In Captain Marvel, Vers/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) endures a series of nightmares relating to her past.
Trained in combat and the art of self-control by intergalactic general Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), Danvers is one of the Kree civilisation's greatest warriors.
Abducted by the Skrulls and their leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), she begins a path towards uncovering her true identity.
Captain Marvel, the 21st instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a light-hearted, easy-going thrill-ride designed to please everyone.
Viewers don't need to watch/re-watch any of the preceding entries to enjoy this one.
It's also the first instalment to feature a female superhero in the lead role.
Working with witty lines and emotionally resonant moments here and there, Larsen excels as the titular character.
Danvers/Captain Marvel is an interesting protagonist, but certainly not a complex one.
As Danvers pieces together her backstory, the movie peppers in a handful of cheesy flashbacks.
The audience remains one step ahead of her at all times.
The movie's feminist message is handled with little to no subtlety.
Writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Mississippi Grind, Half Nelson) deliver a lead character devoid of weaknesses.
Lacking in tension and emotional heft, Captain Marvel depicts her as emotionless, all-powerful, and stubborn.
Featuring Larson, Law, and a top-notch supporting cast (Gemma Chan, Djimon Hounsou etc.), the first act is a delight.
After Danvers meets SHIELD agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) midway through, the pace wavers between speedy and sluggish.
Larsen and Jackson's rapport prevents many scenes from becoming dull.
Marvel Studios has perfected de-aging technology. Here, Jackson looks exactly like he did 25 years ago.
Jackson is a joy to watch, while relative newcomer Lashana Lynch provides some much-needed depth as Maria - Danvers' long-lost best friend.
Given strong enough material to stretch his acting muscles, Mendelsohn is thrilling in every scene.
Boden and Fleck handle each talky moment with aplomb, but become overwhelmed by the spectacle.
Many of the action sequences are choppily edited, while the climax - set on and above the earth - is bland and numbing.
Made whole by a few nice twists and turns, Captain Marvel provides some fun ahead of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Ps both post-credit scenes are rather pointless.