ISN’T THAT A MARVEL

THE FRAN­CHISE HAS A NEW SU­PER­HERO ... AND FI­NALLY, A FE­MALE

Life & Style Weekend - - SCREENLIFE - WORDS: SEANNA CRONIN Cap­tain Marvel opens in cine­mas on Thurs­day.

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.

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