My anticipation for The Marvels was so-so, and it didn’t even meet up to those expectations. The introduction is a blur, the film jumps right into the conflicts, and it makes the Marvel cinematic universe feel not so much like part of a movie series, but more like a television series. The introductions and approaches in previous films in the franchise were so much more inviting. The heroes in this installment are also redundant, and there are unexplained universe entanglements. Overall it is one of the most lacking films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far.
The plot of The Marvels links back to Carol Danvers a/k/a Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson). The universe is in a flux and her powers hit a halt because her powers get mixed with two other ladies, Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau (played by Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris). This mixup presents a serious challenge and danger to Carol in her mode as Captain Marvel. With no time to find strategies to mend the powers, the three ladies must work to be heroes together. Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) is also back to assist.
I will give the film credit for how the three ladies interact. Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau have brighter minds and a better sense of how to handle danger, while Kamala is still learning the ropes. The annoyance and frustration among the three could be entertaining and enjoyable at times. But it didn’t make up for the off base and out of focus writing, and the plot of the film unfolding too fast. It is one of the most rushed films I have seen in the Marvel film series. Character development is critical for a Marvel film to be strong. It also requires careful linking back to the previous Marvel films. This film was weak on both accounts.
The plus side of The Marvels is that the film is only an hour and forty-five minutes long—one of the shortest Marvel movies in a long time. It was a relief on some level with how short it was, because the ridiculousness of the film could be hard to bear.
The universe being impacted as the focus of yet another Marvel film storyline is possibly the central problem of The Marvels. They writers really need to come up with some different premises at some point. I’m sure the madness of the COVID pandemic, with the shifting of projects, didn’t help the creative process.
What is next after The Marvels? Who is the new hero will have a following? Where will the universe go? I just hope there is a trend of a storyline that can be found later in the franchise that is not so rushed and quirky like The Marvels. Two out of four stars for The Marvels.