, Captain Marvel needs to be judged on its own merits within the overall MCU and what it brings to the party. And is it a game changer? No, like Black Panther before it – despite the rhetoric. Is it one of the great Marvel movies? It’s definitely in the middle-ranking. But it unfortunately suffers from the fact that, like Ant Man and The Wasp before it, it can’t help but feel like filler. As the mid credit sting proves – we’re all just aching for Endgame.

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