Fri | Apr 19, 2019

‘Captain Marvel’:The best Marvel hero yet

Published:Monday | March 11, 2019 | 12:46 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Brie Larson in a scene from ‘Captain Marvel’.
Jude Law and Brie Larson in a scene from 'Captain Marvel'.
This image released by Disney-Marvel Studios shows Ben Mendelsohn, left, in a scene from 'Captain Marvel'.
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Blasting her way into cinemas on International Women’s Day no less, Captain Marvel is the first female led superhero film to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It may have taken 11 years to get here, but the intergalactic hero has been around for a lot longer than that. Set in 1995, Captain Marvel is the story of the noble warrior hero known in the film as Vers.

After a routine mission goes awry – complete with flashes of a forgotten past Vers finds herself stranded on Earth, a strange place that feels all too familiar. After she’s discovered by Samuel L Jackson, playing a young Nicholas Fury, the two embark on a mission to defend Earth against the nefarious Skrulls, the shape-shifting, sworn enemy of the Kree.

All this complex backstory and I didn’t even mention the artificial intelligence that transforms into the subconscious desires of whomever meets it. In what should be surprising to no one, Captain Marvel is able to tie in all these details without making it feel overwhelming.

It does just enough to get you invested in the larger conflict, and spends the rest of the time getting to know its main character.

As Vers uncovers the secrets of her past – like a non-brooding Wolverine – she learns what it means to be the titular hero, and the audience is treated to a better idea of what may be one of the most delightful protagonists in recent memory.

She’s got the snark of Tony Stark and the righteous nobility of Captain America without the palpable obnoxiousness that tends to follow those two characters. The whole time watching the film, I wanted to spend more time with its hero. Brie Larson gives the character relatability, likeability, and a role model for all. The story is well paced, with a few dramatic twists and turns that make this an extremely enjoyable adventure film. Its ‘90s aesthetic goes mostly unnoticed, until, of course, Captain Marvel has to use a payphone, and her battle with an old woman doesn’t become the trending video on YouTube. As superhero films go, there are several it draws cues from, but while the film doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it sure does give it a good spin. At just over two hours, Captain Marvel is genuine Marvel classic, with intriguing characters that even manage to delve into the heartfelt.

Rating: Big-Screen Watch