The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe serves as a sequel to the stories of not one, not two, but three heroes, all at once. The Marvels has Captain Marvel teaming up with Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau to take on a new threat, whilst dealing with a new predicament that has them unpredictably swapping places.
Directed by Nia DaCosta, who co-wrote the screenplay with Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik, this triple sequel takes on the daunting task of evenly dividing the screen time between out three heroes and providing them enough character development at the same time.
Just Your Average Marvel Story
The story takes place some time after the events of the first Captain Marvel film, where Carol Danvers destroys the Supreme Intelligence, leading to a civil war among the Kree.
The film deals with our heroes dealing with a phenomena that’s causing them to swap places when using their abilities, a result of the antagonist, Dar-Benn’s bracelet disrupting the heroes’ power. The swapping of places made for some of the best moments in the movie, resulting in sequences like Kamala suddenly finding herself in the midst of Carol’s battles, clueless about what had transpired, and surrounded by Kree soldiers, and when the positions change again, Monica and the Kree pursuers end up at Kamala’s home, resulting in a chaotic showdown in a living room of an unassuming suburban neighbor. I found these fun moments to be some of the best scenes of the movie, being really amusing to see in the theatres.
Like most recent Marvel films, they don’t take themselves too seriously and is more lighthearted in nature, even if the situation at hand is serious. As the villain decides to invade the planet of Aladna to plunder its water source. The audience is informed that song and dance is used to communicate on the planet, which leads to a scene where Carol and the prince discussing the impending invasion through song and dance. This sequence was a little too goofy for my tastes, and I would’ve preferred if the movie took itself more seriously from time to time, but it wasn’t anything unbearable.
As chaotic as the place swapping was, they eventually figured out how to coordinate in the end, which resulted in an epic final action sequence which was really well executed. Seeing the characters work together in sync was a really nice pay-off to training arc that they embarked on earlier in the film.
The movie ends with the eventual defeat of Dar-Benn, but her sudden demise felt a little forced. That is to be expected from most films in the genre, but I don’t see much of a problem with it, as the villains aren’t typically the focus of these films anyways.
Overall the plot of The Marvels was nothing special, but I would’ve liked it if it was a little more innovative in terms of story, as it felt like just another superhero film.
One of the main reasons for watching a Marvel movie is to see the charismatic heroes in action. The Marvels offers a trio of superheroes that each have their own unique personalities and traits. However, the characters are lacking in some aspects, and definitely could’ve been executed better.
Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, is as hard to relate to as ever. The problem I had with the character is that she’s just way too powerful, which essentially made her character a one dimensional powerhouse. Points in the story where they explored her more human side, such as when they addressed why she was gone from Earth for so long, were great, but aside from that they don’t really expand on her character, which was disappointing to see.
Ms. Marvel, aka Kamala Khan, was the highlight of the movie for me. Her charming and sweet personality shined brightly throughout the whole movie, a stark contrast when compared to the other heroes. She also contributes to most of the more comedic moments of the film lightening the tension and kept the movie fun for me to watch.
Monica Rambeau served as the emotional anchor for the film. Her past experiences, reunion with Carol Danvers, and subsequent reconciliation added some touching moments to the film. However, it might be hard for audiences to emphasize with her due to her limited appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Continuing the trend of forgettable antagonists in Marvel films is Dar-Benn, a revolutionary Kree warrior and an Accuser of the Kree Empire. Her character and motivations were quite shallow and forgettable. It felt like her purpose in the story was just to highlight the strength of our heroes by using her as a punching bag.
Aside from Kamala Khan, these characters weren’t interesting or relatable enough to keep me engaged. I was especially with the direction taken with Carol Danvers, as this film was the perfect opportunity for them to flesh her out as a character, but it felt like she didn’t grow at all since her debut in the first film.
MCU Television Series Tie-Ins
As Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau were both introduced in Ms. Marvel and WandaVision respectively, a concern I had going into the theatre was if watching the MCU TV series were necessary to understand the characters of the film.
The movie does briefly go over the backstories of the characters, giving those who haven’t spent 12 hours to finish both series a little context to the characters, and a recap for those who’ve already watched it. Although watching them would certainly give you a better understanding of our heroes, like what exactly transpired in Monica’s past, and the origin story of Ms. Marvel, it isn’t entirely necessary.
As someone who had watched WandaVision but missed out on Ms. Marvel, missing out on a series didn’t really hinder my viewing experience too much, though it was admittedly nice to have a little more context behind Monica’s chararcter before entering the theatre.
The Marvels is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is a fun, lighthearted movie with some amusing interactions between the trio of heroes.
Packed with comedic moments throughout, fun banter between the cast, and Flerkens, The Marvels is a nice watch for anyone who continues to be caught up to the MCU, and the post-credits scene will sure to excite fans for what’s to come as well.
However, the movie does suffer from some of the issues that continues to plague most recent superhero films, which are uninteresting and overdone characters and storylines. To its credit, the film does experiment with new concepts, such as having the place swapping gimmick offering interesting interactions from the three heroes that made The Marvels a worthwhile watch.
Watched at TGV Cinemas.
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- Has some fun moments
- Nice visuals
- Overly predictable plot
- Boring characters