The MCU’s first female lead is a triumph as Brie Larson stars as Captain Marvel (‘Vers’/ Carol Danvers) in the latest Marvel outing. Teaming up with MCU favourite Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Vers must unravel a conspiracy involving her own past and an intergalactic war between the Kree and the shape-shifting Skrulls, against a backdrop of ‘90s Earth (and a healthy dose of ‘90s nostalgia to go along with that). Larson is brilliant as the superhero, and her fun personality and humour is a fresh and enjoyable addition to the MCU, and she is perfectly matched with the wit and attitude of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.
Larson and Jackson aren’t the only ones who shine as Ben Mendelsohn is fantastic as Skrull General Talos, while Jude Law is great as Vers’ mentor Yon-Rogg. Fans of the MCU, such as myself, will also be happy to see Clark Gregg return to his role as Agent Phil Coulson for the first time in a Marvel film since The Avengers, as well as Lee Pace returning as Ronan the Accuser. The film also stars Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau and Annette Benning as the Supreme Intelligence. The ‘de-aging’ effect used on Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg is really quite convincing and hardly noticeable. This is the first time this effect has been used in the MCU for an entire film, as previously it has only been tried in brief scenes.
With the film serving as a prologue of sorts for next month’s Avengers: Endgame, some may feel that the film suffers from ‘studio intervention’. However, in context, this film does come at a strange time with most of the overarching narrative for the MCU already complete ahead of the finale in Endgame, so there wasn’t too much room for radical narrative changes. This criticism doesn’t hold up however, as the film expertly subverts many expectations, especially for the MCU phase 4 and beyond. Captain Marvel is brilliant origin story for a character who will a vital part of the MCU (and superhero films) going forward, and stands amongst some of the MCU’s bets solo films.
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