Brie Larson portrays Carol Danvers, a US Air Force officer who becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes, in Captain Marvel.
Brie Larson portrays Carol Danvers, a US Air Force officer who becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes, in Captain Marvel. Chuck Zlotnick

Brie Larson leads the way for women in Captain Marvel

Marvel fans have lamented the fact that it's taken more than a decade to see a woman at the helm of a stand-alone superhero film.

But it is, apparently, worth the wait.

Brie Larson's debut in Captain Marvel has been overwhelmingly praised by those lucky enough to score a ticket to an early preview screening in the US.

The Oscar winner portrays Carol Danvers, a US Air Force officer who becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

She's the saviour Samuel L. Jackson's character Nick Fury calls upon at the end of Avengers: Infinity War after galactic baddie Thanos snapped his fingers and made half of all life disappear in his demented vision of population control.

But before we see Danvers kick some serious butt in Avengers: Endgame, we need to know her origin story.

Captain Marvel takes cinema-goers back to the '90s to depict how Danvers gains her superpowers, becomes part of the intergalactic military team called Starforce and gets caught up in the Kree-Skrull War, a conflict which hasn't been depicted so far by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the film also stars Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Mckenna Grace and Jude Law.

Melbourne's Mendelsohn has been called upon to play yet another baddie, the shape-shifting, power-hungry alien called Talos.

"I can tell you that he's nasty and very green, and not a lot else,” he told the Herald Sun. "I can confirm that he's not there to do good. I can say that much.”

According to early feedback, Talos is one of the best Marvel villains yet.

Drew Taylor of Moviefone called him the film's "surprise MVP” while Uproxx's Mike Ryan wrote on Twitter: "I was worried he was just going to be one of those Marvel villains with alien make-up, but that's not the case at all. This movie doesn't work without him.”

Bening, meanwhile, has let some details slip about her character.

The Oscar-nominee recently told US talk show host Stephen Colbert she is playing the Supreme Intelligence.

"A god-like entity, the leader of the Kree people,” she said, describing her character. "The artificial intelligence which consists of the greatest intellects of the Kree people for the last million years.

"And there's more, but I can't say it.”

But the character who apparently steals many of their scenes is not a human at all, but a four-legged feline.

Danvers' cat Goose provides some much-needed comic relief.

"Goose the cat is definitely a scene-stealer but one that has a purpose,” We Live Entertainment's Scott Menzel said.

Ticket pre-sales in the US have made Captain Marvel a box office success even before it hits cinemas.

According to Fandango, the film is the fastest pre-selling superhero origin film - outranking Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Deadpool - and only tracking behind another Marvel film, Black Panther.

That's a good sign for its star Larson, whose championing in the interview circuit for increased diversity and inclusion has earned the ire of internet trolls.

Captain Marvel opens in cinemas on Thursday.

STARS: Brie Larson, Gemma Chan, Samuel L. Jackson, Lee Pace, Mckenna Grace, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law.

DIRECTORS: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

RATING: TBA

REVIEWER'S LAST WORD: Fans lucky enough to see early previews of this film can't stop raving about the first woman to helm a solo Marvel film. She's strong, sassy and has a few surprises in store.



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