‘Avengers’ Fans Are Shipping Captain Marvel & Thor After Her First Appearance In New Trailer

Move over Stucky. Here comes Thorvel. After the new ‘Avengers: Endgame’ trailer, some fans are loving the chemistry behind Thor and Captain Marvel. Is this the great new geek ship of 2019?

Though Thor (Chris Hemsworth, 35) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson, 29) only spend 13-seconds on-screen together in the new Avengers: Endgame trailer, that was all some fans needed in order to make them their new OTP (one true pairing.) Four words (“I like this one”) and one confident smirk may have launched what could be the biggest Avengers ship since fans – particularly Stucky shippers — demanded that Marvel/Disney give Captain America a boyfriend. “I SHIP THOR AND CAPTAIN MARVEL DON’T @ ME,” @oxygjen proudly tweeted.

“Imma need Thor and Captain Marvel to do it,” @StephenSmithgal tweeted, summing up the feels of many. “Me: Don’t ship Thor and Captain Marvel Don’t ship Thor and Captain Marvel Don’t ship Thor and Captain Marvel. *watches trailer* Well, the trailer made me ship Thor and Captain Marvel. I’m gonna get hurt aren’t I? #AvengersEndgame,” tweeted Delia Enriquez. “I’m not into shipping but if Captain Marvel and Thor want to go find an uninhabited planet and power bang on it until it implodes I wouldn’t be opposed to it,” @ProbNotThatGuy tweeted, while Bertie Gilbert was less tactful about their feelings. “THOR AND CAPTAIN MARVEL WILL F*CK SEND TWEET.”

“YALL IVE LITERALLY BEEN SAYING THAT THOR AND CAPTAIN MARVEL WOULD BE A HOT COUPLE FOR A WEEK NOW AND NOW THEY DROPPED A TRAILER WITH THIS IN IT,” shouted @liaxlc. “Thor and Captain Marvel are definitely going to slap skins, right? Or else, what are we doing here?” @RealLifeKaz asked. While some were already writing Thorvel (or whatever fans want to call them. Until something comes better along, Thorvel it is) fanfiction in their minds, other fans were more into a friendship between two of the most-powerful Avengers. Some even weren’t impressed by it. “this is going to be an extremely unpopular take but i kind of hate the thor/captain marvel moment in the new trailer because i’m very irritated by the notion that what would impress thor most is a woman standing silently and not emoting,” podcaster Alex Flanigan tweeted.

Though, perhaps one of the reasons Captain Marvel was so successful is that it bucked the trend of giving a superhero – specifically, the first female Marvel superhero to get her own feature film – a romantic lead. “It makes me really happy because I don’t think there’s anything missing from this story because of it,” Brie said when speaking EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife.com at the film’s NYC premiere. “It doesn’t mean that movies should always be this way, it’s just saying, we can diversify even that aspect of things.”

At the time of publication, Captain Marvel has pulled in $179 million at the domestic box office ($541.6 million worldwide.) With a 79% score and Certified Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, the movie is doing something right with both critics and audiences. Perhaps maybe Captain Marvel and Thor can hit it off in Captain Marvel 2?

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Captain Marvel: Who was the Marvel movie's MVP, class clown, and more?

Warning: The following contains spoilers from the entirety of Captain Marvel. Read at your own risk! 

As we counted down to the long-awaited uber-team-up Avengers: Infinity War, EW’s Marvel Movie Club prepared by revisiting every previous installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. EW’s Chancellor Agard (that’s me!) re-examined one Marvel movie a week, every week, to reassess its powers and hopefully answer important questions like “What was The Incredible Hulk?” “Does Nick Fury wash his eyepatch?” and “Is there a point to Hawkeye?” along the way. In this special edition of the series, we’re taking a look at the latest entry from the House of Ideas, Captain Marvel.

After over five years of waiting, Captain Marvel — Marvel’s long-overdue first female led movie — has finally landed in theaters. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the 1995-set, 21st MCU movie follows Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers as she tries to figure out her past while also trying to stop an alien invasion and save a group of refugees. To be sure, it’s a messy movie that never quite gets a handle on its a main character, but at the end of the day, it’s still pretty fun thanks almost entirely to the cast, most of whom have at least one standout moment. Below, EW runs down movie’s highs and lows, from the scene-stealers (hello Talos and Goose) to the most annoying aspects of continuity.

