THE MARVELS (2023)
Release Date: 11/10/23 [Cinemas]
Genre: Action. Adventure. Fantasy.
Studio: Walt Disney Studios.
"Carol Danvers gets her powers entangled with those of Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau, forcing them to work together to save the universe."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
The Marvels is a perfectly fine superhero flick - sitting amongst a rocky at best Phase Four and a one for two score so far in the latest Phase. This one lucks out by being an enjoyable, simplistic film that attempts to appease its general audience. One of the worries I had going in was my lack of knowledge when it came to the Disney+ Marvel series, Ms. Marvel or my recollection of the original Captain Marvel that I hadn’t watched since theaters back in 2019, however as luck would have it - it’s all relatively self-explanatory within the film.
What I love most about The Marvels is its sense of humor and comedic timing. I think the comradery between the trio of women is just fantastic writing and their chemistry is off the charts. Now when it comes to the exploration of one of these women in particular, it’s easy to see a bit lacking since the last time we saw them - yes, I’m speaking about young Monica Rambeau from the first film, but now an adult. I understood the frustration she must’ve had with "Aunt" Carol (AKA Captain Marvel) leaving her for all those years after promising to be back, but it’s barely in the conversation. This makes certain story beats between the pair have less emotional impact due to this absence of connection and trust.
Ms. Marvel (AKA Kamala Khan) is a Captain Marvel fangirl within the universe, who just so happens to also be a superhero. Her obsession and quips are adorable, becoming a substantial part of the humor throughout the film. Her family is a fun inclusion into the story, characters I’m sure fans of the Disney+ series may be more acquainted with. It’s also fantastic to see more of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in this sequel, compared to some of the last few films. This is the most I’ve enjoyed his character in quite some time - especially his relationship with the adorable Flerkens.
Now to what should be the heart of the film, Captain Marvel herself, Carol Danvers. Brie Larson is a strong lead here, assisted by two fantastic supports by her side (Teyonah Parris & Iman Vellani). Additionally it's safe to say that Larson deserves compliment as she has overcome any stiffness that may have been a focal point in her previous appearances as the character.
The action is captivating and well pieced together with the gimmick (as shown in the trailer) of all three Marvels cursed to switch literal places if they use their particular powers. The choreography is seamless and it really adds an extra level of amusement to it as the characters switch back and forth constantly. The only daunting issue with this explanation is its lack of definition, we aren’t clearly given an idea as to what powers transfer whom; sometimes powers are used with no effect, but then another will be used and “poof” they’ve switched. It’s a bit of a continuity problem that makes it less and less irritating and more confusing as time goes on.
Zawe Ashton's villainous Dar-Benn has sufficient reasoning for her actions yet the flashback showcasing an explanation lacks a real draw of rationality for the audience to come to grips with. We’ve just now been introduced to this villain’s planet and to this scenario in which Captain Marvel ultimately doomed a population - it’s a fair reason for vengeance but also lacks the gravity I’m sure the filmmaker was intending. It’s a plot of revenge and recuperating what’s been lost to their home, while destroying others in the process. It’s a simple story with some beautiful visuals and cinematography, allowing a breather from the confusingly convoluted multi-verse attachments. Although, simplicity does come with some rarities, such as a rather bizarre yet clever planet that only communicates through song that I wish was more thoroughly explored upon. Sadly, it's looking like the final time we’ll be seeing this mysterious place.
Nia DaCosta provides a new vision to the MCU, allowing for a genuine team up and a fantastic introduction of a new lead character on the big screen from the small. It’s a promising feature with a few flawed components, but comparatively it’s a well made, terrifically written piece of Phase Five that allows these characters to be fun again while not making a complete fool of themselves (*cough* *cough* Ant-Man). As one of the shorter entries in the MCU, do yourself a favor and go see this marvelous film that contains an eXciting surprise.