MCU’s ‘The Marvels’ is Decidedly Non-Marvelous

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Average: 5 (1 vote) Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Some Marvel movies are essential viewing for those following the ongoing advancements in the Marvel Cinema Universe (MCU). “The Marvels” is eminently skippable, and draws from so many different MCU properties it almost feels like you’d have to cram for a comic book final exam to understand half of what is going on. 

Ostensibly a sequel to the mid-tier and instantly forgettable “Captain Marvel,” the film pairs up Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers (Brie Larson) with her estranged niece Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris from “WandaVision”) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani from the “Ms Marvel”). They each have specific light based powers that become tangled when a “Kree” space baddie from Planet Hala punches holes in the fabric of space/time, creating worm holes. So they instantly switch places when they use their powers at the same time.

The Marvels
Photo credit: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Motion Pictures

There’s nothing wrong with having a trio of female superheroes save the world. And Parris and Vellani are more than up for the challenge, with Vellani in particular playing a teen girl with a fan crush just being in the same spaceship as her idol Captain Marvel. Interestingly, it’s Larson who’s easily the weakest link here. The other two simply outshine her at every turn, as Larson wears an expression of smug self-righteousness throughout.

The story feels a lot like Marvel on auto pilot, complete with giant space holes in the sky, and various races of aliens that the movie barely even pretends to care about. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is back too, handling a subplot taking care of Ms Marvel’s freaked out family and a house cat that springs tentacles from its mouth gobbling up everything in sight, only to throw it all up later like a hairball.

The film’s clear low point involves an incredibly stupid and pointless trip to an alien planet whose residents communicate entirely in song, and is populated by characters who seemingly wandered in from an Off-Broadway production of “South Pacific.”

The Character Cast of ‘The Marvels’
Photo credit: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Admittedly, there are times in the movie when it’s actually kind of okay … in a low stakes forgettable kind of way. Khan and Parris clearly have good chemistry together and have charisma to spare, and there are some Easter Eggs and cameos which will get the Marvel super fans excited. The movie ends the way MCU movies almost always do, but it lacks much in the excitement in defining the characteristics that set it apart from the usual intergalactic battles.

While Marvel’s quality control has been slipping of late, it still has a floor of watchability that keeps it from becoming an outright disaster. But “The Marvels” is anything but marvelous and to date easily counts as one of the film franchises worst entries.

”The Marvels” is in theaters November 10th. Featuring Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton and Samuel L. Jackson. Written by Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik. Directed by Nia DaCosta. Rated “PG-13” contributor Spike Walters


© 2023 Spike Walters,

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