Are we here for it or nah?
There hasn’t been a big blockbuster hit from the MCU in a while, and with news pouring that The Marvels now holds the lowest franchise opening yet, what are we in for?
In the film, we see Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) having reclaimed herself from the Kree and taking revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But as the consequences of her actions come for her, her powers become entangled with two other (less experienced) superheroes in the form of Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) and “I don’t need a superhero name” Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris).
So our three protagonists’ powers get linked, which means that at any time two are using their powers at once, they switch places—no matter where they are, and no matter who they’re fighting. It’s great news for little Ms. Marvel, who finally gets a chance to work alongside her hero. It’s not so great news for Monica, the niece that Carol left behind years ago.
While those three try to figure themselves out, our villain Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), survivor of the Kree civil war, is out for revenge and redemption. You see, Captain Marvel destroyed the AI that ruled over her home planet of Hala, and Dar-Benn wants to revive Hala and her people—forget that it means robbing other plants of their resources.
The Marvels: Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau
Let’s start where this movie shines: It’s a fun comic book watch. Where it lacks in emotional pull, it makes up for in quick witticisms and hilarious encounters—thanks in large part to Ms. Marvel. As the younger of our three heroes, she’s eager to learn the ropes and earn the stripes she needs to be called an Avenger. There’s even a funny set of scenes where cats effectively (though disgustingly) save the day. There's also a notable cameo with Park Seo-joon, which elicited a collective gasp from my the women in my cinema.
The Marvels also shines a refreshing light as we finally see the cool Captain Marvel actually join ranks with her fellow heroes—and not just coming in to save the day. Sure, she’s against it at first, ordering Ms. Marvel not to use her powers in order to avoid the switches, but she eventually relents. She can’t do this alone, and she knows it.
And for all the Marvel universe fanatics, The Marvels actually ties together the Disney+ series, so there you go. You got it.
That said, there are some lackluster aspects to the film as well. Dar-Benn is a pretty weak villain as far as MCU villains go, and the resulting fight scenes just aren’t up to par. Carol also randomly gets emotional, and some of them just feel misplaced. Out of nowhere and without any build up, she’s explaining herself and her side and her story; and her soliloquies pivot all the action in unexpected (read: off-putting) ways.
But should you watch The Marvels? The answer is yes. Watch it for a good time, to see the marvel and power of the MCU. You’re not going to get anything close to Infinity War, and you shouldn’t expect to. We’re in a new phase, and Marvel is still only setting the scene. Remember that—you know what, let the after-credits remind you, too.
Art Macky Arquilla