HOLLYWOOD—I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I was quite entertained while watching the latest Marvel entry, “The Marvels.” Now is it the best of the comic book universe, no, nowhere close, but considering I paid for a movie ticket, I was not disappointed with the purchase that I made America.
I know plenty of you might be asking if you need to see Captain Marvel before watching this film. I would argue it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do so, just so you at least know who Captain Marvel is aka Carol Danvers aka actress Brie Larson. Larson returns to the role, but a face that might not be familiar is Teyonah Parris, who portrays Monica Rambeau.
I know what some of you might be thinking she is replacing the character of Maria previously portrayed by Lashana Lynch, but you would be wrong. Danvers causes a major ripple when she decides to destroy the Supreme Intelligence leading to a civil war that destroys the world of Hala, and it leads to a villainous battle between Carol and Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton).
I’m just going to say it now; I was not impressed with the villain Dar-Benn in this movie. I wanted a bit more and I think that is the big reason we are seeing this lull in the comic book universe in general. We have interesting protagonists, but the villains are subpar at best. They have become afterthoughts and that takes away from the emotional impact of the movie in general. She is workable in the movie, but if there was just a bit more development besides the revenge tale then “The Marvels” might be bumped up a bit in my overall criticism of the movie.
The audience also meets Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), who lives in New Jersey and possesses a bangle that allows her to harness cosmic energy that interviews Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and Monica where they constantly interchange places throughout the entire movie. I give major kudos for “The Marvels” for jumping right in on the action, special effects and fight sequences. This is the first time I’ve seen a flick categorized as action that actually delivers the action that the moviegoer wants to see.
There is an element of time travel here that isn’t too confusing, it is not like what was witnessed in “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” which is a good thing because it would totally lose the audience if it was to unfold in that manner. If you’re eager to learn how the movie gets its name it is indeed a bit cheesy, but it works, but I am seeing a trend of Marvel utilizing kids as major plot points for many of their recent flicks. I don’t necessarily love it, but I would love to see this trend become a thing of the past in all honesty.
The special effects are well crafted so that they don’t come across as a cheap gimmick and elevate the actual plot that plays out with intergalactic travel and other universes. We also have the return of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury who does what Nick Fury does best, not much. “The Marvels” has a strong first and second act, something I haven’t been able to say about many films as of late, but its third act is not as strong.
The big climax was a bit disappointing for me, and that tension between Maria and Carol it needed to be more fleshed out for me to truly care. I will give the film points for that mid-credits scene that sees the return of familiar face and an iconic that REALLY HAD ME EAGER TO SEE WHAT MARVEL DOES NEXT! Solid film, not the best, but quite entertaining and you get to see a hell of a lot of female star power, which is a bonus.