The Marvels Movie Review: A Heroic Celebration of Female Friendship

by | Nov 10, 2023 | Disney Movies

The Marvels movie review, our thoughts on the highly anticipated new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Higher. Further. Faster. The resounding tagline of Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, the 21st MCU film and the first to be headlined by a woman. The watershed moment was long overdue, but the movie quickly found an audience and reached $1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office in the lead-up to Avengers: Endgame. In the years since Marvel has continued to expand their shared universe with nearly a dozen more films as well as several beloved streaming shows produced for the Disney+ service. For a movie that brings together characters and events from multiple projects including the original Captain Marvel, WandaVision, and most prominently, Ms. Marvel, The Marvels is a sequel that offers action and humor in equal measures and a self-contained story powered by the chemistry of its three leads

The Marvels Movie Review

Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) travels space as a protector for planets and people without one. When her light-based powers get entangled with those of her estranged “niece”, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and precocious teenager, Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), the three must work together alongside ally Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to discover the cause of this anomaly. Meanwhile, Kree warrior Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) has her own past qualms with Captain Marvel and threatens to destroy everything and everyone she holds dear. 

A Chance to Explore Captain Marvel

While Carol Danvers played a crucial role in Endgame and made a mark with her own solo adventure, she remains aloof as a protagonist and a bit of a mystery even beyond her memories being suppressed by the Kree. The Marvels adjusts these shortcomings by allowing her (and Larson as a performer)many more opportunities to display her humor, heart, and eccentricities beyond that of her stoic heroism. Namely, a scene that involves traveling to a musical planet where Danvers dons a regal and intricate dress, fitting of a Disney (or Marvel) princess. Brie Larson is an incredibly charismatic and compelling screen presence and could certainly carry this sequel on her own, but the filmmakers wisely broadened the scope of the story, centering the film around the titular team’s dynamic, to great effect.

Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan is the beating heart of this movie and possibly the most inspiring casting discovery in the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The realms of reality and fiction blur throughout as Vellani, a self-proclaimed Marvel fan, is sharing the screen with established icons like Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, while her character Kamala finds herself swept up in an intergalactic mission alongside her idol, Carol Danvers. Teyonah Parris reprises her role as an adult Monica Rambeau, no longer the child that Carol Danvers left behind on earth. Parris has bottomless charisma and a potent mixture of incredibly funny and affecting line deliveries throughout. It’s always nice to see Samuel L. Jackson still having an absolute blast playing Nick Fury over fifteen years later. 

The Marvels Movie Review

Photo Courtesy of Marvel

The Marvels is made colorful and even more memorable as a result of the stellar supporting cast and it would be foolish to omit the comic relief and emotional core that is Kamala Khan’s family. Their grounded perspective on these otherworldly events provided a welcome reprieve from the familiar archetypes seen in previous Marvel titles. Goose the Flerken, an alien creature that resembles an Earth cat, returns and graduates from a loveable animal sidekick to a bonafide scene stealer.

Worthy of a Big-Screen Experience

The film is at its strongest when it explores the dynamics of the three women at the center and furthermore, the engaging action sequences where they switch places whenever they use their light-based powers at the same time. Where The Marvels falls significantly short is in its generic villain and rushed conclusion. Zawe Ashton is given very little screen time and her motivations against our heroes are relegated to one flashback scene and a few expository passages between fights. 

The Marvels Movie Review

Photo Courtesy of Marvel

The Marvels is a worthy big-screen experience. In a vast sea of Marvel content, this celebration of female friendship is an ultimately empowering adventure with unique action sequences, and hilarious crowd-pleasing moments, if not a little bit uneven in its tone and pacing. An incredible ensemble cast, led by Brie Larson with a star-making turn for Iman Vellani, with several exciting teases for the future of the MCU in its final moments. To take something away from Carol Danvers’ mantra, there is still more to be discovered the higher, further, and faster we go. 

 

Posts by Nicholas Janzen

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Nicholas is a lifelong Disney fan and movie fan. After graduating with a BA in Film Studies, he has been writing about movies and producing social media content specializing in movies, TV and entertainment news. Follow him on TikTok & Instagram @nicholasjanzen
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Authored by
Nicholas Janzen

Nicholas is a lifelong Disney fan and movie fan. After graduating with a BA in Film Studies, he has been writing about movies and producing social media content specializing in movies, TV and entertainment news. Follow him on TikTok & Instagram @nicholasjanzen
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