Film Review: 'The Marvels', MCU's latest light-hearted arrival

The Marvels dealt with waves of criticism before its release - does it manage to swim to safety? Or does it sink to dreary disappointment?

Barbora Pacherova
5th December 2023
Image Source: IMDB
The Marvels is the newest one out of the few female-led Marvel movies and follows the story of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and their unexpected team-up.

Even before its arrival to big screens on November 10th, the movie received an overwhelming amount of hate and its trailer had become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most disliked trailer on YouTube. Following the backlash, the movie also set a record for the worst-ever opening for an MCU movie.

On top of the immense negative response from the majority of the Marvel fans, the promotion for the Marvels was almost non-existent due to the Sag-Aftra film and television actors' strike. It’s fair to say the Marvels faced a fair share of challenges that could have contributed to the audience’s overall negative perception.

The movie loosely builds on not only the previous movie of the franchise Captain Marvel (2019), but also Marvel’s series WandaVision (2021) and Ms. Marvel (2022), bringing Carol, Monica and Kamala together because of their entangled powers.

"The Marvels faced a fair share of challenges that could have contributed to the audience's overall negative perception"

The main conflict follows the events of Captain Marvel, where Carol’s destruction of Hala brought crisis upon the native Kree civilization. Wishing to bring Hala to its former glory and return home, the Kree, along with their leader and main antagonist Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) steal resources from other planets and try to get revenge.

Together, the three heroes are forced to cooperate in a less-than-ideal situation, as there is tension not only in Monica and Carol’s relationship but also in the initial attitude towards Kamala because of her age and experience. Along the course of the story, Kamala finally gets a taste of what it truly means to be a superhero, and Carol not only faces the reality of her solitude but also rekindles the familial relationship with Monica – the daughter of her old friend Maria Rambeau.  

"the movie has a familiar feel and the silliness of older Marvel movies"

Although at times the plot seems rushed and chaotic, especially at the beginning, as it tries to follow three smaller plots that merge into one, the movie has a familiar feel and the silliness of older Marvel movies. Kamala’s upbeat and cheerful personality balances the other serious characters while not losing depth, and throughout the story, we get to see Carol open up and show vulnerability in contrast to her appearances in other movies.

Apart from an easy-to-watch movie and quite entertaining found-family dynamic, the audience can look forward to surprising cameos and a peek at the possibility of what could await the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future that many long-term fans will surely be excited to see.

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