Is Marvel dead? Nope. Will this film resurrect the MCU? Nope. Is it a lazy-evening, time-killing, nothing-to-do watch? Yes.
Star Cast: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Park Seo-joon, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur
Director: Nia DaCosta
What’s Good: It’s under 2 hours (but it’s still slow)
What’s Bad: The script and execution are bad but not as bad as Kamala Khan’s costume (whoever designed it should be fired with immediate effect). Marvel, she’s the best thing about a film that’s not even about her; please give her a decent costume.
Loo Break: It’s under 100 minutes, and still, you’ll need a couple of breaks (says a lot?)
Watch or Not?: Only if you’ve enjoyed Captain Marvel & Ms. Marvel, don’t jump in expecting it to be like a pre-Endgame MCU film
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 1 hour 44 minutes
The Skrulls and Krees, as usual, get in a fight as the latter group, led by Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), holds its dominance. DB is in possession of a cosmic bangle, which unlocks many powers, but only if its 2nd pair is with it. Of course, you guessed it right: the 2nd pair has to be with one of the three leading ladies in Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), or Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). It’s with Ms. Marvel.
The strange thing is because of quantum entanglement, all three ladies are entangled and will switch places with each other every time they try to use their powers. How all three of them work on the shortcoming, making it their strength, reaching to Dar-Benn by the end is what the story is all about. It’s Marvel, and we can’t ask, “Will they do it? Because they, of course, will, but how will they do it?” is the real question.
The Marvels Movie Review: Script Analysis
Director Nia DaCosta pairs with Megan McDonnell (WandaVision) & Elissa Karasik (Loki) to pen a script that’s so fast-paced that it forgets to lay even the required groundwork for certain characters. It’s fun and quirky at times but comes with multiple issues on a broader level.
The Monica-Carol angle falls flat & hard as the makers expect you to feel for them without giving importance to their characters. Yes, there are bits and pieces about what her ‘aunt’ Carol did to her in the past, but her behavior to the exact looks exaggerated for someone as bright as her.
A very unusual choice is the film’s cinematographer, Sean Bobbitt (12 Years a Slave, Judas and the Black Messiah), doesn’t go into an overkill mode to experiment with different things. Even he falls into Marvel’s trap of producing generic superhero shenanigans. The power/dynamic of the ‘Switch’ remains fresh only for the first time as you stop really caring about it every time they repeat it.
The Marvels Movie Review: Star Performance
This was supposed to be Brie Larson’s ‘Civil War’ moment (minus the war). I missed her wicked ‘half-smile,’ but she’s still highly reliable as Captain Marvel. From her character’s athleticism to its stirring emotions, she captures everything beautifully.
Teyonah Parris, as Monica Rambeau, is the weakest of the three because of both her inept performance and the sloppy writing of her character.
When The Marvels’ first trailer was released, no one would’ve ever expected that this film would be Iman Vellani’s film more than anyone else. Because Kamala is so genuinely written and performed, it immediately creates a connection with her — something that should’ve happened with the other two as well. Her delightful aura separates her from being Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man as she one-ups him in some qualities.
Zawe Ashton’s villain is the major reason the superheroes don’t feel as impactful as they should be. On rare occasions in the film, there’s a danger to any of the characters, and when it’s there, it ends conveniently in their favor. Again, the writing makes things worse, making the script unable to find a balance between whites and blacks.
Park Seo-joon‘s cameo is royally wasted. I wouldn’t be waiting for him in the film if I were a fan. Zenobia Shroff & Mohan Kapur play the stereotypical ‘desi’ parents of Kamala by saying only “Beta” in Hindi while speaking English in a peculiar accent because that’s what desi parents do in Hollywood.
The Marvels Movie Review: Direction, Music
Nia DaCosta calls herself a Marvel nerd, someone who’d watch even if they come up with trash. Little did she know, she’d have to do the same with her film as well. Jokes apart, if we replace the script with a better one, she has the vision of making a super-entertaining movie because here she bad everything mid & yet she managed to pull off a better film than whatever was Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania & Thor: Love and Thunder.
Jumping from Ms. Marvel & What If…? Laura Karpman does a satisfactory job with the score as its best trait is not to interfere in between the sequences. In the inclusion of tracks like Skrillex’s Ratata, Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and Barbra Streisand’s Memory, she displays her overall impressive range.
The Marvels Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, this needed more attention, more love, and less drama. Is Marvel dead? Nope. Will this film resurrect the MCU? Nope. Is it a ‘lazy-evening, time-killing, nothing-to-do’ watch? Yes.
Two and a half stars!
The Marvels Trailer
The Marvels releases on 10 November, 2023.
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