Movie: THE MARVELS
Rating: PG-13, action/violence and brief language
Release Date: November 10, 2023
Jeanne: Brie Larson shines once again as Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 33rd movie, THE MARVELS. Directed by Nia DaCosta, who co-wrote the screenplay with Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik, this latest adventure finds Captain Marvel battling Supremor Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), emperor of the Kree empire.
But she is not alone in this struggle. When Captain Marvel finds herself in an anomalous wormhole, somehow her powers get mixed up with those of her now-grown niece, Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and 16-year-old Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), known as Jersey City’s superhero, Ms. Marvel. Not really ever wanting a “team”, Carol now has one, and they must learn to work together to save the universe.
Per usual, the action is fast and furious, the fight scenes are longer than necessary and the special effects and set designs are amazing. DaCosta, McDonnell and Karasik have fortified their script with a lot of humor --- some of which works, some doesn’t.
Larson, Parris and Vellani put a great deal of effort into bringing THE MARVELS to life. They do create a believable team, working tirelessly to correct their quantum entanglement, switching places when they use their powers at the same time. It’s great fun and the three women have a captivating chemistry.
Of course, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is on hand as the Director of S.A.B.E.R. While Captain Marvel and her team are out fighting Dar-Benn, he’s on the space station keeping things in control as best he can --- and taking care of Goose, played by two cats, Tango and Nemo.
THE MARVELS is fine entertainment, though it’s not exceptional. It’s a fitting vehicle for Larson, but she is capable of so much more. Hopefully the next installment will be an improvement.
Opinion: Mild See It Now!
David: By Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) standards, THE MARVELS is mercifully short at 15 minutes under two hours. While the visual effects are superb, I’ve said many times that special effects can only go so far. Once they get too repetitive, they lose their appeal. The effects in THE MARVELS are close to being overdone.
This film brings back Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and unites her with her now grown-up niece Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and her biggest fan, teenager Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani). The three super femmes all have unique abilities, but the gimmick in THE MARVELS is that if they use their powers at the same time, they become entangled. This means one replaces another wherever they may be, even if they are galaxies apart. Rambeau, meanwhile, is a scientist who can rattle off complex facts reminiscent of Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) on TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”.
The chief villain, Dar-Benn, is also female, portrayed by Zawe Ashton. Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role as Nick Fury, director of S.A.B.E.R., a major source of comic relief. THE MARVELS is Jackson’s 15th involvement in an MCU project.
Much of the movie is an exercise in silliness bordering on the ridiculous. On the planet Aladan, for example, the inhabitants communicate only through singing except for their leader Prince Yan (Park Seo-joon) who speaks English. This prompts Captain Marvel to explain that the prince is bilingual. Then there are the cat-like creatures called flerkittens. You can’t write this stuff. Actually, you can, because a trio of writers, director Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik collaborated on the script.
Women have their stamp all over this movie. In addition to those mentioned above, females contributed with music, editing, production design, costume design, casting and as executive producers.
I have no doubts that devoted MCU fans will rejoice with THE MARVELS. Casual fans not as much, but the movie is very ambitious. In fact, there will be a sequel based on the usual closing teaser.
Opinion: Mild See It Now!