Most Likely to Save the Universe: Captain Marvel

In the lead-up to the movie’s release, MCU showrunner Kevin Feige declared that the good captain was Marvel’s most powerful hero, and the actual film didn’t disappoint. Watching Carol go full Super Sayan — which was, hands down the best part of the film because Larson radiated pure joy during the entire sequence — made it clear that the Leftovengers aren’t as screwed as we thought at the end of Infinity War because they have Captain Marvel on their side.

Best Reveal: Nick Fury’s thoughts on toast

“If toast is cut diagonally, I can’t eat it.” What an oddly specific and fantastic character detail! Who knew the future head of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Samuel L. Jackson) contained multitudes?

Most Likely to Remain Friends Forever: Carol Danvers and Nick Fury

If my colleague Devan Coggan’s recent interview with the pair didn’t make this clear, Larson and Jackson are brilliant together, and their natural chemistry proved to be an asset on-screen, too. Even when the movie wasn’t quite sure who it wanted Carol to be — because she didn’t even know who she was — Larson and Jackson’s buddy-cop dynamic gave us something tangible onto which we could hold. Furthermore, this amazing friendship actually made me happy that Fury will survive Endgame‘s endgame (as seen in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer), because I’m looking forward to seeing how the space-weary Carol gets on with the older and more jaded version of Fury, assuming the unannounced but likely sequel is set in the present. Will having his favorite hero back in his life bring out a lighter side of Fury? We’ll have to wait to wait and see, but I hope so.

Class Clown: Ben Mendelsohn

Going into Captain Marvel, we all expected Mendelsohn would be the villain of the movie, both because of the film’s marketing and his filmography. Thankfully, that ended up not being the case. Instead, what we got were scenes where Mendelsohn — who play Talos, the shape-shifting leader of the Skrulls — commented on how blue Ben Mendelsohn’s eyes, and delivered lines like “Now, before you go swinging those jazz hands” with the perfect amount of humorous weariness in his voice. Mendelsohn’s darkly comedic performance was definitely Captain Marvel‘s most delightful surprise.

Most Deserving of Her Own Marvel One-Shot: Mar-Vell

Yes, I know that Marvel doesn’t make short films anymore, but if they did, I would watch the hell out of one that dove into what Mar-Vell was up to during her years on Earth. Even though Annette Bening didn’t have too many scenes as the actual Mar-Vell/Dr. Lawson, she still left an impression with the little that she did (which isn’t surprising because, you know, Annette Bening). Her Mar-Vell felt like the mischievous and globe-trotting cool aunt who would take you on adventures every time she visited that I never had, and I want to spend more time this character.

Most Unnecessary Marvel Thread: The Tesseract

Honestly, I couldn’t decide if the Tesseract  or Halt and Catch Fire‘s Lee Pace’s appearance as Ronan the Accuser was more deserving of this award. But in the end, the shiny blue goober (a.k.a. the Space Stone) was the winner because its appearance in the final totally took me out of the movie the first time I saw it. Here, the Tesseract functions more as a source of confusion than as an effective reminder of continuity. Instead of reveling in Carol’s exuberant self-actualization, I was trying to figure out how the MacGuffin went from Howard Stark’s possession (see the end of Captain America: The First Avenger) to being part of Project Pegasus. And the problem is that the Tesseract doesn’t even need to be here because Captain Marvel is filled with tons of other more enjoyable things that make it clear this is part of the MCU (see: Fury, a de-aged Clark Gregg as Phil J. Coulson, Ronan the Accuser accusing, and more!).

Most Valuable Player: Goose

Goose would deserve this award just for devouring the Tesseract; however, Goose was also responsible for some of the movie’s funniest moments: the shot of Goose spread-eagled as the plane took off; every interaction Fury had with Goose; the entire Flerken of it all. Basically, if Goose was on-screen, you were probably laughing.

Best Musical Moment: Nick Fury singing “Please Mr. Postman”

Yes, the “Just a Girl” needle-drop is perfectly on the nose; however, Fury singing the Marvelettes’ tune while bantering about the correct pronunciation of Mar-Vell was the musical highlight because it was super cute. More significantly, though, you get the sense that this was probably the last time Fury — who just learned that the universe is far weirder than he ever knew — ever let himself smile and have fun because once Carol took off to the stars, he probably threw himself into finding more heroes as part of his Protectors Avengers initiative.

