You know what, there are some films you really WANT to work, and this is one of them. It’s thoroughly entertaining – check. It’s got a good lead actor – check. It’s got retro vibes and pop culture references threaded throughout – check. Samuel L. Jackson is young – back story – check. Coulson is back! Mega check. It all adds up to a good story about a Kree fighter named Vers who has surging power in her veins (not unlike Wonder Woman, in that regard), and is struggling to control it and her needing to find out about the weird recurring dreams she has. When she lands on Earth (still with dial-up internet, slow computers and Blockbuster Video), and the truth begins to unfold, and it is not what she expects, her uneasy alliance with Nick Fury builds and together she, and other friends have to put the Universe to rights. As well, of course, as saving it from an invasion along the way. So far, so Marvel. Plus there’s a cat. A very cute ginger cat, called Goose, who is also not quite what he seems. And I’m not going to tell you how Fury loses his eye.
I had no clue about the story of Captain Marvel, and I enjoyed it all the more for not knowing – though I found some of the initial dream sequences confusing. But from this early Avenger, it builds very nicely to the moment in time we’ve come to with the rest of them, in Avengers: Infinity War, and it’s most definitely worth waiting right to the end of the credits. It’s a totally creditable addition to the Marvel stable – and it does work, but neither rocks it with wit or explosions like Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor:Ragnarok, nor takes itself too seriously. Like Ant-Man (yet not quite as funny), it sits neatly alongside, providing yet an another avenue of rescue for the dire straits the world now finds itself in post-Thanos.
The big test will be taking Captain Marvel into other stories of her own – she’s off on the other side of the Universe and then we’re back in space dealing with aliens. Brie Larson certainly brings empathy and (surprising as this sounds), an ‘everywoman-ness’ to the role. She’s tough, and gritty and always gets up when she’s knocked down. A great choice for the role. One question though – how on earth does an earthly leather jacket survive supernatural space travel? Quite Marvel-lous!