Reel Reviews | The Marvels

by Charles Kirkland, Jr.

With The Avengers and The Guardians of the Galaxy gone, the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts its
newest team consisting of Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, and Monica Rambeau, The Marvels.

A new threat to the universe arrives when Dar-Benn, a female Kree warlord arrives with intentions of
revenge upon the “Annihilator.” Unfortunately, Carol Danvers is the object of her revenge. As she
starts her attack, the powers of Monica Rambeau, Carol Danvers, and Kamala Khan get entangled,
causing them to switch places wherever they are in the universe when they use their powers. The
question becomes how can these heroes work together and thwart the plans of the vengeful Dar-Benn
when their powers are unreliable. On top of all that, these heroes have some deep personal issues that
need to be resolved. Hooray for teamwork!

Written by Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, and Elissa Karasik, The Marvels is the thirty-third film of the
Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the third film of Phase Five. It is a sequel to 2019’s Captain
and the Wandavision and Ms. Marvel Disney+ shows. The film stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris,
Iman Velllani, Zuwe Ashton, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh and Samuel L. Jackson. Nia
DaCosta also directs the film.

Ever since Brie Larsen debuted as Captain Marvel in the movie of the same name in 2019, Marvel has
suffered the “Superman Syndrome,” being how can they make a character that is completely over-
powered and make them relatable to an audience. They had the same problem to an extent with
Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch and they tried to address it with WandaVision. With this movie, they tried
to fix Captain Marvel. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t work.

Screenshot via Marvel Studios

Larsen continues to be wooden and aloof when on screen. Thankfully, she is surrounded by two other
actors that do the heavy lifting. Teyonah Parris, who worked with director DaCosta in Candyman, serves
as the emotional anchor for the film. Meanwhile, Iman Vellani steals the show. Vellani is wonderful as
the star-struck and more-than-willing superhero who has been dying for a chance to prove herself and
become an Avenger. Much like she was in her series, Ms. Marvel is electric and infectious in her pursuit
of fame and friendship with her “twinsie.”

Marvel has had some back luck in recent years, even to the point where Variety released a cover story
questioning whether the studio was in trouble. Aside from the death of Chadwick Boseman and the
legal situation of Jonathan Majors, it seems like Marvel Studios has lost the golden touch that it
possessed in the first three of its cinematic phases. This movie gives the audience a glimpse of the glory
years and marks a return to formula.

Rated PG-13 for action/violence and brief language, The Marvels is full of action and possibly a
little short on story. It’s purely fluff and entirely sweet like a candy bar but it does have some
significance and ultimate relevance to the MCU. Maybe it’s more like a protein bar because the effects
will last long after the bar is done. It’s not a must-see but it sure is a you’d better see.

The Marvels will be in theaters on November 10.

Grade: B-