Most Underused Player: Gemma Chan 

Justice for the Crazy Rich Asians star, who didn’t have nearly enough to do as Starforce’s stoic sniper Minn-Erva. When I saw Captain Marvel for the second time, I seriously considered counting how many lines of dialogue she had, but I realized that might be too depressing. Nevertheless, to make-up for the film’s underuse of Chan, we should all binge AMC’s Humans, on which the British actress plays the first robot, in a society filled with them, that develops consciousness.

Best Use of Photon Blasts: Heating up the kettle

Waiting for water to boil is the worst. Thankfully, we have a hero who is willing to use her energy blasts to both take out an entire Kree armada and speed up one of the most mundane human activities. 

Captain Marvel is in theaters now.

Related content: 

  • Those Captain Marvel post-credits scenes, explained
  • All the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, ranked
  • Marvel Movie Club: 8 takeaways from Infinity War and our MCU binge

Captain Marvel

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‘Captain Marvel’ Scores $302 Million International Debut

Brie Larson’s “Captain Marvel” is showing plenty of international power with a $302 million international launch — the fifth highest of all-time.

With an impressive $153 million debut in North America, Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe title totaled a global opening weekend of $455 million, or the sixth highest global debut and the biggest opening of 2019, surpassing the entire top 10 total of the same weekend last year.

Disney distribution chief Cathleen Taff told Variety that the results show that “Captain Marvel” again tapped into the worldwide fan base for MCU movies and credited Marvel president Kevin Feige with expanding the diversity of superheroes, with Larson as the first female lead character.

“With Marvel, nothing surprises me,” she added. “The fans are loyal and come out. Kevin Feige continues to deliver amazing content that pushes the envelope on diversity so anyone can see themselves as a superhero.”

The international launch was 32% ahead of mega-hit “Black Panther.” China led the way internationally with $89.3 million for the third highest MCU opening weekend ever in that territory behind “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Captain America: Civil War.”

South Korea led the rest of the pack with $24.1 million, marking the highest March opening weekend ever, 22% ahead of Black Panther. The U.K. generated $16.8 million, the third highest March launch for that market.

Brazil opened with $13.4 million, representing the second best opening weekend of all-time, 66% ahead of “Black Panther.” Mexico generated $12.8 million in the fifth highest industry opening weekend in that market.

More to come…

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Captain Marvel shatters box office ceiling with $153 million opening weekend

Captain Marvel is going higher, further, faster at the box office.

The Marvel film easily soared past its competition for the biggest opening weekend of 2019 and the first title of the year to open to more than $100 million. It won the box office with an estimated opening total of $153 million in ticket sales at 4,310 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday. It marks the seventh biggest opening for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the second-biggest debut of a new Marvel character on the big-screen, behind only last year’s record-breaking Black Panther. 

Holdovers How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral take second and third place respectively. In its third week at the box office, the final film in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy continues to hover near the top of the box office, taking in an estimated $14.7 million across 4,042 theaters. A Madea Family Funeral also marks the end of an era as Tyler Perry’s final Madea film, and it firmly takes third place in its second week with an estimated $12 million across 2,442 theaters.

Captain Marvel introduces audiences to the titular character in the form of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), a part human, part Kree warrior who retains flashes of her life on earth as she fights a member of the Kree strike team known as Starforce. When Danvers crash lands on earth during the 1990s, she attempts to uncover the truth about her past and the origin of her cosmic powers, all the while facing down trouble from the shape-shifting Skrulls infiltrating the planet.

The film marked a major milestone for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as their first female-led superhero film, as well as the first to boast a female director with Anna Boden co-directing with creative partner Ryan Fleck. Captain Marvel had a lot riding on its shoulders, but it smashed every expectation this weekend taking in $302 million internationally for a staggering $455 million global debut. This marks the fifth highest international opening weekend of all-time and the second biggest super-hero weekend behind only Avengers: Infinity War. Notably, it also is the third highest MCU opening weekend in China ever (behind Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War) quieting doubts that a female-led film could perform well overseas.

Many have waited with bated breath to see how Captain Marvel performed in comparison to DC’s first female-led superhero outing, 2017’s Wonder Woman. Marvel continues to win the comic book battle between the two major brands, with Captain Marvel’s $153 million surpassing Wonder Woman’s solid $103 million opening weekend. In fact, Captain Marvel’s $455 million global debut makes it the most successful launch for a female-led film ever, surpassing the previous record holder, 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, which took in $357 million globally.

The superhero film is resonating with audiences and critics alike. Despite attempts from internet trolls to tank the Audience Rating score on Rotten Tomatoes, critic reviews have been largely positive and audiences agree — giving the film an A CinemaScore (Marvel Studios’ fourteenth such high mark). The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Jude Law, and Goose the cat (aka Reggie) . Larson will reprise the role in this summer’s Avengers: Endgame. 

