Review by Dan Skip Allen
The Marvels is quite an achievement for director Nia DaCosta, the director of the Candyman reboot. She has combined two strong-willed women and a spunky teenager for the first time. This in many people's minds is groundbreaking. For me, it was a good combination based on many hours of investing my time in these characters by watching the films and television shows they were in. I have been looking forward to this team-up. The question is, is it worth your time?
Fans of the MCU got a glimpse of what is going on in this film a year and a half ago, when out of nowhere Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) appeared in Kamala Khan's bedroom, destroying her closet. That was just the beginning, though. The first act of this movie is filled with multiple scenes of Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeaux (Teyonah Parris) switching bodies. It is played with a lot of humor in mind, and it's one of the best sequences of the film.
The family of Kamala Khan, Nick Fury, and even Goose all get involved in the beginning action scene switcheroo, before Carol figures out how to stop it. Once the three ladies are together, they work out the kinks of the switching bodies, but it allows them to each have bonding moments with the others. The strongest parts of the film are the connections that the three ladies have while figuring out what to do going forward. They are trying to stop a woman who wants to rebuild the Kree homeworld at any cost, so there is business at hand.
As with most MCU movies, The Marvels has a lot of pretty cool visual effects. With all the switching, space battles, Flerken action, and so forth, the visuals have to look good. This movie has better-looking visual effects than some of the latest MCU films, and that's a good thing. The various power sets of the three ladies must also look authentic for the three ladies and the main villain, Dar Benn (Zawe Ashton).
Marvel and the MCU have been on a downswing lately. The films haven't connected with the audiences like they did in the first three phases. The 5th phase has been a little better than the 4th phase, but the movies don't interest me as much either. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and now The Marvels, they have gotten back on track with their film properties. Loki Season 2 and Secret Invasion were also pretty good from my perspective. They have gotten back to what made them such a big fan-friendly film series in the past: fun and interesting characters and fascinating storytelling.
The Marvels is a fast-paced and funny sequel to the first Captain Marvel. Nia DaCosta was able to capture a joyous atmosphere while also having a serious villain. The chemistry between the three main characters was off the chain. They showed genuine enthusiasm for working together. It showed in the final product. I was laughing at all the craziness, but also realized it was made in the context of the film. This movie was a blast from beginning to end.
The Marvels hits theaters on November 10.