The Marvels (2023) Review



The story for this movie is absolutely atrocious, but the plucky likeability of the leads makes this flick tolerable.

Plot: Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) team up to stop a Kree warrior (Zawe Ashton) from stealing the Earth’s sun.

Review: Unlike a few people, I didn’t walk into The Marvels with a sense of anger. Oh sure, I didn’t think it would be any good, but lately, what has been good in the MCU? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was pretty good, and Werewolf by Night wasn’t bad, but otherwise? Ugh. So yeah, it’s not like I thought The Marvels would be great. I didn’t want another preachy, dour movie lecturing to me for 2.5 hours again.

Well, The Marvels didn’t do that. I don’t consider having female superheroes as woke. I wasn’t preached to. The movie was under 2 hours. I wouldn’t call it forgiveness for the shitshow that’s been going on for the past 2+ years, but it’s progress. I didn’t leave the theatre angry that I had wasted time and money on another movie where I was told I sucked.

That being said, this movie isn’t good. The story is horrid. At many points during the viewing, I had no idea what was happening. The Marvels kept switching places. For what purpose? Who knows. It wasn’t even consistent. It was supposed to be when they used their powers, but they broke that rule a zillion times during the movie. What was the villain’s plot? To revitalize her world by punching holes into space. Uh, okay. This movie was rewritten several times, and it felt like it. It felt like pieces of previous drafts were left in there because they were too lazy to remove them. It was disjointed, confusing, a mess. Possibly the worst-written Marvel movie ever.

However, the characters were, overall, terrific. Brie Larson seemed to be trying to reverse the horrible impression she left with Captain Marvel. This version was vulnerable, sincere, owning up to her mistakes. She seemed to be trying to have fun with the role, which was not evident prior. Teyonah Parris was affable and relatable as Monica, a true hero willing to sacrifice herself to save the world. Iman Vellani was a treat as Ms. Marvel, a somewhat goofy but, again, down-to-earth and pleasant. She wants to be a hero and wants to save everyone. That’s all we ask. Not preachy, not angry, not finger-wagging, just be a damn hero.

Zawe Ashton had potential as the main villain but didn’t do much, and her defeat was monumentally lame. She basically defeated herself. It was piss. There were also a couple of cringe-worthy scenes – not cringe as in woke, cringe as in stupid. Incredibly stupid, goofy, needless. It’s almost like they went out of their way to make the characters likeable and, in doing so, sacrificed any semblance of story, plot, character development, or anything you would expect from a story. It’s a script written in crayon by a six-year-old. It sucks.

The action was alright, except for the climactic fight shot in someone’s closet with super close-ups and quick cuts that made it impossible to follow. It’s a shame because the soundtrack is quite good, the costumes are excellent, and the movie has a scope you would expect. But that last fight pissed me off – it’s everything I despise about Hollywood fight sequences.

As for the cameos and stingers, I won’t ruin anything, but there are a couple – one was alright, and one was weird and rather pointless. I expect the MCU to get a hard reboot at some point, much in the same way that Warners Discovery is doing with the DCU. Years in the future, it will be interesting to see how we look back on the current era of comic book movies. I’m sure we’ll laugh at some, shake our heads about others and forget the rest. Unfortunately, you can put The Marvels into this last category.