Franchises big and small dominate the box office this March. Second-place title How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World adds $14.7 million in its third weekend, bringing its cumulative domestic total to $119.7 million. This tracks just below the original film in the trilogy, which boasted a three weekend $133.4 million haul.

Third place entry Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral brings its domestic total to $45.9 million with an addition of $12 million in its second weekend, continuing to hold strong as the third best performing Madea film behind 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail  and 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion.

Another cosmic adventure, this time in documentary form, also made impressive moves this weekend. Neon’s documentary about the moon landing Apollo 11 lands in tenth place in its second weekend out across only 405 theaters for an estimated total of $1.3 million of IMAX driven-dollars. The film features never before seen large format footage of the Apollo 11 mission, focusing on the efforts of commander Neil Armstrong and pilots Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins.

Rounding out the top five is another franchise entry and a still-struggling new sci-fi epic. Lego Movie 2: The Second Part takes fourth place with an estimated total of $3.8 million across 2,930 theaters. Its $97.1 million domestic total across five weekends falls far short of its 2014 predecessor The Lego Movie, which had taken in $224.9 million by its fifth weekend in theaters. Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel closes out the top five with an estimated $3.2 million across 2,374 theaters, bringing its domestic total to a disappointing $78.3 million.

Overall box office is down 21.3 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore, a slight rise from previous weeks boosted by the explosive success of Captain Marvel. Check out the March 8-10 numbers below.

1. Captain Marvel— $153 million
2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World— $14.7 million
3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral— $12 million
4. Lego Movie 2: The Second Part— $3.8 million
5. Alita: Battle Angel— $3.2 million
6. Green Book— $2.5 million
7. Isn’t It Romantic— $2.4 million
8. Fighting with my Family— $2.2 million
9. Greta— $2.2 million
10. Apollo 11— $1.3 million

Related Links:

  • Captain Marvel soars to Marvel’s seventh biggest opening with $61.4 million
  • How Captain Marvel points the way forward for Marvel Studios
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World flies to second weekend box office victory

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Brie Larson Reveals Why ‘Captain Marvel’ Isn’t Missing ‘Anything’ Without A Male Love Interest

Not only is ‘Captain Marvel’ the first standalone film for a female Marvel superhero, but it also is absent of a male love interest for the lead, and Brie Larson, herself, likes it that way.

Captain Marvel is inspiring girls all over the world to break through their own personal barriers with the audacity, strength and pride that Brie Larson‘s Carol Danvers displays throughout the film. However, this is not only the first standalone film for a female superhero in Marvel’s universe, but it also stands out as there is not a love interest for Captain Marvel in the film, and that’s quite alright. “It makes me really happy because I don’t think there’s anything missing from this story because of it,” Brie said of the decision to keep the film romance-free in an exclusive interview with HollywoodLife at the Cinema Society hosted premiere in NYC.

Instead of a male love interest, the love displayed in the film centers mostly around female friendship and platonic love. “It doesn’t mean that movies should always be this way, it’s just saying, we can diversify even that aspect of things…our big loves in our lives,” Brie explained. “That thing that we would go fight for, to the ends of the Earth — that could be our best friend. I mean, that’s how I feel!” Lashana Lynch‘s Maria Rambeau and Danvers have an unspoken chemistry on screen that is prevalent from their first moments together to their last. Danvers’ love for her friend and her personal memories give her something even greater to fight for, and keep her constantly inspired and strong. Her budding friendship with Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), which helps set up (fingers crossed) future films, also marks the importance for Captain Marvel to be without a love interest, or even a male savior. Fury is someone who learns from Danvers, not the other way around. Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers is a badass warrior who fights for what she believes is right — and nobody needs a love interest to do that. That is not a required prerequisite for success, and Carol Danvers makes that clear.

Make sure to see Brie Larson, Lashana Lynch, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law and more in Captain Marvel — in theaters now!

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Brie Larson Stuns In Sparkly Top With Puffy Sleeves & Pants At NYC ‘Captain Marvel’ Premiere

Brie Larson stepped out at the ‘Captain Marvel’ premiere in New York on Mar. 6 looking absolutely gorgeous in a sparkly outfit that turned heads from miles away.

