THE MARVELS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
The director/co-writer for The Marvels, Nia DaCosta, is best known for her horror film work like 2021’s Candyman. There is little in her background to show she has the magic to create a mega-blockbuster in superhero films.
I mean, Captain Marvel’s catchphrase, after all, is “Higher! Farther! Faster!” so you expect a certain amount of oomph in these kinds of films. The other two writers have a solid background in superhero projects. Still, ultimately, the director’s vision is responsible for the end results. And unfortunately, learning on the film set while making this movie shows in the pacing and unevenness of the storytelling.
Without giving away any spoilers (are you listening, Marvel Execs?) I will give you a brief overview of this new film, The Marvels.
We finally get to see Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), back on the big screen longer than just in a cameo role saving the universe. The story starts about thirty years after Captain Marvel reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and took her revenge on the Supreme Intelligence that ran Hala and the Kree. She now lives a solitaire life with her feline Flerken (looks like an orange tabby cat) named Goose. They help out Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Avengers whenever trouble happens.
Somehow, Captain Marvel’s powers get entangled with those of teenage Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and a now-grown Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). They switch locations whenever they use their powers, making for some confusing but fun fight scenes. They are forced to work together as a team to save the universe against the newest Kree threat. Spearheaded by Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), who hates the Annihilator, aka Captain Marvel, and is working to restore her home, Hala, to its former glory.
Will the newly minted team of Captain Marvel and her new partners defeat the vengeful Dar-Benn? You will just have to watch the film to find out.
I know I told you the film has some pacing problems, but I swear to you, if you are a fan of Goose or cats in general, there is a plot point that makes it worth the price of admission. That is all I dare say without upsetting the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I do not need another “visit” from them about writing spoilers.
I give The Marvels 3.5 stars. I was looking forward to seeing some superhero magic on the screen. It’s essential to see Marvel films starring and being directed and written by women. I hope the team gets to try again, turning up the heat next time, and remembers the Grrr in Girl Power. Still, it’s fun to see it on IMAX.
Directed by: Nia DaCosta
Written by: Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, Elissa Karasik
Running Time: 1h 45min
Theatrical Release: Wide and IMAX November 10th
Starring: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L. Jackson, Zawe Ashton
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…
1 Star – Total waste of time.