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The Marvels (A Film Review

The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe provides lots of cheeky femininity, badass stunts and a powerful trio that is surely a force to be reckoned with

By Taylor BitzPublished 17 days ago 4 min read
Title poster for The Marvels (2023), the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

WARNING: contains minor spoilers for The Marvels (2023)

Cast: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L. Jackson, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Park Seo-joon, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh

Directed by: Nia DaCosta

Runtime: 105 minutes

Rating: M (for mature audiences, with mild fantasy/science fiction violence)

Prequels/spinoffs: Captain Marvel (2019), WandaVision (2021) and Ms. Marvel (2022)

Release date: November 9th, 2023 (Australia), November 10th, 2023 (United States)

To be perfectly frank, I've never really liked Captain Marvel, or Brie Larson for that matter. She's frustrating. Annoying. Flexes on social media probably a little too much. Doesn't really get along well with certain co-stars (there's been one too many awkward, weird and sometimes, vaguely rude interviews that she's had with guys like Jeremy Renner and Chris Hemsworth). But she is certainly a decent actor, and after her rather frustrating and flop debut as the titular superhero, Captain Marvel, in 2019, alongside Jude Law as the villain Yon-Rogg and Samuel L. Jackson as a de-aged Nick Fury before the eyepatch and the black leather coats - she's certainly become a better actress. But it's in The Marvels where her more sweet side starts to show, where she's less serious and superhero-y, where she's not afraid to goof off a little.

I really liked Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau in WandaVision. She's smart on her own merits, and not afraid to get in a little trouble for the sake of being a hero. Someone who's willing to stand up to Wanda Maximoff of all people has my respect as a hero, personally, because she's totally not to be messed with. I didn't watch Ms. Marvel, but I find Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan to be refreshing, funny and all around, a delightful person who's relative naivete to being a young hero doesn't diminish her desire to do good and be good. Now, before I digress on character studies, let's get to the actual movie, and my thoughts on said film.

The Marvels opens with the primary antagonist of the film, Dar-Benn (played by Zawe Ashton), finding a mysterious bracelet, known as a Quantum Band, and unbeknownst to them, Kamala Khan, aka. Ms. Marvel has the other one. Then the story fully opens with some flashes from the past, where Carol Danvers, aka. Captain Marvel, is sleeping on a ship floating in space, attempting to recollect memories that were stolen from her by her old superiors, the Kree empire. As it is later revealed, the Kree empire were left in shambles when Carol destroys their Supreme Intelligence, and their home world, Hala, is left without breathable air, water and sunlight.

The story then shifts to former SHIELD director Nick Fury, who is residing on a spaceship above Earth, working with Monica Rambeau and an organisation called SWORD, who were introduced in WandaVision as the principal antagonist of Wanda Maximoff's magic-created world of Westview, New Jersey. When Carol and Monica both discover a damaged jump point in space and time, things descend into chaos, and when Kamala Khan, Monica Rambeau and Carol Danvers finally meet up, they realise their powers are entangled (causing them to switch places every time they use their powers), and that they have to reluctantly work together to keep their powers in sync and stop Dar-Benn from stealing the other Quantum Band from Kamala. If they fail, a hole could be ripped in the space-time continuum, allowing creatures/species to mingle from one reality into our own.

My thoughts: There's certainly some issues with the film, such as pacing and story structure, and there's a little too much reliance on CGI at some points in the story, but altogether, it's a fairly strong film. It's funny without being too cheesy/corny/relying on dumb humour and it's a little emotional at times, as it tackles the absence of Carol Danvers, the aftermath of the Blip (or the snap) that occurred in Avengers: Infinity War, and the loss of Monica's mother Maria that was a partial contributor to Monica being resentful towards Carol for her absence. It also deals with Kamala coming to grips with her new hero status, showing her taking on a more leadership-type role in the end of the film when she recruits another young, Earth-bound superhero (not saying who!!).

The villain, Dar-Benn, is also a rather sympathetic villain, and it's done decently well for the most part, mostly thanks to Zawe Ashton's acting chops. I've never seen her in anything else other than this movie, but she was great in her role. All that she wants is to see Hala restored, she's just going about it the wrong way. A little like Thanos with the Infinity Stones. The purple guy wants to stop overpopulation of the universe to preserve resources; he's just doing it the wrong way.

And for those of you who like to stick around after the credits - if you're a Marvel superfan/comic book fan, and you've mostly avoided spoilers for this film - there's a sneaky little surprise in the mid-credits scene that made me jump for joy, and if you're as much a fan as I am, you were probably jumping for joy too. That being said, it's a satisfying ending that wraps up nicely, while still keeping it open-ended for most of the characters involved in the film to appear in future Marvel projects.

And that concludes my review!! Stay tuned for more and please make sure to like and follow me for more great reviews and honest thoughts posts, and if you'd like, hop on over to my Amazon author page, T.H. Bitz, to purchase a paperback or Kindle copy of my latest book, 2158: A Galaxy Away, which just released a month ago! I'd really love your support as it enables me to keep writing and hopefully start making a small income off of my writing along with my work here on Vocal!!

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About the Creator

Taylor Bitz

Hi!! My name is Taylor.

I'm big on writing about fanfiction, movies, TV and of course my own original stories (mostly fantasy stories, featuring bad-ass female characters)

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