SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — The Marvels
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Nia DaCosta
Writers: Nina DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, Elissa Karasik
Starring: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vekkani
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13 for action/violence and brief language
Studio Synopsis: Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel 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.”
Review: It has been a rough few years for the Marvel Cimematic Universe. Since the fall of Thanos, the Avengers have scattered in their own directions and the interest in and quality of the new stories has waned.
Was there any fanfare for “The Marvels?” With so many tentpole films delayed until 2024, I had almost forgotten that it was coming out this year. It was as if I didn’t care.
That’s not true. I’m quite fond of “Captain Marvel” and the “Ms. Marvel” series. I know a subset of Marvel’s audience is not. “The Marvels” doesn’t set out to appease them. Instead, the film takes Marvel back to the era when its films were fun and felt lifted directly from the pages of a comic book. There’s a bit of slapstick to the tone. It’s a mixture of the fantasy of Thor and the sci-fi of Guardians of the Galaxy.
The chemistry between Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vekkani is quite good; Vekkani being the chaos that injects the narrative with the same kind of wide-eyed excitement that Tom Holland brings to Spider-Man.
As usual, I’m not going to dive into plot points. I will say that the story is a little chunky and moves so quicky that it feels like it is missing some connective tissue. As a result, not all the emotional beats land nearly as hard as they should. Sometimes the solutions to major challenges are found too easily. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the ride far more than the studio’s recent efforts.
It takes risks and most of them work. In fact, there is a sequence towards the end of the film that is utterly bonkers in the best of ways. The needle drop gets the chef’s kiss. I'm on the fence about the singing.
I know that “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” was intended as an indicator of what the future might bring. “The Marvels” does a much better job making me excited for the possibilities of what could be next. It feels like that is a longtime coming. In many ways, the film is the perfect reentry point for those who have strayed from the MCU.