Even during Marvel’s heyday, I’ve never been a fervent Marvel supporter. Like the majority of people, I would view myself as more of a casual observer with some favorites.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has now amassed a sizable catalog with an ever-expanding universe that, to some extent, managed to maintain its relevance and become one of the highest grossing franchises of all time, which is admittedly impressive.
However, with 33 films, 9 TV shows, and five” Phases” in, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the franchise, making it nearly impossible for casual viewers to watch even half of its new releases.
For perspective, the Multiverse Saga ( currently, Phases 4 and 5 ) has released 20 projects from 19 different sub-franchises, most of which intertwine with each in the larger universe to varying degrees, since the end of the MCU‘s peak with the Infinity saga in 2019 ( Phases 1- 3 )
By the end of 2024, the Multiverse Saga would have completed four years ‘ worth of projects, compared to the eleven years it took the Toys of Infinity.
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The MCU‘s recent releases ‘ steady decline in popularity and reception may be attributed in large part to this because, to the casual viewer, they at best feel like homework to keep up with and, at worst, feel pointless.
It is therefore not surprising that The Marvels, the most recent film in the MCU, flopped miserably at the US Box Office during its opening weekend, especially given that it has women of various races as leads ( who do not subject themselves to the male gaze ).
In fact, The Marvels ‘ opening weekend brought in$ 46.1 million in the US, which is the lowest MCU movie ever.
You can draw whatever conclusions you want from the fact that it has an 83 % audience approval rating and a 62 % critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of November 19.
However, Nia DaCosta ( who also directed the laudable Candyman reboot in 2021 ) did a fantastic job, as evidenced by the fact that it topped the box office and did mark the highest opening weekend for sexy directors of all time.
In” The Marvels” ( 2023 ), Iman Vellani portrays Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan ( L), Brie Larson/Carol Danvers ( C), and Teyonah Parris/Captain Monica Rambeau ( R ). Supplied/Disney Africa image
The Marvels, which made more than 40 % of its net budget as of November 17 ( https: //www ), may disappoint Marvel Studios and the larger Disney conglomerate, but they are by no means a failure. the- numbers.com/movie/Marvels/The 2023
Even from a critical point of view, for me, The Marvels is a more than worthy addition to the MCU zeitgeist – especially for the contentious Multiverse Saga.
Broadly, The Marvels functions as a three- in- one sequel to Captain Marvel ( 2019 ), WandaVision ( 2021 ), and Ms. Marvel ( 2022 ) that continues the stories of Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers ( Brie Larson ), Captain Monica Rambeau ( Teyonah Parris ), and Ms Marvel/Kamala Khan ( Iman Vellani ) as they band together as the titular Marvels to save the universe ( read: Earth featuring a couple other freshly- introduced planets ) from a formidable- at- first foe with a morally- grey motive.
If that sounds like several other post- Thanos movies in the MCU (especially if they take place in space ), do n’t get me wrong, it’s because it most definitely is.
From a purely narrative structure, the overall plot for The Marvels is a pretty formulaic addition to the Multiverse Saga: an angsty villain with a little too much power wants to destroy ( parts of ) the universe and the heroes, placed in an’ unlikely’ scenario, team up to try to defeat this very- specific- but- also- loosely- connected- to- the- bigger- MCU- story villain.
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in’ The Marvels ‘ ( 2023 ). Picture: Supplied/Disney Africa
The villain in question here is Dar- Benn ( Zawa Ashton ), a radical Kree warrior that uses a nifty bangle (aka a Quantum Band )- initially introduced in Ms. Marvel as a conduit that activates Kamala’s powers- to try and replenish her planet, Hala, after the shenanigans of Captain Marvel allegedly left it all but barren during the Kree Civil War, earning her the nickname of’ The Annihilator ‘.
Conceptually speaking, Dar- Benn had the potential to be a particularly nasty and complex villain because not only is she willing to commit what is essentially genocide to replenish her planet by literally suctioning a resource from another planet (air, water, and the sun, in this case ), but the ones she chooses are all places Captain’ The Annihilator ‘ Marvel” calls home”.
