Captain Marvel ★★★

So Marvel Comics finally get round to giving the aptly named 'Captain Marvel' an outing in what is the 21st film in the MCU franchise.
This time we're taken back to the mid '90s - guess it makes a change to the '80s which has been done to death and then some - when a young Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) still had both eyes, his hair and wore a suit as opposed to looking like a pirate crossed with Shaft. He was also blissfully unaware as to the horrors that existed out there in the big bad Universe.
That illusion is shattered though when Vers aka Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) comes crashing down to earth and is engaged in an intergalactic conflict with the supposedly dastardly shapeshifting Skrulls on behalf of a Kree military unit called Starforce.
But everything isn't as it seems as Danvers peels back a plot of intrigue and deception all played out with several enormous action set pieces, massive explosions and a retro '90s soundtrack.
Along for the ride are various other characters including her Starforce mentor and confidant Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), the leader of the Skrulls named Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and rather fleetingly Annette Bening as Mar-Vell / The Supreme Intelligence.
It's directed capably enough by the duo of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck but fails to really do anything that you haven't seen before.
For a start it's difficult to get sucked into the initial Skrulls as bad guys narrative when you've already seen the Kree and the power-crazed antagonist Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) portrayed in previous instalments.
Also setting it almost entirely on earth is a bit underwhelming when we've had so much previous exposure to the vast expanses of the outside Universe in its numerous forerunners.
Larsson remains stoic throughout which at least is a bit different from the usual knowingly ironic to the point of near tongue in cheek portrayals of so many of the heroes in the franchise. The only drawback is she isn't particularly sympathetic or likeable.
However Jackson's energy plus Mendelsohn's measured charm and humour under, for the most part, a tonne of latex were enough to keep me fully engaged until the end.
It's gone great guns at the box office but for me is one of the far less fun and more forgettable instalments.