Movie: “The Marvels”
Director: Nia DaCosta
Cast: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L. Jackson, Zawe Ashton
Nia DaCosta’s “The Marvels” is an exhilarating, action-packed journey through the cosmos.
The film follows Carol Danvers, S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau and Jersey City Avengers superfan Kamala Khan as they become entangled with mysterious anomalies that cause them to switch places when they use their powers.
Kree warrior Dar-Benn, who is responsible for the anomalies, is on a mission to restore her home planet, Hala, from imminent collapse. Connected by unforeseen circumstances, the aforementioned trio unite to prevent Dar-Benn from wreaking further havoc.
While “The Marvels” serves as a sequel to “Captain Marvel,” it’s also a culmination of stories from MCU shows like “WandaVision” and “Ms. Marvel.” Although the shows provide important context for the film, viewers without knowledge of them won’t feel lost, as the film uses brief recaps and references to bring viewers up to speed.
Despite its 105-minute runtime, “The Marvels” makes every minute count. The film immediately throws you right into the action, leaving no space for a dull moment. That being said, the film would have benefited from a longer runtime, as some important scenes felt rushed or glossed over.
With jaw-dropping fight choreography and smooth camerawork, DaCosta brings a breath of fresh air to the MCU. Taking full advantage of the character-switching element, DaCosta carries out impressive fight scenes that are both intense and visually appealing.
“The Marvels” is not afraid to be unapologetically weird, allowing it to breathe life into memorable moments that will leave you talking after you leave the theater.
While the leads bring their own individual comedy to the table, the clear standouts are Nick Fury and the Khan family. Unlike other MCU films, “The Marvels” finds the right balance between funny and serious.
The film’s greatest strength is the cast’s chemistry. When all three leads are on the screen together, they shine. Their interactions feel natural, allowing for authentic, powerful and heartfelt scenes.
Brie Larson gave an emotional performance that brought new layers to Carol Danvers, making her more relatable and human.
Teyonah Parris brought authenticity and elegance to Monica Rambeau.
And arguably, Iman Vellani stole the show with her upbeat, charismatic personality. With Kamala being an avid Captain Marvel enthusiast, it was exciting to finally see her meet and interact with the hero that she’s been looking up to for so many years.
Unfortunately, Dar-Benn, the film’s villain, fell flat. The film follows the typical villain formula, causing Dar-Benn to be generic and forgettable. Had the film expanded more on Dar-Benn’s background and motivations, she would have been a more compelling antagonist.
With uncertainty surrounding the future of the MCU, “The Marvels” pushes the franchise in the right direction. With a surprise ending and mid-credit scene, the film provided fans a glimpse of where the MCU is headed next.
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Jason Tsoi is an assistant features editor at The Spectrum. He is an English major with a certificate in journalism. During his free time, he can be found listening to music and watching films.