'Captain Marvel' is the humane superhero we need right now


As part of her role, Larson trained with the Air Force and worked out for months on end.

According to Entertainment Weekly, playing the eponymous superhero made Larson feel stronger and taught her how to stand up for herself. As of publication, the film has already opened in France, Italy, Korea and several others with Russia, Australia, Germany, Brazil launching today and China, United Kingdom, Spain, Mexico and more join North America in a Friday, March 8 launch. Her mission to outflank them soon has her hurtling through the galaxy to the planet she knows as C-53, and we know as Earth. They and their conspicuous stunt doubles engage in a battle with punches and judo throws. Rather than meet her as a "normal" person, though, we're introduced to her as a scrappy and sassy hero shooting electric blasts from her hands and struggling to remember life before six years ago. He's telling her not to be so human, but Vers's earthly identity is exactly what she needs to discover. During a crash, her DNA gets affected and she gets superhero-like powers. Bening is ideal, with a wise but sly twinkle in her eye. Given it has taken embarrassingly long for these female-led superhero films to arrive, it may be no coincidence that neither franchise is set in the present day. When she's captured by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), a leader of the Kree's shapeshifting enemies the Skrulls, he pokes around in her brain, and the movie reveals bits and smears of her memories, bleeding into each other and repeatedly rewound and refocused to extract crucial information.

"Jackson's CGI facelift is hands-down the best example of digital de-aging yet seen in movies", writes Total Film's Matt Maytum.

We get to see Nick Fury as his younger self and before he lost his eye. Most of her shortcomings, however, can easily be blamed on the five credited writers who've had a pass at this thing. Together with their new friends at S.H.E.I.L.D and some unlikely allies, they form what would become the seeds of Nick Fury's big idea when the fate of all kinds is on the line.

With the arrival of Captain Marvel, I chose to revisit In Pursuit of Flight.

As you may have read in the first reactions to the film, the cat Goose (played mainly by a cat named Reggie, as well as Gonzo, Rizzo, and Archie) steals the show. Vers aims a fist and beams of energy poke a hole through a metal door. Carol Danvers, unfortunately, is an inferior counterpart to the carefully crafted personas of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. It is also one of the film's best action sequences, with all those flashes of light zapping across the screen finally put to good effect. Although she's given as many punchlines as Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Larson tosses hers off, so Captain Marvel never comes off as smug or self-satisfied.

"My style is going to be different - sometimes its super flows and feminine, sometimes its really hard and tough, sometimes I want to wear a suit, sometimes I want to wear something baggy", she said. This year, for example, alongside Captain Marvel, soap operas Emmerdale and Neighbours have announced special episodes with all-female cast and crew. Lashana Lynch plays a fighter pilot with the badass name of Maria Rambeau; if that's not enough, her call sign is Photon. The declaration was accompanied by a series of tweets by self-styled "film journalist" Alyssa Klein telling male critics to "sit this one out", with the suggestion that a "feminist" movie can only be properly reviewed by women.

One element does fulfil the film's female-empowerment hype.