Starring Brie Larson as lead superheroine, feminist fable Captain Marvel actually gets better as it goes on.
For another, the 1995 grunge-soundtracked setting and the lacklustre action make this feel as if it was made well before Iron Man kicked off the whole MCU in 2008.
Of course, this is the first Marvel movie with a lead superheroine. So, she needs an origin story as well as time to get the female empowerment message through. It certainly does the latter, quite neatly, towards the end. Which also makes it a rare MCU film – one that ends far better than it starts. But early on, the space battles take too long to stop feeling like some old Star Trek spin-off. And in the middle, it’s also quite a while before Larson stops feeling as if she’s a supporting player in her own film. When she finally ascends to that captaincy, it’s certainly rousing. She might be some kind of ultimate superhero – it seems like she’s the cavalry in next month’s Avengers: Endgame – but her debut is no game-changer.
IN CINEMAS NOW
Video: Marvel Entertainment
This article was first published in the March 23, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.