'Captain Marvel' reviews hail Brie Larson's 'straight-up female powerhouse' superhero

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Film critics have had their say on Captain Marvel (Disney)

The review embargo has lifted for Captain Marvel ahead of its nationwide release on Friday, 8 March, and the response from film critics has been largely positive.

Early reviews have put the film on an 86% approval rating, according to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Brie Larson’s performance as pilot turned warrior Carol Danvers has been widely praised, with critics also lauding her chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson, who portrays a digitally de-aged incarnation of SHIELD boss Nick Fury.

Read more: Larson responds to critics

The film is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to feature a solo female superhero as the title character and could well tie in to the apocalyptic events of Avengers: Infinity War, as well as its upcoming sequel Avengers: Endgame.

If critical reaction is anything to go by, fans of the Marvel movies will be satisfied with the latest effort, directed by duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Read more: How Marvel de-aged Samuel L. Jackson

Here’s what the critics had to say…

Empire: “Carol Danvers’ final battle offers a radical message and becomes a powerful metaphor for what could happen if we stop waiting to be told that we are enough; if we stop believing the people who tell us we’re too emotional or too weak.”

The Guardian: “Larson has the natural body language of a superhero: that mixture of innocence and insouciance, that continuous clear-eyed idealism and indignation combined with unreflective battle-readiness, all the things that give MCU films their addictive quality.”

Mashable: “If Captain Marvel can’t quite match Marvel Studios at its very best, if it feels a bit like a franchise in need of an identity, it’s still a rock-solid introduction to a new character — who, judging by her immense power, may just turn out to be the Thanos-killer that the Avengers need in Endgame. Just as the Marvel makers wanted, I left the theater pleased to have met Carol at long last, and eager to see her again.”

Read more: Captain Marvel credit scenes details

Daily Telegraph: “Marvel films are all about anticipation: they’re designed to make you crave the next helping before you’ve even swallowed the current one. But this is the first in a while that I’ve found myself immediately hungry to revisit.”

Variety: “It’s a prequel that casts its gaze way forward. Yet in its sturdy and standard-issue way, it invests Carol Danvers with a heroic majesty and heft that moves her, as a presence, right to the forefront of the series.”

USA Today: “Carol is the straight-up female powerhouse the universe has been missing. Scenes where men throughout her life tell her she’s too weak and not good enough – including Jude Law’s very punchable Starforce commander Yon-Rogg – pay off in one rousing, cathartic moment where Captain Marvel gets knocked down but gets up again, and no one’s going to keep her down.”

Actors Mckenna Grace and Brie Larson attend the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain Marvel’ at Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

It wasn’t all plain sailing for the film, though, with some critics describing the movie as a disappointment in comparison to other recent Marvel outings.

Hollywood Reporter: “Public confidence in the brand and good will toward this new franchise, in particular, will probably grant the film a pass from most fans, but the storytelling is perfunctory at best.”

IndieWire: “As generic and retrograde as Black Panther was specific and revolutionary, Captain Marvel is a frustrating disappointment at a time when every inclusive blockbuster is fought over as though it could be the decisive battle in our never-ending culture wars.”

Captain Marvel is in cinemas from Friday. Watch a trailer below.