Perhaps the most unique contribution directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck make here is to extract a brilliant performance out of their Mississippi Grind actor Ben Mendelsohn, who makes the objectively hilarious choice of retaining his native Aussie accent.
"I don't know if I'm just exhausted, but I feel like I'm going to cry".
Captain Marvel is an "entertaining" and "robust" superhero movie but is not the game-changer Black Panther and Wonder Women were, according to critics. His arc is also the only time the film is likely to wrong-foot the very clued-in MCU fanbase.
"I would love to challenge you in the ring any time you're ready", Jax told Larson. She also has no real recollection of who she is, with only fleeting images of the traumatic events that gave her powers and made her part of this inter-galactic war. "It is telling that there are eight credited writers, making this a kitchen sink of clichés". Don't forget, you can also see the two in Captain Marvel, opening in theaters tonight.
Time's Stephanie Zacharek also found all the "girl power" a bit overpowering: "Is anyone else getting exhausted of role models?"
Even the well-regarded Wonder Woman was not without its problems, including the overemphasis on the love interest, the bloated running time, and the establishment of Diana's race of fierce Amazonian women warriors at the start - only for them to be sidelined and replaced by an all-male team of laughably bad ethnic stereotypes.
After a blistering introduction featuring a bungled raid on a tribe of shapeshifting aliens known as Skrulls, she ends up in our world, on a mission to recover some top secret tech before they do. So are a lot of other Avengers, but they didn't set themselves up to deliver more. The idea is that it's best just to bash your way through everything, just as so many guys do. Jackson's scenes as the sceptical Fury are highlights of the film, adding a touch of playfulness.
Rather, it seems to be here just for fun, along the lines of the "drumming ant" scene after Ant-Man and the Wasp or the Captain America PSA after Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The truth is, this flawed but still entertaining film's chief asset is its representation of a young woman who has spent her life following orders but is now finally crafting an identity of her own in a shifting moral landscape.
"We're telling a female story, but it's not good enough to just be like, 'You just hired a female lead and then we did it!'", Larson said. But they do, and even in an extraordinary situation, Rios deliberately makes space to focus on emotion and expression.
Larson herself has used her red-carpet looks as a way to pay homage to her titular character. "Her film, alas, is no epic".
In fact, if there's one criticism here it's that Jackson gets too numerous laughs, nearly as if the writers felt the only way to play a strong female hero is straight and sullen and humour would somehow weaken her.