The Marvels is somehow the 33rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is a direct sequel to a movie (Captain Marvel) and two different TV shows (Wanda Vision and Ms. Marvel). It’s a significant supporting role for Nick Fury, who is coming off last summer’s Skrull Rebellion in Secret Invasion.
However, almost none of this matters. WandaVision and Ms. Marvel is only relevant in that these shows are where two of the three original Marvels got their powers – the properties are not important at all and are never referenced – and Secret Invasion is never even hinted at. Direction. And everything you need to know about Captain Marvel, which 12 movies were releasedIt’s that Carroll’s decision to destroy Carrie’s superior intelligence at the end of that movie backfired.
That’s a huge amount of context that’s simply taken out of the story, and in order for it to work, it needs to be both really impactful on a filmmaking level and represent something other than more Marvel stuff. And credit where it’s due: for a big part of this movie, director Nia DaCosta and her co-stars. It managed to do both. But while The Marvels works as a dope and fun action flick, these pleasures are fleeting. For a film that, at just 105 minutes, is clearly stripped of its connective tissue and substance, being entertaining can’t hold it back.
The story here is a pretty standard Marvel setup. Kree’s homeworld is dying after the events of Captain Marvel, and a new warlord named Dar-Ben commits genocide to save it, using a magical bracelet to rip holes in space to extract resources from other planets. Steal – like the atmosphere from the planet. , oceans from another and so on. When Captain Marvel and Monica Rambo simultaneously touch two of these tears in space, their abilities clash with each other – and so do those of Kamala Khan, who also has one of those bangles.
From there, whenever any of the three use their powers at the same time, they switch places. It’s a ridiculous gimmick that’s impossible to manage, but The Marvels is so well shot and edited that makeover sequences usually end with a bang.
In fact, the action in The Marvels is very strong, with a James Wan lookalike and a very pleasant music-video-video flow. The three main actors (Brie Larson, Tione Preis, and Iman Velani) are all a lot of fun and have great chemistry, especially when they’re awkward around each other. And even when they visited a planet where everyone sings and dances whenever they talk, they showed me something I hadn’t seen before – our introduction to this place is one of the best sequences in the MCU. Always.
While The Marvels works as a brutal action movie for a while, its brutal breeziness and strict adherence to the Marvel formula ultimately weigh it down – to be honest, it’s probably going to take a few hits to keep me going. I need the quality of Michael Bay. By the time we get into the standard comic climactic battles in the third act. This is not That Still, it’s good, and it certainly can’t come close to the heights of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – the pinnacle of the recent MCU. But that Black Panther sequel also came with a very weak subplot that nobody liked about Martin Freeman’s character, and at least Marvels wasn’t brought down by something similar. At least it has a stable mood.
But worst of all, The Marvels lacks any content from Ryan Coogler or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or even the Eternals. The Marvels is very much a movie that goes away easily, but there isn’t much to remember about it. It’s a movie that the rest of the franchise will probably treat like WandaVision and Ms. Marvel: nothing more than a vehicle to put all these characters where they need to be. Next, the details probably won’t matter.
The state of the MCU being what it is, however, I have no idea where they will appear, and I’d be surprised if even Marvel knows for sure. Even worse: I’m not sure I care, as the MCU’s complete lack of focus makes this increasingly difficult. But Marvel’s The Marvels is fun while it lasts.