POWER GIRL: Bree Larson takes on the role of Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel

  • Sci-fi adventure; Cert M, contains violence; 2hrs 4mins
  • Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg and Jude Law
  • Director: Anna Boden

SUPERHERO movies are all about the origin stories.

To clarify – they’re about origin stories followed by massive showdowns.

Anyone who has followed the Marvel Cinematic Universe from its inception with Iron Man back in 2008 will recognise this as the origin story to beat all origin stories.

There are also some battles.

Brie Larson (Room) stars as Captain Marvel, who we first meet as Vers, a member of Starforce in the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala.

Heading off on her first mission with Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) her mentor and commander, she finds herself separated from her unit and crash lands on Earth. To be specific – Los Angeles.

SHAPESHIFTER: Ben Mendelsohn stars as Talos, the leader of a team of Skrulls.

There, she finds herself up against the Kree’s centuries-long enemy, the Scrulls, who have infiltrated the planet, led by shapeshifter Talos (Ben Mendelsohn).

She is also plagued by flashbacks and dreams from a previously forgotten life here on Earth.

When she meets up with a government agent called Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) who is unfamiliar with the concept of visitors from other planets, it suddenly clicks that this story pre-dates everything else in the MCU.

There is lots of cartoon violence, fun, “ah-ha” moments and showdowns. Larson plays it straight – think of a female version of Captain America – leaving Jackson to provide most of the levity, which he does with ease.

Mendelsohn’s gravelly Melbourne accent as villain Talos also adds some marvelous colour, though the actor is barely recognisable in his Skrull make-up.

Annette Bening takes the prize for actor we all thought least likely to feature in a Marvel movie, as both the voice of the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence and as Mar-Vell, an alien posing on Earth as an airforce weapons developer.

You will always be able to tell the experienced fans at a Marvel movie. They’re the ones who hang around at the end for the mid-credits scenes that prelude the next movie.

The true fans will loiter even longer for the post-credit scene, which is well worth it.

8/10

diane.mccarthy@thebeacon.co.nz