Brie Larson, 29, sure was a sight to see at New York’s Captain Marvel premiere on Mar. 6! The stunning actress showed off a multi-colored sparkly outfit that consisted of a long-sleeved crop top with puffy sleeves from the shoulders to the elbows and matching fitted pants. She also wore black open-toe shoes and had her blonde hair down and parted to the side.

The leading lady of the new Marvel film, which premieres in the United States on Mar. 8, was all smiles as she walked the red carpet in her gorgeous getup. In addition to posing by herself, she took the time to pose with iconic actress, Annette Bening, 60, who plays Supreme Intelligence and Dr. Wendy Lawson in the highly anticipated flick.

Before the New York premiere of Captain Marvel, Brie looked equally as amazing at the Los Angeles premiere on Mar. 4. The blonde beauty wore a custom Rodarte gown that featured beautiful embroidered stars for the event. She also wore glittery Jimmy Choo heels with the impressive ensemble and had her hair in a similar style to the one she wore at the NYC premiere.

Brie’s choosing of fantastic styles for this week’s events are not surprising considering she has a lot to celebrate about her role in the new film. She plays Carol Danvers, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, who transforms into a superhero. Her role is the first female superhero ever in the Marvel films, putting her in a very special spot.

We can’t wait to see Brie in action in the upcoming feature. As with all of her roles, it’s sure to be a memorable one!

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The Definitive Ranking of Captain Marvel's 90's References

Obligatory SPOILER warning here, although nothing that will ruin the story for you, we promise.

Have you heard yet? Captain Marvel takes place in 1995, when no one had an iPhone, grunge was in, and RadioShack and Blockbuster stores were seemingly on every corner.

From Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), unfurling a full-sized paper map (not even a MapQuest printout) to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) cracking jokes about his AOL password, Captain Marvel certainly keeps the dream of the '90s alive with its various nostalgic onscreen references that will elicit chuckles from Gen Xers and might go way over the heads of some millennials and Gen Z viewers.

The music cues are appropriately of the moment, with songs from Nirvana, TLC, No Doubt, and Garbage, as is Carol Danvers's wardrobe, after the intergalactic hero steals a mannequin's outfit to fit in with the locals of planet C-53 (that's Earth to us): a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt, leather jacket, and flannel button-down to wrap around her waist. It is also correct to say, as Nick Fury notes, that her look is reminiscent of "someone's disaffected niece."

Here, we rank some of the '90s references in Captain Marvel from most obvious to the deepest nostalgic cuts onscreen.

Captain obvious: Blockbuster.

Carol Danvers (also referred to as "Vers" on the planet Hala) crash lands on Earth, smack dab in the middle of a Blockbuster Video. With a True Lies cardboard cutout and VHS copies of The Right Stuff all around her, she clearly has no idea of the cultural impact of the now-defunct video rental store, but nothing says '90s like Blockbuster.

Sure, sure: RadioShack.

Carol also uses the payphone right next door to the Blockbuster when she begins the search for a communication device that could put her in touch with her Kree brethren on planet Hala. Fairly obvious, but the nostalgia meter is nearly off the charts with this reference.

Check mark: Pagers.

Speaking of communication devices, pagers were of course ubiquitous, and Captain Marvel doesn't shy away from explaining just how important Nick Fury's beeper is to the entire extended Avengers and Marvel universe.

A nice touch: Actual toys.

Before kids could annoy you with a "You got games on your phone?" inquiry, they had to just play with actual toys. Troll dolls, Koosh balls, and pinball machines are all over the ship Carol Danvers and company uncover just outside of Earth's atmosphere. But there is also a Fonzie lunchbox, which turns out to have quite an important use for our superhero aboard the ship. That reference to The Fonz does not go unnoticed, despite the fact that Happy Days is a show that ran from 1974 to 1984, and itself was a nostalgia vehicle for American 1950's and early '60s culture. How meta.

Still relevant: Band tees.

Not only does Carol rock a NIN tee, she also wears a Guns N' roses shirt in a flashback scene (again, meta), and a Heart tee at one point.

Obvious, but welcome: The Fresh Prince.

Maria Rambeau's daughter, Monica, tells her mom that she should give up an evening of watching The Fresh Prince with her to complete a top secret space mission. Plus, there's a swift reference to Mallrats, a film which basically epitomizes disaffected teen culture in the decade.

A deep cut!: AltaVista.

