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Film Review: Captain Marvel

21 March 19 words: Emma Walsh

Marvel is either the gift that keeps on giving, or a cinematic plague that's clogging up screens all year round, depending on your point of view. Either way, they're back with another film: Captain Marvel

Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn

Running time: 123 mins

Captain Marvel follows Vers (Brie Larson), a Kree warrior sent on a mission by her mentor, Yon-Rugg (Jude Law) to end the war against the Skrulls, while wrestling with fragments of memories from a time she cannot remember. Crashing to Earth in the 90s, she meets Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), where the two attempt to stop a Skrull invasion, all whilst discovering Vers’ true identity as pilot Carol Danvers.

Released on International Women’s Day, Captain Marvel is the first female superhero solo film produced by Marvel. Therefore, the film had all the potential to overdo it and limit its viewership from the off. Fortunately, it managed to find the ideal balance between a feminist film and the action-packed, comedy-fuelled movies we have learnt to expect from Marvel. Additionally, with its status as an (arguably) feminist film, Brie Larson was perhaps the most apt choice for the role as lead, her reputation as a women’s rights activist lending her to this new character.

But it isn’t only Vers who we learn more about throughout the film. Captain Marvel is perhaps the first film to supply a more detailed insight into Fury as a character. Although featured in most Marvel films, we’ve never known much about him as a character, other than that he’s a straight-talking director with an eyepatch and a leather trench coat who elects to ignore stupid-ass decisions. That was, until now. The film provides Fury with the opportunity for longer interactions with characters, meaning we get the chance to see him in another light. Some of his backstories are also provided, including the question we all want to know the answer to; what happened to make him need the eyepatch? (Spoiler: you won’t quite believe it.)

It exceeded expectations, creating an enjoyable film not out of place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Given Captain Marvel’s obvious importance in the upcoming Endgame film (with a UK release date of 25 April this year), there was an extra level of pressure taken on by the producers to introduce an obviously key character so late into the franchise. Therefore, several links are made throughout the film to relate Captain Marvel to other films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of these links is to Guardians of the Galaxy, as Ronan makes an appearance, and the Tesseract also makes another of its recurring appearances throughout the Marvel Universe as we come to realise how it eventually came into Fury’s possession by Avengers. However, amongst these links that are clearly an attempt to situate a more recent character within the web of Marvel films, there are those that you can’t help but find a little too convenient, such as how Fury came to call his group ‘The Avengers Initiative’. But let’s not forget, that although she’s set to be a big deal in Endgame, Captain Marvel was, to an extent, intended as a filler film.

Captain Marvel was a film more than a few people were dubious about, which could have been due to it’s focus on a never-before introduced character who supposedly has the ability to save the world from Thanos’ dreaded snap. However, it exceeded expectations, creating an enjoyable film not out of place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, made only better by the heart-warming tribute celebrating comic-book legend Stan Lee in light of his recent passing last November. Oh, and the cat. You’ll love the cat.

Did you know? The name "Captain Marvel" is not used once in the entire film until the closing credits.

Captain Marvel is in cinemas now