Let’s address the elephant in the room before you start reading our The Marvels review. Yes, Marvel is definitely in the dumpster with their Phase 4 and 5 projects with very few that manage to make the cut of what the old Marvel standards used to be. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Werewolf by Night are the only ones that come to mind that truly evoke emotion from their audience.
Does The Marvels follow the same trend of being a movie made just for the cash grab? Or is there some genuine passion that seeps through its runtime? Let’s find out in our review below:
SPOILER WARNING IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE MARVELS YET
Starting With A Bang(le)
The Marvels starts off by introducing the antagonist, Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) sifting through some random planet’s dust to find the quantum bands but only manages to attain one. As we know the other sits on Kamala Khan(Iman Vellani)’s wrist back on Earth. Darr-Benn decides to take action with what she has and forcefully opens up a jump point in space to leave the planet.
We later learn that Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Ms. Marvel get entangled with each other as all of them share powers that have something to do with light and electromagnetism along with the tampering that Dar-Benn is doing to the other quantum band as she overloads it with her Universal Weapon to forcefully open jump points all over the universe.
As our main characters are introduced, they experience the entanglement from the get-go while Monica and Kamala are forced to battle Kree soldiers out of nowhere due to Carol’s impatience. The action starts strong and the choreography is eye-catching, however, it leaves an eery feeling in the heart of the audience as the action seems to be the only engaging premise for the movie in the introduction.
The Villain Is Equivalent To A Sentient Black Hole
While Dar-Benn is shown to be strong and has somewhat of a goal in mind. Her overall character feels overwhelmingly flat. Even Malekith from Thor: The Dark World seemed to have more of a villainous streak that felt sinister in comparison to Dar-Benn. While Zawe Ashton puts on a somewhat decent performance, it is unmistakably the writing of the film that makes her character so bland.
Her goal, essentially, is to revive her planet’s health by providing it with a breathable atmosphere, water, and a healthy sun for heat and light. While her goal is seen as understandable and her desperation made reasonable to some extent, it is all thrown away when she is offered exactly what she wants and yet she throws it all away. For what? For revenge? For hatred towards Captain Marvel?
Instantly, her desperation and her motivations are thrown into a dumpster as the audience cannot feel a single shred of empathy for the antagonist anymore. Even hatred is not an emotion spent on her as she is so insignificant of a character, her presence can barely be considered a threat, especially since we know Captain Marvel has already tanked hits from Thanos, the same Thanos who beat the Hulk in a bare fistfight.
Ms. Marvel Ironically Shines The Brightest
She adores superheroes and her artwork. She squeals with delight at the prospect of embarking on a new journey. Kamala is all of us who spent our best childhoods hidden away in science fiction and fantasy realms. For Kamala, the ultimate nerd fantasy has come true: the unusual superpowers derived from an ancient object, or the enigmatic wizard who will send you on a fantastic journey.
In her own series, Iman Vellani has already shown that she is the ideal live-action Kamala Khan. She also doesn’t let us down in The Marvels. Her portrayal of Kamala, which combines social awkwardness and 100% enthusiasm in every situation, is still quite entertaining and is honestly the best character on-screen throughout the entire film.
While her powers still remain comic inaccurate, her personality is a perfect match for her comic counterpart and it works wonders for this film that is filled with blandness all over. Just to put it in perspective, when the planet that is supposed to be a second home for Carol Danvers, Aladna, gets its water pulled away from one of Dar-Benn’s jump points there seems to be almost zero emotional impact from her side aside from a thirty-second frustrated conversation. That’s how emotionless this movie feels. Iman Vellani’s character is the only one in the entire movie that actually brings some energy into this film.
The Marvels: Just A Nudge Better Than Thor 4
While The Marvels does suffer from a LOT of bad writing, it is still better than the worst MCU film to date which is Thor: Love and Thunder. The reason we say this is because while the writing may seem equivalent to each other, Thor 4 had much darker themes to handle and it butchered it to the point of no repair. Whereas, even the comic version of Captain Marvel has faced a lot of goofiness which still matches the film to a certain extent, especially with the scenes on Aladna, the planet where the language is song.
Characters are still given some growth by the end of the film and the cats scene in the third act definitely got a few points that made us appreciate the film more. As that truly felt perfectly in place with how wacky and goofy the film was trying to be without attaching any seriousness to it which the rest of the film attempted to do and failed miserably.
All in all, The Marvels is barely a watchable MCU film that suffers from bad writing and from the minor toxic fandom of Marvel that still practices sexism by calling it the result of the MCU turning into an M-She-U, which is absolutely not true. The majority of the MCU is still male-dominated and the females that do exist in the universe do shine and entertain equally if not more. Take Shuri’s character from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever or Wanda from WandaVision or Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness for example.
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