Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is a testament to the comic book’s sheer force. Today, the company’s massive project is in crisis and the predictions for the success of The Marvels, their newest film, are not that favourable. It’s a pity because it is a breath of fresh air for both the cinematic universe and its fans.
Nia DaCosta’s candid joyride is a continuation of one feature film, Captain Marvel (2018), and two Marvel TV shows, Ms Marvel (2022) and Secret Invasion (2023). After so many years, it seems the franchise has become some sort of complex jigsaw puzzle. In other words, there is no point in seeing The Marvels without watching its predecessors. It only suffices to say that the plot’s premise is highly entertaining. Also, the film’s ambivalent thread of Captain Marvel’s past not only deepens her character and explains some of her previous deeds, but also functions as a way to rectify Brie Larson’s reputation among Marvel fans. It might be a calculated reckoning, but it works.
This premise is steeped in delicious condiments, such as light-hearted élan, jovial vibrations (the situational humour is amusing, no longer cringy, as had been the case in some of the latest Marvel shows) and the on-screen chemistry between the three actresses, which is strikingly palpable. The latter is probably the strongest part because we watch The Marvels for its eponymous heroines. Larson offers us some inherent chutzpah and Teynoah Parris is an embodiment of a book-smart gal, who still lacks some life wisdom. Also, one cannot forget about Iman Vellani’s winsomeness: she finds some interminable reservoir of charm in her character, Ms Marvel, and makes use of it in a most cordial manner.
The Marvels isn’t trying to be something it isn’t: even if the entire film uses the same premise of “saving the planet Earth from a brand new threat,” it does not try to play on a more overdramatic note. As a viewing experience, everything goes smoothly, with a mixture of dynamic sequences, some poignant moments and scenes evoking infectious laughter; the audience needs nothing more than this to have fun on a “new Marvel film”.
Despite what fans and critics speculated ahead of release, The Marvels is genuinely a good Marvel production that deserves more recognition. DaCosta adores her heroines and she wisely leads them through some new planets and adventures in Marvel’s cosmic universe. Ultimately, it’s an attempt to break the deadlock in which the MCU recently found itself, and perhaps proves that Kevin Feige might still have a few aces up in his sleeve.
The Marvels is released nationwide on 10th November 2023.
Watch the trailer for The Marvels here: