“Captain Marvel”
RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2019
MPAA RATING: PG-13 (for sequences of science-fiction violence and action, and brief suggestive language)

I am a bit ambivalent about Captain Marvel, the latest release in the Marvel comics film arsenal. Academy Award-winner Brie Larson (Room) portrays the title character, a superhero among the ranks of the Avengers team members. The film is highly entertaining, the type of action-packed fantasy usually seen as a summer season release. My ambivalence stems from some pacing issues, as I think a few minutes could have been trimmed from the final print.

Length aside, Captain Marvel excels in character development, special effects, and the likeability of the cast, from Larson’s portrayal right through to the characters Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). The “is he friend or foe?” character Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) bookends the film nicely, and most of the audience is swept-up in suspense and plot turns, while die hard Marvel fans may already have a good idea of what is to unfold next.

Speaking of future installments, be sure to remain through the closing credits as there are a couple of hints of upcoming adventures. And kudos to the filmmakers for a nice homage to the late Stan Lee in the animated Marvel Studios logo opener.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who co-wrote the screenplay along with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, have set the film in the 1990s, allowing for some humorous moments as audiences are taken back to a Blockbuster video store and a Radio Shack in Los Angeles.

During these times of societal attention on the empowerment of women, Captain Marvel may benefit from having an exceptionally strong female lead, one that audiences are undoubtedly embracing.

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