**Minor Spoilers Ahead**

There is a thirst for these incredible, unimaginably huge productions the MCU produces, that leave the standalone films feeling somewhat empty

Almost entirely consumed (slightly less than Ant-Man And The Wasp) by two of the grandest films to ever release in the history of cinema, Captain Marvel is a product of its distribution schedule and its part in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. Relying heavily on its own impact on Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Captain Marvel needed to be important, and it needed to be brilliant, to even attempt to impress those excusably hyped for Endgame’s release next month.

Vers (Brie Larson) is a Kree warrior training with the best fighter’s their planet has ever seen. Led by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), a secret mission featuring Vers is sent to retract an informant from nearby planet Torfa, without alerting the invading Skrull army, a rival race attempting to invade the Kree’s home planet. However, when they are ambushed, Vers is forced to escape alone, landing on the strange planet C-53, followed closely by a group of Skrull warriors.

There’s two ways to view Captain Marvel. As a standalone picture, it is one of Marvel’s best, offering a wonderful origin story for a hero few will know in depth, but also holding its own in style and presence. This is a feature far closer to in its theming to the Guardians Of The Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok, than the more mainstream productions such as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. But with it’s 2019 release, the biggest year yet for the MCU, and almost certainly the biggest it will have for some time, Captain Marvel is left hanging unless it offers major advancement in what will happen to the Avengers during and post Endgame. And it doesn’t. Leaving it far less important than it needed to be, exposing it to mass criticism.

Captain Marvel 2.jpg

The placement of the film, sandwiching it between the Avengers films, made it seem important. This choice made it feel as if this was going change things, and offer fresh insight into the future of the MCU. Instead, it simply introduces a new hero, and however well it may do that, Captain Marvel suffers in its ability to rise to expectations. There is a thirst for these incredible, unimaginably huge productions the MCU produces, that leave the standalone films feeling somewhat empty, unless they can supply genuine franchise changing story lines or vital information. If Captain Marvel had released pre-Infinity War, the praise would surely be even greater, and far easier to come by.

Yet judging the film solely on either of these opinions is wholly unfair. Captain Marvel needs and deserves a good balance between the two, and when the balance is met, it almost certainly succeeds.

Brie Larson is a thoroughly engaging hero, showing a strong, supportive and individual nature, whilst refusing to pander to a predominantly male stereotype. Fitting the role of Marvel perfectly, Larson is a hero to look up to, no matter her gender or back story. Ultimately, Captain Marvel has quickly become one of the MCU’s most believable and relatable heroes.

The script offers a funny and engaging story, and whether it impacts the MCU enough doesn’t matter to its own understanding that it is part of the wider filmography. It may not project its own importance, but there’s a knowledge of how it can fit in amongst the seemingly grander and emboldened household names. There is even a success in creating and portraying a villain and it’s motives, something Marvel films consistently fail to do.

Ant-Man And The Wasp may seem more important on a wider scale, but Captain Marvel is a better more engaging watch, and will surely make its importance shown in films to come. However, its impact as a stand alone super hero film is impressive, and surely a great sign of what is to come from Marvel’s Fourth phase of film making.

4/5

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