Despite mentions of AOL passwords, Internet cafes, and one scene in which a file comically takes forever to upload to a computer, the actual deepest nostalgia cut in this movie is the AltaVista search engine. Before Google, and even before Ask Jeeves, there was AltaVista. No one in the audience could have anticipated a reference to the search engine pioneer, and anyone under the age of 20 years old probably had to Google, "What is AltaVista?" after the credits rolled.

Related: Kris Jenner and Lisa Rinna Join the Marvel Universe in Captain Marvel Teaser

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‘Captain Marvel’ Review: A Massively Disappointing Introduction to Carol Danvers

For a film that’s almost completely incoherent for most of its first act — and seldom finds its footing after that — “Captain Marvel” is rather clear about its one big idea. Jude Law, playing an alien military commander named Yon-Rogg, mansplains it to his promising female protege as they spar during the opening scene. “There’s nothing more dangerous to a warrior than emotion,” he barks at Vers (Brie Larson). “You have to let go of the part of yourself that makes you vulnerable.” He’s Morpheus, she’s Neo, and this is the dojo fight from “The Matrix” if it were less visceral and more explicitly gendered.

But “Captain Marvel,” despite expectations and appearances, is not a groundbreaking science-fiction saga from the 1990s. On the contrary, it’s the 21st installment of the 21st century’s most popular mega-franchise, and somehow the first to center on a heroine (a fact that makes the film’s arrival a sadly overdue cause for celebration, like a kid blowing out their birthday candles on the 21st try). The context behind Yon-Rogg’s axioms couldn’t be clearer, nor the message more pointed: Women are always being told that they’re too “emotional” to lead, but Vers’ convoluted journey will lead her to see that emotions can be a superpower unto themselves, and that her vulnerability is also her greatest strength. If only Vers’ movie didn’t treat that sentiment like a self-fulfilling prophecy; if only it earned the beautiful idea that it lays out at the start.

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. That disappointment is only deepened by the fact that the film was directed by the talented indie twosome of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, whose previous work (“Sugar,” “Half-Nelson,” and “Mississippi Grind” being the highlights) is charged with all the verve and humanity that’s missing here. If not for some grounded character work towards the end of the story, their contributions to this $152-million behemoth would seem totally anonymous.

As much as this movie can be seen as a step in the right direction, it’s so eager to get to the promised land that it trips over itself right out of the starting gate. The first and most fatal mistake of the script that Boden and Fleck co-wrote with Geneva Robertson-Dworet is that it reduces Vers — or Carol Danvers, as she’s later and better known — to an amnesiac for most of her adventure; in other words, Captain Marvel is far and away the least compelling thing about “Captain Marvel.” Her journey begins on the futuristic planet of Hala, where Carol lives alongside a humanoid species called the Kree, and fights as a member of their elite military Starforce. Their mission: To eliminate a race of shapeshifting aliens known as the Skrulls, who can imitate any lifeform they see. So far, so “Star Trek.”

Carol’s contributions to this task are obvious (she can shoot laser fire out of her hands), but her control over them is not; a Kree technology called the Supreme Intelligence (naturally embodied by Annette Bening) had some kind of hand in bestowing these gifts, and it monitors the warrior’s pyromancy via a patch in her neck. Once upon a time, this movie would axiomatically have started at some point before its protagonist assumed her powers, but “Captain Marvel” tries to circumvent the tedium of superhero origin stories by forcing Carol to forget how she even got to Hala, and stretching the truth into the narrative’s central mystery. The result is an origin story that desperately tries to disguise the fact that it’s an origin story, and unlike the Skrulls, the illusion is never the least bit convincing.

Brie Larson, "Captain Marvel"

“Captain Marvel”

Marvel Studios

This isn’t the first time a Marvel protagonist has spent an entire movie trying to figure out the basic details of who they are, but at least Star Lord was given some additive character business to fill in the gaps. Ms. Danvers has no such luck, and Larson — an Oscar-winner whose natural protectiveness is poorly served by such a self-satisfied character — has little to do beyond mug for the camera and spout third-rate one-liners to any of the men who get in her way. Larson is far too eager to play her own action figure, and that proud approach doesn’t leave Carol anywhere to go once her memories inevitably return. So she settles for quips and second-hand glimpses into whatever life she used to live. There’s an emotional core in there somewhere, but the movie doesn’t find it. Not since Edward Norton’s Hulk has the MCU offered such a two-dimensional title hero (compared to Danvers, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk might as well be a Dostoyevsky character).

