Marvellous or Marvel-less? Find out in our The Marvels review!
Since the end of the beginning five years ago, nothing has plagued the superhero universe more than inconsistency. Avengers Endgame was the culmination of so many stories and so many characters, it has been hard to stack up against that. But then again, should we?
Essentially starting anew, the last phase and a half of Marvel movies and shows has been more conflicted amongst fans than ever before. In saying that, the MCU has also been trying to introduce new characters in different ways and to change the way they tell stories which has also been to mixed reception.
Wait, is this the script?
It’s long past time we stop comparing superhero movies to ones that came before or to an epic conclusion of a 10 year long story arc. As Marvel builds towards it’s next blockbuster, we should try to enjoy the journey and the entertainment we are getting in the interim.
This journey is about Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who is now sharing the spotlight with two other leading ladies. With one of the shortest runtimes of Marvel history, this powerful trio have to squeeze in an impressive amount of backstory, action, comedy and hairballs.
Three has got to be better than one.
So does The Marvels continue with the run of superhero fatigue? Or does it make for an enjoyable journey? Find out in our The Marvels review!
The Marvels Review – Story
To know where you’re going you first have to know where you’ve been. That has never been more apparent than now, with three separate storylines converging into one supercharged trifecta. As this is technically a sequel to Captain Marvel, let’s start with Carol. In the 30 years since she left Earth, Carol has been roaming space (with her trusty Flerkin, Goose, of course) helping anyone in need.
The cutest and fluffiest reason to watch The Marvels.
She is afflicted by her past that causes huge ramifications to the universe in this movie which is her ongoing emotional struggle she has to work through. Luckily she isn’t alone, as her best friend’s daughter (who she hasn’t seen in 30 years) is along for the ride.
Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) is now helping Nick Fury in space with her newly acquired powers thanks to Scarlet Witch in WandaVision. Possibly the strongest character and performance of the three, Monica must come to terms with why Carol never came back to Earth, especially after her Mother passed away.
She has a braid now cause braids are cool.
Cue the sweetest and most integral part of this movie, Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). Aptly naming herself after her favourite hero, Ms Marvel, she provides a more grounded, albeit very excitable, character to bring Carol and Monica together.
The only way to bring all of these light powered women together is by having them face a more powerful force and what is more powerful than protecting one’s own planet? Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) is the new leader of Hala, the homeworld of the Kree, who is facing annihilation and blames Captain Marvel for their downfall.
Yet another villain that has too little screen time.
Dar-benn finds an ancient armband with the means to open jump points (wormholes) and intends to restore her planet to its former glory by using it. This happens to be the matching armband Ms Marvel owns by some coincidence. Somehow these armbands and creation of new jump points cause all three marvels to swap places.
With some explanations missing, too much plot convenience and adding in a touch of inconsistency, the Marvels find themselves stuck with one another to defeat this tyrannical overlord. The movie ends somewhat predictably and haphazardly however a lot of surprising and fun scenes make up for it.
The Marvels Review – Visuals
Possibly one of the best in the business for its stunning visuals and The Marvels don’t fail that label one bit. Aside from a few slightly questionable flying moments, we are showered with galaxies of incredible CGI scenes. From the S.A.B.R.E space station, to the dying world of Hala and even a quick musical romp through a seaside village, the Marvels absolutely excels in this department.
Just look at those shoulder pads.
Costume design is also top notch with the three leads getting new threads halfway through the movie. The fight choreography is done quite well considering each character switches places when they use their powers. Although it seems inconsistent at times, after a fun montage of them training, they manage to work as a team and pull off some pretty damn cool trinity manoeuvres.
The world of Hala – before it starts to die (spoilers!)
The Marvels Review – Music
The first Captain Marvel had a distinct 90s vibe with a killer soundtrack to suit. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case here as some may have hoped. However, Laura Karpman’s (What If…?, EverQuest) score provides an excellent tone for this intergalactic adventure with some beats from the Ms Marvel and Avenger’s scores.
One of the earlier fight scenes features a great Skrillex song “RATATA” that really hypes up the start of the movie. Not to mention one of the more absurd scenes, which won’t be spoiled here, has a song from the classic musical Cats and knowing this will make this scene all the more memorable.
The Marvels Review – Acting
A more hit and miss element from some Marvel projects is the acting. Whilst some you can chalk off as newcomers, some are just plain bad. This entry suffers from very inconsistent acting from all over the shop. Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) somehow tries too hard at being emotional with a lot of her scenes coming off as flat.
Teyonah Parris (Monica) and Iman Vellani (Ms. Marvel) do a reasonably better job with Parris coming in with some strong emotional scenes and Vellani acting like an over-excited kid meeting her heroes. This works better than expected and although some scenes are a bit goofy it does make you feel like this is a big deal.
All in all, a pretty well rounded cast.
Unfortunately, the villain, Dar-benn, is given a 30 second backstory and not enough scenes to paw at. However, almost every scene she is in she does fantastic with what’s she is given, showing a desperate leader in a last ditch attempt to save her world from the Annihilator (Captain Marvel).
The last “main” cast member has even less screen time, Park Seo-joon (Prince Yan) helps The Marvels in a scene that is strangely out of place. His character has probably half a dozen lines and is essentially the butt end of a giant gag.
Want to hear a joke mother f*cker?
Last but not least, technically the longest starring MCU actor (he was in the post credits of Iron Man) Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury) is back and has a joke ready for any scene. Whilst his last entry into the fray (Secret Invasion) was a lot more serious, here we see a completely different Fury. Possibly he feels redeemed from his Earth trip or he is just relegated to the comedic relief of this film. Either way, his comedy does land more often than not and it’s great to see him in any capacity.
The Marvels Review – Conclusion
With a lot to cover in barely two hours, The Marvels entertainment value is mostly there bar a few minor issues. Some more perceptive fans may feel annoyed by the lack of explanations of certain artifacts or the pacing that is either too fast or too slow. Regardless there is some great team up action and the typical Marvel comedy for anyone to just sit down and enjoy.
So whilst it’s no Endgame, it shouldn’t be considered as such and taken as it is, a fun filled space hopping adventure with a great cast that should be enjoyed on the journey to end of this saga.
So, why should you watch The Marvels?
- A Marvel fan that watches all MCU projects
- If you just want a fun and not too serious superhero movie
- Love cats
But why shouldn’t you watch The Marvels?
- If you hate superhero movies (for some reason)
- Feeling that superhero fatigue
- Need to have all details explained at length
A preview screening was kindly provided by Disney Australia for the purpose of our The Marvels review. If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out our review for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and join the Qualbert Discord to chat with us about all things superhero!