The Marvels

November 9, 202350/1006 min
Starring
Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani
Written by
Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, and Elissa Karasik ( written by) Gene Colan and Roy Thomas ( Based on the character created by)
Directed by
Nia DaCosta
Run Tine
1h 45min
Release Date
November 10th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

For the last fifteen years, one of the brightest stars in the world of film has been the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That light, however, has started to lose its shine, and what was once littered with must-see event films has become a question of ‘can I just skip this one?’ Some might say it’s because we’ve become oversaturated, while others will argue that the movies are just not that good anymore. Whatever the reason may be, we don’t feel the need to have every piece of the puzzle anymore, and the numbers show that. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped Disney from cranking them out on TV and film. The good news is that their latest film, The Marvels brings a little  bit of that shine back. A little.

The Marvel universe is never harmonious, and once again, someone has a grievance to settle. That someone is Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), who seems to be running things over at the Kree Empire, and she is not very happy with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). Or as we also know her, Captain Marvel, you see she destroyed an A.I. system, which resulted in the planet falling into a civil war. That act led to the planet’s air becoming unbreathable, causing a drought, and making its sun go dark. Now Dar-Benn wants revenge and to give her planet back the things it lost. Standing in her way, of course, is Captain Marvel, but she is experiencing a little problem that affects not just her. It seems that every time she uses her powers, she switches places with either Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) or Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), whose origins premiered on Disney+ TV shows. All this swapping can make things difficult when you are fighting some bad guys. Time is not on their side, so the three of them are forced to team up to try to stop Dar-Benn before…you guessed it, before it’s too late.

Written by Megan McDonnell, Elissa Karasik, and Nia DaCosta (the latter also directing), The Marvels is a roller-coaster ride in terms of enjoyment. For me, though, the highs are good enough that I don’t mind the low points at all as long as we keep moving. Where it stumbles is where it seems Marvel as a whole has stumbled lately, as it delivers the same tired clichés that we have seen so many times before in better movies. It also (as in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness) keeps the current phase pretty much stuck in the mud. The Marvels has a crisp runtime of one hour and forty-five minutes, and while I loved the shorter runtime, it doesn’t give the characters time to develop. They just figured you watched the shows for that. But this is a movie, and while big all encompassing universe is what we signed up for, you still need to make a movie a real movie. With those pesky character arcs and natural plot developments and everything.

When it comes to this current phase, my expectations were pretty low, but I actually enjoyed The Marvels for what it was and not what it was trying to be. Once again, Iman Vellani shows she is a force of nature, and the trio of her, Larson, and Parris is a good combo and quite fun to watch. You do need quite a bit of Marvel knowledge to get through this one, so brush up on it before. Ultimately, this is another entry into the category of ‘forgettable’ Marvel movies. But even if you forget it, you are going to, at the very least, have fun while watching it try to go, like most sequels: higher, further, faster.

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