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What to Watch This Weekend – The Marvels

The Marvels Review

The Marvels is a story of three superheroes becoming a team. While hunting down rogue Kree fanatics hellbent on stealing other planets’ resources, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) discovers a rift in the space-time continuum. At the exact same time (in a different part of space), Monica Rambeau aka code name pending (Teyonah Parris) finds a similar rift. At the exact same time (in a part of New Jersey), Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) notices that the Kree-Nega bracelet which unlocked her superpowers activates. The result is an entanglement. Each of the women, when they use their powers in parallel, switch places with the other. Stuck together, the three plot a course to disentangle themselves, save the world, and just maybe become a family along the way.

What works in The Marvels is the fun and focus on the characters. In particular, Vellani’s wide-eyed unbridled enthusiasm being around her idol Captain Marvel while adventuring is infectious. It also helps that writer/director Nia DaCosta (Candyman) executes upon a very breezy script full of quips that never takes itself all that seriously. Case in point is Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as super-spy boss Nick Fury. Compared to other iterations, this Fury seems to relish his position while playfully acknowledging the quasi-absurdity around him. But it’s the tender moments between the moments that give The Marvels heart. This is not to lessen the quality of the action, which is indeed refreshingly and cleverly well-choreographed. That said, when Carol, Kamala, and Monica are trying to understand each other and work together, the movie soars.

Individuals adverse to the superhero genre are unlikely to be converted by The Marvels. The structure of the film is purposely formulaic, delivering on what most have come to expect from entries within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Building off that, while doing the pre-watch homework (Captain Marvel, WandaVision, and Ms. Marvel) isn’t required, having some prior knowledge or engagement with the characters almost certainly enhances the experience. And finally, The Marvels is a short 1 hour and 45 minutes. The quick pace of the movie might be appealing to some, but others may yearn for a little more depth with elements like the villain’s motivations explored further.

The Marvels is a delight. It remembers that the key ingredient of these types of movies should be entertainment, and The Marvels is chock full of it thanks to some excellent performances grounded in heart and humor from its three leading women. Highly recommended.

Recommended if you Enjoyed: Ant-Man, Ms. Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The Marvels is now available in theaters starting November 10th, 2023.

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