Marvel superhero Carol Danvers – aka Captain Marvel – gets her own enjoyable origin movie in this 1995-set adventure that shines thanks to a strong central performance from Brie Larson.
The adventure starts on planet Hala, where we meet Vers (Larson), a member of the Kree race with strong abilities who has been trained by Yon-Rogg (Law) to be a warrior against the shape-shifting Skrulls. Vers is distracted by dreams of another existence where she is a pilot on Earth, so when a mission goes wrong and she finds herself there, she starts to wonder whether her dreams are actually memories.
Of course, there are bad aliens to contend with who have followed her, but Vers sensibly teams up with S.H.I.E.L.D agent Nick Fury (Jackson) to find out what they are after, and also unlock the secrets to her own past.
Beginning rather slowly – the planet Hala stuff drags despite the presence of Law and Annette Bening – Captain Marvelhits the ground running – almost literally – once Vers crashes onto Earth and meets Fury. Their pairing is almost as fun as Thor and Hulk’s in the Marvel universe, while Jackson provides even more giggles in Fury’s soppy relationship with Goose, the cat they discover and adopt along the way (incidentally, Goose is the best movie cat since Cat in Breakfast At Tiffanys).
As we’ve come to expect from Marvel’s movies, there are some great fight scenes and special effects (including the impressive de-ageing of Jackson and Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson), while the nineties setting provides not only a nice slice of humour (especially for those who remember the creaky technology of the time) but also a terrific soundtrack of girl power music (Hole, Garbage, TLC, No Doubt).
It’s not the best Marvel movie, but at the centre of it all is the terrific Larson, every inch the heroine we wanted her to be, and every inch the heroine we need. Her hair may be a bit over-styled – who has time to get the curlers out when you’re kicking alien butt? – but her Captain Marvel is the right mix of tough, vulnerable, strong and fun to appeal to little girls, and boys, and grown-up audiences, too.
Is Captain Marvel suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
As with most of the Marvel movie universe, Captain Marvel does contain fight scenes and scenes of mild comic book-style peril and is aimed at older children (10+ and adults).
Younger children may be scared by the Skrulls, especially during a scene in which Vers is hung upside down while being held captive by them.
There is also a scene in which one of the Skrulls is on an autopsy table which may upset very young viewers.
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