Captain Marvel

Super Brie

Marvel continues to fill gaps in its “universe” with origin stories, some better than others. This one’s better. I always thought of the title superhero as being a guy. This standalone (within the MCU) is better because she isn’t. The film has a few things going for it: Number one is the weight and depth given to it by the Oscar-winning (for Room) Brie Larson, backed up superbly by Annette Bening, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, and a computer de-aged Samuel L. Jackson. (Why? And why is it set in the ‘90s? You think Marvel’s up to something?) Plus it doesn’t take itself all that seriously, offering up a steady stream of jokes and humorous situations. The SFX are super. What it has going against it besides being yet another superhero movie, is a lazy script. Shape-shifters? Seriously? And dramatic suspense suffers from having a lead character with such godlike powers. Still, I was kept reasonably absorbed, and although there’s little new here, I liked the way it balanced action, exposition and humor. Take your daughters. A kick-ass antidote to DPS (Disney Princess Syndrome). (123 min)