BY ELLIOT LINES NOVEMBER 9, 2023
Since the heights the Marvel Cinematic Universe hit with Endgame, Marvel Studios has, lets be honest, released a range of content that hasn't quite hit those same heights. With the TV shows now playing apart in the overall story, it can be difficult for the generic fan to keep up, and the majority have not been successful either. This is similar for the movies, aside from No Way Home (Aided by the return of previous Spider-men) and Guardians of the Galaxy 3, you could say that, again, the majority of the other releases have been a flop. The rumblings of Marvel fatigue has set in amongst fans, so The Marvels will only go one way, right? Wrong. This latest instalment to the MCU coasts along with it's charismatic trio, providing genuine laughs and CGI that feels like the studio actually allowed time to be spent on it. The Marvels isn't without its flaws, but I for one had a fun time watching it.
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) gets her powers entangled with those of Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel (Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), forcing them to work together to save the universe from the Kree general Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton).
The Marvels focuses it's attention on three heroes. Brie Larson once again plays the role of the all powerful Captain Marvel, who might be the most powerful hero we've seen in the MCU. At this point in her life there is an air of loneliness, with her only companion being "Goose", the flerken cat-like being (We'll get onto him later). Teyonah Parris portrays Monica Rambeau, continuing her role from Wandavision where she acquired her powers, and here we get to see more of her story. The star of the show however has to be Iman Vellani, returning as Ms Marvel. The show set her story up, and The Marvels gave her the stage to shine. Many of the laughs that the film provides come from her either fangirling over Captain Marvel, or just with the witty comments and reactions she delivers.
The villain came in the form of Dar-Benn. Part of the Kree empire and with her Ronan like power hammer she provided some decent action set-pieces with our main trio. However, her villainy wasn't convincing at all times. Partly down to the writing, the consistent need to call Captain Marvel "The Annihilator" made it more comedic than villainy, whether this is from the comics or not, it's not something that worked in the film.
At a less than normal length of 105 minutes (normally we're used to 120+), The Marvels glides through it's run-time at a steady pace. There isn't a feeling of overcrowding the audience with too much "stuff" just for the sake of putting it in. However, around halfway we are introduced to a planet of people that can only "sing" everything they say. At this moment of the film it briefly lost me, as it never really commits to this singing race, and almost immediately completely abandons the idea (Which secretly I was kind of glad).
After the re-watch of Quantumania, the shoddy look was more than evident. The over use of actors in front of a green screen gave the whole film a low budget feel, and these films are far from low budget. The Marvels showed a big difference. After rumours circulating that the VFX teams had to rush through, working late hours to get previous films complete, it actually felt like there was a little more care and time spent to make big moments stand out. One sequence where "The Marvels" powers are entangled and they are switching out with each other working as a team to win the fight is a moment that could've easily looked sub-par but instead allowed the viewer to enjoy the moment rather than focus on the poor CGI.
Before I get onto my final thoughts, there has to be a shout-out to our favourite ginger cat with tentacles. As a cat lover myself I found myself fixated on Goose whenever he appeared on screen. The addition of this character into the MCU, who made me laugh multiple times, will always be a favourite moment for me. And in addition to that, we also get a whole army of kitten flerkens, a sequence I never thought I wanted until now.
There will be plenty of people with preconception about The Marvels, whether that be for Marvel related reasons or others, which is a shame. The script may have been weak at times, and the editing isn't perfect, but there is fun to be had. The three leads are charismatic, fun to be around and are hopefully sending the Marvel universe in the right direction...make sure you stick around for the mid credit scene.