Listen, I do not endorse her actions, I’m merely saying that this could’ve been a really effective foundation for the MCU to create a truly bone- chilling villain whose motive, though brutal, makes sense for her character.
On top of that, because her motives are directly tied to Captain Marvel, a lead protagonist, that sets up some crazy stakes that feels even more personal than the’ blip’ in Infinity War or the hex in WandaVision.
Not only is she trying to literally save her home at any cost, but she wants to tear apart everything Captain Marvel, who she sees as the villain in her story, sees as home – effectively grounding her intergalactic actions with raw, human emotion that any of us, on some level, can understand.
Though pretty simple in nature – and not very original – it’s the perfect set- up if done right.
Unfortunately, The Marvels completely f***s this up because if it was a lip- sync on Drag Race, RuPaul would be sending its ass home halfway through the performance.
On first viewing, because I had n’t been able to process the gravity of Dar- Benn’s motives, her character completely falls flat, feeling as contrived as it felt boring. The writers do such a terrible job with her that despite being introduced in the opening scene, it was only until the latter portion of the second act that I realised she was the movie’s Big Bad.
Like, I was not checking for her at all, which went as far as being fully convinced that she must have been introduced in one of the countless prior movies that I just managed to miss because she felt that underdone.
Zawe Ashton as Dar- Benn in’ The Marvels ‘ ( 2023 ). Picture: Supplied/Disney Africa
However, on the second viewing, I understood ( with the help of expository dialogue ngl ) what she was trying to do a little more and the weight that held, which just pissed me off because of all that raw potential that just got lost somewhere along the way.
At just 105 minutes long, The Marvels has a pretty short runtime for an MCU movie ( Captain Marvel, for example, was 124 minutes long ), meaning that they could have easily spent more time developing and expanding her character so that by the time you reach the climax, you are truly scared for girls.
Unfortunately, even though I could have easily lost the movie due to this missed opportunity, The Marvels ‘ protagonists are where it really shines.
The Marvels carry the film from the start, with Nick Fury ( Samuel L Jackson ), the only male lead character, serving as its center, heart, and glue. Monica ( Marvel-related superhero name is still up in the air ).
The three of them were directly involved in almost all of my favorite scenes from the film, with the two most memorable moments being scenes that, despite being subdued in portrayal, had the greatest impact on me.
I would have supported them if they could have done anything because their chemistry and dynamic work so well and are so healthy.
In” The Marvels” ( 2023 ), Iman Vellani portrays Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan and Goose the Flerken. Supplied/Disney Africa image
The Marvels is a really enjoyable and entertaining film in part because of this, and despite the villain’s failure, I never got bored.
The Marvels ‘ actual campiness is my favorite aspect that results from this. It felt even more endearing because some of the humor and scenes in the film are just so ridiculous and silly.
There was some really cool boys who felt like himbos, some very corny dialogue and jokes in an effort to be as ambiguous as possible, and a really big flash mob.
I do n’t know what anyone says, but that flash mob-like scene was really bad.
Comparatively speaking, many scenes in The Marvels were eerily reenacting the best version of Charlie’s Angles: Full Throttle ( 2003 ) in space.
I’ve been anticipating the direction the cinematic universe was taking for a while, but this is the first MCU film in that time.
You can tell without a doubt that this film was heavily influenced by women because it seemed to be made for girls, gays, and theys rather than the comic book/film bros.
I’d suggest watching it with one because the audience I was in was enjoyable as well.
The Marvels ultimately transforms what could have easily been a” LOOK” even though it falls short in one crucial area. It still offers enough thrills, laughter, stupidity, depth, and wholesomeness. GIRL POWER! ” YAAAS QUEEN!” make a movie that is made by, for, and about women.
Make sure to stay for the mid-credit scene because it was also very cool.
giving it 7 out of 10 points for charisma, originality, nerve, and talent.
You can watch the trailer for The Marvels below while it is currently playing in theaters.