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Marvel Studios rolls out their next big flashy blockbuster in the shape of The Marvels, a sequel to 2019’s mega hit, but also controversial Captain Marvel in hopes to re-energize the brand and keep the momentum going after a well executed Season 2 of Loki. I’m happy to report the film does exactly what it needed to, it provides a fun, enjoyable time in theaters, not perfect by any account, but a good time in theaters which by the end of it leaves you more excited for the future of the MCU then you’ve been for a long time.
The Marvels follows Captain Marvel after she has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan, Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team-up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as “The Marvels”.
The film brings together the so called “The Marvels”, which are characters who have some kind of relation to Captain Marvel. The team of Monica Rambeau last seen in WandaVision, Kamal Khan last seen in Ms.Marvel, and ofcourse Carol Danvers last seen in the Shang-Chi end credit scene, all derive their powers from electromagnetic energy. This energy binds them together in the film when a Kree accuser arrives looking for revenge on Captain Marvel tries to take her down. This as you would think starts the film of well, with some great laughs, and inventive action set pieces. The team must then learn to work together, and work out their differences throughout the film. Captain Marvel, and Monica have had a complex relationship, with anger on both sides, while Ms.Marvel is just absolutely happy to be there. This dynamic makes the film work, it gets you through slower scenes, makes every scene more energetic, and also allows the film to have a great sense of heart. They hate eac other at times, none of them have worked in a team long enough to work well, but at the end when it matters they’re able to come together and save their universe.
Another feature of the film is Nia DaCosta’s fun, and energetic direction. This gives the film more energy and fun than most other recent MCU releases, it sings at times, yes there are actual musical elements, and there are a ton of wacky moments. You can tell that DaCosta is a fan of the comics, because the film is as crazy, and as messy, as the comics are alot of the times. The action is also very inventive, DaCosta utilizes some fun cinematography to make it more appealing, and more interesting, which works most of the time. The film also explores some big MCU Multiverse saga plot points very well, it makes it instantly simple to understand. For all those dreading having to watch Ms.Marvel, WandaVision, or the first Captain Marvel before this there is no need, DaCosta does well to instantly catch you up on everything you would need to know. If you did watch those shows you will have some extra familiarity with the character which may make it more interesting, but is at no point a need for the film to work.
The X-factor this film has is Iman Vellani’s Ms.marvel and her family, every scene with her and them is energized, it’s like if me or you, the audience got to step into that world and become a superhero. Vellani nails it as always, and by the end of it becomes a much more central character to the MCU as a whole. The film also ends in a way that it expands and at the same time brings the greater MCU a whole lot together. It makes sense why certain events happen here due to other movies and shows it connects to, it feels like classic MCU. It feels like you’ve walked out of a more classical MCU film. The film also allows Captain marvel as a character to be a lot morte interesting than she’s been in the MCU till now, you feel for her, you oppose her, as a whole she actually feels like a person now rather than some secret weapon. Monica and her relationship are a big focal point for the film, and Teyonah Parris nails it, she is great in showing the tension. Monica as a whole really gets to flex her muscles and show Aunt Carol she isn’t going to be taking the back seat nymore.
At the end of the day the job of a film is to entertain, and this film does exactly that. It doesn’t strive to give you anything more or anything else, it won’t change your viewpoint of the world, it won’t break your heart, it is just really a good time at the movies. And that is all it needs to be. It’s become more common recently to put all the expectations in the world on every Marvel movie that comes out, it doesn’t have to be Scorsese’s favorite movie to be a good film, at the end of the day what really matters is that you go into that theater, have a good time, and come out feeling a certain way. The Marvels will give you tons of thrills, tons of laughs, tons of WTF moments, and when you leave you’ll be happy, and very excited for the future of the MCU.