‘Captain Marvel’ review: Marvel’s first female superhero flies into the studio’s high expectations

Part of the drawback that the movie faces entails the dense backstory of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who finds herself in the middle of an intergalactic battle between two alien races, the Kree and the Skrulls, when the movement begins.

The film mainly ought to work backward in direction of Carol’s origin story, explaining how she wound up amongst the Kree, a noble warrior race, of their pitched battle with the shape-shifting Skrulls, who won’t win any magnificence contests of their genuine green-skinned sort.

“Captain Marvel” does play with typical assumptions about good and evil, and even incorporates a not-so-subtle message about refugees, as the battle spills proper right down to a nondescript orb known as Earth, which one alien buyer dismisses as a backwater planet using a barely vulgar if of late acquainted time interval.

It’s there, significantly belatedly, the place the movie briefly sparks to life, as Captain Marvel begins to remember her earlier, whereas turning into a member of forces with a youthful Agent of SHIELD named Nick Fury, as atypical carried out by Samuel L. Jackson, solely proper right here with two good eyes and made to look a quarter-century youthful by a digital fountain of youth.

Because the movement takes place in 1995, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (who moreover share script credit score rating with Geneva Robertson-Dworet) have considerable pleasing stepping into the way-back machine — having Danvers crash-land into a Blockbuster Video retailer, whereas dealing with the indignity of clunky box-shaped pc techniques. The tune soundtrack moreover gives a part of nifty nostalgia to the proceedings.

Still, whereas the filmmakers are newcomers to the Marvel universe, “Captain Marvel” homogenously blends into that cinematic juggernaut, and as constituted cannot assist coming all through like an pricey intermediate step in the larger “Avengers” franchise, what with “Endgame” solely about six weeks away.

The movie thus normally performs like decrease than the sum of its parts — delivering a few laughs courtesy of Larson and Jackson’s playful banter, or the incongruity of Fury getting all gooey a couple of stray cat, sooner than finally unleashing Captain Marvel’s powers in an movement sequence that’s fleetingly stirring, then workmanlike thereafter.

Finally, there’s the tribute to the late Marvel Comics patriarch Stan Lee — in the studio’s first launch since his dying in November — which may completely be further stirring and emotional for lots of followers than the relaxation “Captain Marvel” can muster.

There is, alas, little that’s equally memorable gleaned from the sturdy supporting stable, which includes Jude Law as Danvers’ Kree mentor, Annette Bening as a mysterious decide from her earlier and Ben Mendelsohn (now a veteran of every the “Star Wars” and Marvel galaxies) as the Skrull chief, Talos.

After a secure stretch for superhero fare — along with “Black Panther’s” groundbreaking bid in the Oscar race — “Captain Marvel” lastly feels further obligatory than impressed, a movie that principally will get the job carried out and little further.

The movie does embrace an empowering message due to its gender distinction, which is thrown into sharper focus by the interval. Yet whereas it’s a welcome landmark, Marvel and Disney’s formidable plans will almost completely reduce that standing to a historic footnote.

Having raised the bar on expectations, Marvel is, on this case, victimized a bit by its private success. By now, though, that’s an inevitable byproduct of being part of a guiding intelligence from which “Captain Marvel,” on this guise, under no circumstances pretty breaks free.

“Captain Marvel” premieres March 8 in the US. It’s rated PG-13.

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