The Marvels is one of the lighter and breezier entries in the MCU, filled with fun performances from new characters and a plot you’ll likely forget shortly after watching the movie. While it’s somewhat of a sequel to Captain Marvel (barely), the film brings Disney+ TV characters from Marvel’s shows into the story, despite not necessarily following the ending of those shows. If you have kept up to date with all the Marvel shows leading up to this film like me, you were probably expecting some crossover between WandaVisoin, Ms. Marvel, and the most recent Skrull show Secret Invasion. For better or for worse the film skirts around those shows and primarily focuses on uniting its three light-based powered heroines.
Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) finds herself exploring the cosmos and continuing to help those in need as the hero Captain Marvel. When the Kree are responsible for creating rifts in the jump points used to travel between worlds, Captain Marvel finds herself entangled with two other light-based heroes from Earth whom she’s never met. Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) a.k.a. Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) now find themselves having to work with Captain Marvel to find a way to untangle their powers and defeat their new enemy!
With many people calling this the year of the Superhero Movie downfall, The Marvels is hardly at fault when it comes to quality or complexity of its storytelling. Opting not to spend time on establishing new characters backgrounds in-depth may seem like a slight by Marvel for some, however I felt the brisk introductions worked well enough and kept the movie chugging along. Nia DiCosta wastes no time with her MCU debut, moving the story forward at a lightning pace and keeping things light and enjoyable for all involved. The film smartly embraces the hilarious and heart-warming Kahn family (the standout from the Ms. Marvel show) and inserts them wonderfully alongside Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
The Marvels doesn’t give their villain, nor their main conflict the actual time necessary to become fully invested in their overall goal. In other Marvel films this would have frustrated me more, however I found that keeping the focus on The Marvels themselves helped keep the audience engaged and entertained. Iman Vellani is the standout performer, gleefully fighting alongside her favorite hero and adding tons of heart and humor to the mix. This film won’t move the needle in the superhero genre, but it didn’t feel concerned with re-inventing the wheel and it’s probably a good call that they kept things simple. These days, it’s somewhat nice to watch a superhero property and not be so concerned about all the prior setup you need to be aware of.
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