The Marvels - Review
Your Powers Only Make Me Stronger.
3 / 5
Directed by Nia DaCosta.
Carol Danvers gets her powers entangled with those of Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau, forcing them to work together to save the universe.
The weaving of the MCU's interconnected storytelling continues its grand plan as threads from Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel & Wandavision combine in the entangling intergalactic adventure The Marvels.
Brie Larson leads the team as Carol Danvers in this sort-of sequel to her 2019 origin story, reuniting with Teyonah Parris as a grown-up Monica Rambeau. But the addition of Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan gives this instalment a much-needed dose of energy and personality. Vellani's presence lifts a disappointingly generic story for her big-screen debut - but gives hope to an optimistic and passionate future.
The Marvel formula always puts character first but that only stretches so far when these celestial heroes are dropped into a recycled story that lacks any stakes despite its world-changing consequences. When their powers entangle, the heroes are forced to learn how to work together as a team against Zawe Ashton's villain whose motive feels like an afterthought - tonally clashing with the vibrant adventure of the central trio.
Wrapping up plot threads that have been open for years while teasing an exciting future for the MCU, The Marvels is the shortest film in one of cinema's longest series. You can feel the impact of a frantic edit, and ironically it would have benefitted from an extended running time especially to establish its characters in the opening act to help those that are less familiar with Marvel's Disney+ series which would have simultaneously upped the stakes in its dramatic (and rushed) finale.
More of a universe-expanding tick-box exercise than a necessary chapter in the MCU timeline, The Marvels still manages to be an enjoyable and inventive adventure but it's hard to ignore the undeniable missed potential.