It’s a good thing that the Skrulls are more than meets the eye, because their leader — Talos — is asked to shoulder most of the film’s emotional burden. Giving the best performance in a movie that relies on its excellent cast to compensate for its empty characters, the ever-reliable Ben Mendelsohn elevates Talos into a genuine menace, first in his reptilian form and then as a Ben Mendelsohn-looking body snatcher once Carol escapes from his clutches and crashlands into Los Angeles circa 1995. Yes, before Marvel fans reach the end of their year-long wait to see how the end of “Infinity War” is meaninglessly undone, they’re going to have to sit through a prequel. Somehow, the abundant fan service that entails is less painful than the winking ’90s nostalgia that comes with it.

Alta Vista. Radio Shack. A scene where Bening dances to Nirvana. A climactic needle-drop that’s too cringe-worthy to spoil here. It’s as lazy and superficial as you might expect from a movie that was teed up by a two-way beeper, even if there’s something about the guilelessness of Larson’s performance that seems more at home in these 20th century environs. It’s there, outside of a Blockbuster, that Carol runs into some familiar faces: Future S.H.I.E.L.D. admins Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, whose face has been convincingly de-aged to look 25 years younger) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg, whose face has been horrifyingly de-aged to look like it was face-tuned by the lady who botched that fresco of Jesus).

Brie Larson, "Captain Marvel"

“Captain Marvel”

Marvel Studios

And so begins a cross-country race for Carol to make sense of her memories before Talos can use them to figure out where the MacGuffin is hiding. Comic book readers won’t be surprised to learn that the road leads to Maria Rambeau (a magnificently well-shaded Lashana Lynch) and some business about the Air Force. Also, Fury falls in love with an adorable cat named Goose, who’s not only the film’s umpteenth “Top Gun” reference, but also a more fun and less tiresome riff on the Groot archetype that “Guardians of the Galaxy” has already driven into the ground.

Friends become enemies, enemies become friends, and just about everyone engages in some of the most tedious fight scenes ever slapped together by a second-unit (Boden and Fleck nod to “True Lies” and “Speed,” but make no apparent effort to recapture the fire-and-brimstone magic of the practical action sequences that made those films into modern classics). Nothing here is as plastic as the subway fight at the end of “Black Panther,” but that’s only because Boden and Fleck lack that degree of ambition. Other tech elements draw a similarly dire contrast, with Pinar Toprak’s forgettable music underscoring just how much Ludwig Göransson brought to Ryan Coogler’s culture-shaking juggernaut.

The film’s busy third act would be a mess if not for its deep bench of supporting characters, who connect to each other in a number of warm and wonderful ways that make Carol seem more effective as a conduit than she is as a Captain. But, for better or worse, this is her story, and she is eventually put in a position to reclaim her agency and disprove the shaky truisms of her alien sensei: Despite never being vulnerable, Carol learns that her vulnerability is not a weakness. Despite never being weak, Carol learns that she doesn’t need permission to be strong. Despite never being unique, Carol learns that she’s just another Avenger.

Beyond the inferences of its opening scene, and a handful of cheeky moments sprinkled throughout (one of the villains basically stands over Carol and demands that she debate him), “Captain Marvel” doesn’t foreground its gender politics. Unlike “Wonder Woman,” the film offers few plot-specific reasons to call attention to who she is under the spandex. That’s a blessing and a curse in a familiar story that leaves you desperate to see Carol offer the movie, its genre, and her impressionable young fanbase something more than a cosmetic overhaul. It could have been “Alien3” or “Princess Mononoke” or “Tank Girl”  — hell, it could have been “Batman Returns.” But only in its most regressive ways does it really feel like a blockbuster from the mid-’90s. Neither a blast from the past, nor an inspiring glimpse into the future, at the end of the day it’s just another Marvel movie. And not a particularly good one, at that.

Grade: C-

Disney will open “Captain Marvel” in theaters on March 8.

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Brie Larson Meeting a Mini Captain Marvel Will Make Your Day

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Mini Me, is that you?

Brie Larson chatted with a young girl decked out in superhero gear at London’s Captain Marvel premiere and it was a heartwarming sight to behold. Film critic Scott Davis took a brief video of the movie star getting interviewed by the probable-journalist-to-be, Illy. 

“Are you running the carpet tonight?” Larson asked of her interviewer.

They then had a brief conversation and Illy proceeded to ask the 29-year-old an inaudible question. The two Captain Marvels later posed together on the red carpet with some fellow castmates.  Marvel UK & Ireland’s Twitter page also shared photos of Illy interviewing Larson’s co-star Samuel L. Jackson as well. Larson retweeted Marvel’s post and wrote, “She’s my hero!”

