The Marvels Review | A Generic Superhero Film Saved by Its Brisk Runtime and Typical MCU Humor

The latest MCU offering, The Marvels, is a typical superhero film that gets saved by its minimal runtime and the signature humor of MCU films. It is a film that isn’t doing anything creatively inspiring to cause some changes to the exhaustion people are feeling towards the superhero genre. If you aren’t an ardent follower of the MCU films, it is definitely skippable, and if you have watched all the other stuff in this universe, well, then this one is that watch-laugh-and-forget kind of addition to the franchise.

Kree leader Dar-Benn, who wants to resurrect her home planet Hala, is the center of attraction of this movie. Her aggressive approach sort of makes Nick Fury anxious, and he requests Carol Danvers to check on the situation. But Danvers’ past equation sort of spoils the peace negotiations, and during that, something happens, and Kamala Khan, Carol Danvers, and Monica Rambeau switch places. What we see in the movie is the combined team effort of these three ladies to save different worlds from the hands of Dar-Benn, who is in search of that Quantum Band in Kamala’s hand.

Nia DaCosta, the director of the movie, has collaborated with Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik for the writing of this movie, and both these individuals were involved in the development of Ms. Marvel and Loki, respectively. It is pretty evident that they don’t want this movie to be heavy in terms of emotions and visuals. Even some scenes depicting serious conflict have brighter visuals and funny lines. When the Marvels go to a planet named Aladna, the musical treatment they have given is kind of unique, and the visual color palette sort of reminded me of the Taika Waititi films in the MCU (and a pinch of Barbie).

The drama built around the characters has a very typical feel, and you will feel that the movie just skips through emotional bits to stay in the fun zone. Dar-Benn is obviously the antagonist of the film. But, the prominence of that character in the screenplay is very minimal, and looking at what Carol does at the end, there should have been a more empathetic gaze toward that character. Instead of investing the runtime on such things, the film is more interested in creating those bizarre yet fun set pieces featuring the cats. The visual effects quality doesn’t have the sharpness it used to have, and one could sense the imperfection in certain setpieces in the way the CG characters move.

Brie Larson reprises her role as Captain Marvel. This time, there is a bit more focus on the feminine qualities of that character, which at times looked slightly odd because of the image the character had in the universe. Teyonah Parris, who was last seen in Wandavision playing the same character, Monica Rambeau, has a relatively less complicated role this time, and a significant part of the performance is consumed by the set pieces. Iman Vellani, as Kamala Khan, is the over-enthusiastic fan girl, and she was fun to watch. Samuel L Jackson reprises his role as Nick Fury, and the man was fun to watch in those scenes where he interacts with people working at SABER and Kamala’s parents. Zawe Ashton, as Dar-Benn, gets an underwritten character, which was one of the major demerits of the movie.

If you are looking for that Ant-Man zone of entertainment, I would say The Marvels won’t be much of a disappointment for you. But if you are entering this movie hoping Marvel would do something to reinstate the enthusiasm among fans, then it will be a disappointment. The sad part is that the multiple original series that had a connection with this movie was a lot better and pretty innovative in terms of writing. Despite having those people on board as writers, The Marvels felt like an uninspiring product.

Final Thoughts

If you aren't an ardent follower of the MCU films, it is definitely skippable, and if you have watched all the other stuff in this universe, well, then this one is that watch-laugh-and-forget kind.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.