Captain Marvel (Boden & Fleck, 2019)

What's it about? On the planet of Hala, the amnesiac Vers (Brie Larson) is learning to control her mysterious powers as she fights for the Kree in the war against the Skrulls. But a series of events means she ends up on Earth in the mid-1990s where she encounters a SHIELD agent by the name of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and starts to uncovers her past.

Is it any good? A perfectly serviceable superhero origin story which is entertaining enough without ever being exceptional. It works best when it's playing out like a 90s buddy action movie, similar to those films Jackson himself starred in back in the day; Brie Hard with a Vengeance anyone? No? How about The Long Krees Goodnight? Fine, let's move on. In support of this, Larson and Jackson (the latter impressively de-aged by CG) strike up an agreeable chemistry, with a few good gags and a bit of retro 90s stuff to enjoy along the way. Meanwhile, Ben Mendelsohn (as alien Talos) and a cat called Goose compete to steal the film, which is fun. Where it is less successful is in making Captain Marvel that interesting a character. Sure, she seems nice, and brave, and funny, but her backstory is superficially sketched out and the journey to find out Who She Is? is rather formulaic. Neither is there a sense of any real jeopardy or high stakes here as we move to the climactic smackdown, which is CGI-heavy but emotion-lite. In the end it conforms too closely to the standard hero-origin plot, without exhibiting enough individuality to stand out. A pity, since Larson does eventually get to stand up and deliver a rousing feminist put-down towards the end, which would have been much more empowering if the film had ever threatened to challenge the big boys in the MCU league. As it is, it settles in around the middle of the table standings.

Anything else I should know? Remember when Wonder Woman came out, we had an army of keyboard warriors rear their oh-so-masculine heads in indignation that a woman should take centre-stage in a comic-book film? With tedious inevitably, the same angry mob have taken to their parent's basements, wielding pitchforks and flaming acne, to again complain and mansplain about how Captain Marvel sucks and why Brie Larson is not fit to be in their MCU. Luckily the same meme from my Wonder Woman review can be re-utilised now, which saves me some time.

Anyone rankled by that is referred to this blogs byline above. Don't @ me. Elsewhere there's a couple of contrasting takes on whether it is successfully feminist or not here and here.

What does the Fonz think? My lawyers are checking my image rights....

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