That feeling is most definitely mutual.

8-year-old Illy’s interview was apparently set up by an organization called The Female Lead, which is “a non-profit organisation dedicated to making women’s stories more visible and offering alternative role models to those ever-present in popular culture.”

The Female Lead posted about the interview on Instagram. “Just two captain marvels,” the caption read. “We arranged for 8 year old superstar illy to meet her real life superhero @brielarson at the #captainmarvel premiere this evening !”

Plus, Larson becomes the first woman to lead a Marvel Cinematic Universe film thanks to this role.

Larson’s London premiere is just the first in what’s likely to be a whirlwind world tour before the film’s March 8 release date.

The star discussed her major role in InStyle‘s March issue and why the character of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel resonates with her so much. She shared, “She didn’t apologize for herself. I felt like that was a really valuable trait, because she is incredibly flawed and makes a lot of mistakes … and has to ask to atone for them, and that is super valuable. She’s not ever shrinking herself down.”   

Larson went on to talk about how she feels empowered by it all. “The movie was the biggest and best opportunity I could have ever asked for. It was, like, my superpower,” she explained to the magazine. “This could be my form of activism: doing a film that can play all over the world and be in more places than I can be physically.”

In case you can’t wait until the March 8 release, take a look at some of Captain Marvel‘s movie pics below.

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Fight or Flight

Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) is a U.S. Air Force pilot.

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Experience Is the Best Teacher

As a Starforce commander, Jude Law‘s character has a soft spot for his half-human protégé Carol.

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A Star Is Born

Starforce, the Kree’s elite military team, includes Carol, Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan), Korath (Djimon Hounsou), Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), Att-Lass (Algenis Pérez Soto) and Bron-Char (Rune Temte).

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A Necessary Evil

Captain Marvel is set in the ’90s—meaning Ronan the Accuser is years away from becoming a radical Kree outcast.

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Crash Course

The Starforce commander trains Carol in Kree combat.

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The Tide Is Turning

The shape-shifting Skrulls invade Earth—led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), who infiltrates S.H.I.E.L.D.

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A Hero’s Journey

In the comics, Carol gains her powers after a violent explosion spliced her DNA with the original Captain Marvel (a.k.a. Mar-Vell).

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Shooting for the Stars

Carol, who apparently has amnesia, can fly and shoot energy blasts from her hands.

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Sky High

Carol’s closest friend, Maria “Photon” Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), is an Air Force pilot and single mom.

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Seeing the Future

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has just joined S.H.I.E.L.D.—and it appears he’s yet to injure his left eye.

Larson told E! News in June she was “proud” of the movie and what they were making. She teased, “I think all the hype and anticipation will be worth it.”

Don’t miss E! News every weeknight at 7, only on E!

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Brie Larson Shines In Metallic Halter Dress At 2019 Oscars

Former Oscar winner, Brie Larson, looked beyond incredible when she hit the 2019 Academy Awards red carpet. Check out her gorgeous look here!

Brie Larson has mastered the red carpet over the years, and she looked like an absolute queen when she showed up to the 2019 Academy Awards! Brie always nails her red carpet looks, and she was at it again at the Oscars in a shimmering silver dress. For her red carpet looks, Brie rocked a metallic strapless gown, which featured a halter neckline. She completed her look with her hair swept to the side in loose curls, and all-in-all, she looked beyond incredible! The dress also featured a thigh-high leg slit, allowing Brie to show some skin — and she looked SUPER fierce!

This year, Brie is at the show as a presenter, but she’s certainly had a history at the Academy Awards. In 2016, she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Room. It was Brie’s first nominated at the awards ceremony, and even though she was favored to win, she still got emotional in her acceptance speech. “The thing that I love about movie making…is how many people it takes to make it,” she said. “Thank you to the moviegoers.”

Coming up, Brie will star as Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel movie of the same name. She will also be featured in the highly anticipated film for Avengers: Endgame. Captain Marvel is set for a March 4, 2019 premiere, while Avengers: Endgame is scheduled to be released on April 26, 2019.

After her 2016 awards season run, Brie got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Alex Greenwald, in May of that year. However, the couple ended their relationship in Jan. 2019, just ahead of their three-year engagement anniversary. “They have taken a step back from their engagement for the meantime, but they remain close,” People reported. Brie and Alex always kept their romance low-key, so the details of their split have not been confirmed, but even solo, she obviously looked like a queen at the Oscars!

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