Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Captain Marvel'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Brie Larson gets to make history as the first female superhero to stand at the center of a Marvel blockbuster in a highly anticipated film released this weekend.

"Captain Marvel" is what the comics like to call an "origin story," and this one is set almost a quarter of a century ago -- before the Avengers came together and before Nick Fury had to wear an eye patch.

Samuel L. Jackson has been digitally altered to look much younger, but he remains a supporting character in a film that belongs to Larson.

Her character is introduced here as one of the Kree, an alien who has powerful memories of being human and muses, "Something in my past is the key to all of this."

Led by a miscast Jude Law, the Kree chase a group of shape-shifters called the Skrulls to earth.

The year is 1995, and I enjoyed the sly references to life back then.

The boss of Larson's character is played by Annette Bening, and to see the Oscar-nominated star play "The Supreme Intelligence" was pure delight for me -- and it turns out, for her as well.

"It's really cool," she said. "It's the closest I've probably been to when I used to play in my backyard. We all played pretend. It was like that for me. It was literally the most fun playing pretend that I had done in a long time."

Larson won an Oscar for the low-budget independent movie "Room," and there's an indie sensibility here -- which serves to make this movie more interesting than the typical blockbuster.

Larson "lights-up this superhero movie from within," said show business trade paper Variety, and I agree.

Some critics have slammed the movie, but most of them are men. And maybe those guys feel threatened by such a strong female character. I thought "Captain Marvel" was a most welcome and entertaining addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The movie is distributed by Disney, which also owns ABC7.

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