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Review: Captain Marvel

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The latest Marvel movie is with us and this time it takes us back to 90s and shows what happened before the Avengers…well before even Iron Man existed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

We follow Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, who cannot remember her past, as she fights alongside various Kree Warriors who are battling the shapeshifting Skrulls in an ongoing galactic war.

Basically, this is an origin story for the character, but it is done a little differently, with Captain Marvel and the audience discovering her past together. It is a refreshing change of pace for this kind of film, but it does make it a little difficult for you to understand what makes Carol Danvers tick at first.

However, while the first 15 or so minutes of the film feel a little messy, it all begins to tighten up and work rather well as she ends up back on Earth and has to contend with tracking down Skrulls and keeping Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury safe.

What follows is a journey of discovery for all involved. Alliances are made, secrets are discovered and a cat almost steals the show.

There is a lot to like in Captain Marvel. Brie Larson’s Danvers is initially a tricky one to like, but this is mainly due to her character being part of the Kree Spaceforce and also the fact we just don’t have a handle on her character. As the story progresses and we learn more of her past then you begin to see the reasons why she acts the way she does. Part of me did wonder whether it would have worked better if they had told it in a more traditional linear fashion. Possibly seeing the young Carol grow up and facing the various challenges in her life may have made us care for the character a lot sooner. Yet people would have then complained about it just being another traditional origin movie.

Jackson’s younger Nick Fury is fantastic and it is good to see this almost softer version of the character we have seen in the previous films. We also learn why he was so intent on setting up The Avengers Initiative and also how he lost his eye amongst other things. The relationship between Danvers and Fury does work extremely well and you can see how Fury comes to respect and value the friendship of Danvers.

Ben Mendelsohn as Talos the Skrull is also quite brilliant and he injects a surprising amount of humour into the role. I felt he had a lot of fun playing the character and there are a couple of moments that seem to riff on Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction which was a nice touch.

The action, as with most of the Marvel movies, is great and ranges from stealthy assaults on alien planets to fist fights on a busy train, to dynamic dog fights in space and on Earth.

The effects are spot on, especially those used to de-age Jackson and Clark Gregg. It is truly phenomenal what Marvel do with those kinds of visual effects. You quickly forget that there is any digital trickery and just go with the flow.

I also saw the film in IMAX which just took things to the next level. The opening shot on the Kree Homeworld, the dogfight and the battles in space were standout moments for me, with the 3D giving it all tremendous amounts of depth. It is definitely worth checking it out in IMAX if you get the chance.

All in all, this is another worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the post-credit sequences are both worth sticking around for.

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