News Trending Viral Worldwide

‘The Marvels’ Are A Fun Team But The Plot Doesn’t Do Them Many Favors

The Marvels

When early reports on a movie come out about endless reshoots and then director Nia DaCosta at least appears to distance herself from the movie by saying, “It is a Kevin Feige production, it’s his movie” – then add in The Marvels didn’t screen until two days before its release for anybody; which is unheard of for an MCU movie that’s not a huge spoiler-filled movie like Endgame – it does tend to lower expectations. So while watching The Marvels, I was pleasantly surprised that the dynamic between Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Teyonah Parris’s Monica Rambeau, and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan does work. Or, at the very least, is willed together by the sheer force of Vellani’s endless enthusiasm.

(The MCU Disney+ shows have gotten a bad reputation lately for “diluting the brand” or whatever, and maybe that’s true, but as I wrote before, Ms. Marvel was really good.)

The problem with The Marvels is just the story itself. The plot, which focuses on the continuing and never-ending war between the Kree and Skrulls, is so borderline indecipherable at times, even though they keep trying to explain it multiple times, I truly was questioning if I missed three or four Marvel Cinematic Universe movies somehow. (I haven’t.) It feels like a movie that’s missing a good 30 minutes and, in fact, at a brisk 105 minutes – the shortest MCU movie to date – I’m sure it is missing 30 minutes. And keep in mind, that 105 minutes includes the credits. Anyway, I will do my best to explain the plot of this movie.

Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan all keep switching places with each other when they use their powers. Again, why this happens is explained multiple times and it’s never truly clear why – it has something to do with space portals – but whatever, it does lead to some funny scenes. As this is happening, a Kree warrior named Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) is searching for a mysterious bangle that will allow her to manipulate these space portals (I think?) – a bangle that matches the one that Kamala Khan uses.

Dar-Benn’s motivation is her home world of Hala has been decimated of natural resources like air and water — and also their sun is dying. Dar-Benn is using the space portals to steal resources from planets that have those resources. So she uses the bangle to open a portal above a water planet, suck all the water out, then splash it all down on Hala. Eventually, Dar-Benn comes for Earth’s sun. Now, Dar-Benn blames Carol Danvers for the Kree’s troubles – referring to Danvers’ Captain Marvel as “The Annihilator” – and, for her part, Carol agrees that she screwed up and destroyed their planet by destroying the artificial intelligence that ran Hala during the events of the first film.

Now, this is an interesting concept that Carol Danvers might actually be the villain here, but the whole concept is never played out fully and pretty much forgotten by the end of the movie as everything is wrapped up quickly and in a way too tidy way*. I can’t help but wonder if this was something that DaCosta wanted to explore further and wasn’t allowed because, well, Captain Marvel certainly can’t be the villain.

(*Without getting into too many details, there’s a part near the end of this movie when Carol is literally told, oh, that whole thing you feel bad about and the reason the villain exists in this movie … you know with your powers you can just fix that right? And, as an afterthought, she does it with no repercussions.)

Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury in his first MCU movie since Spider-Man: Far From Home (he was also in the Disney+ show Secret Invasion) and really doesn’t have a whole lot to do here. His primary function seems to be relegated to checking on the team from time to time and taking care of Kamala’s family who, for some reason, he brings up to his top secret space station. I understand, for comedy’s sake, it’s better to have all these characters together, but narratively it makes absolutely no sense.

There’s a scene in the middle of The Marvels where it starts to get pretty weird and interesting as our trio of heroes travel to the aforementioned water planet. It’s a planet where the locals only speak while singing. To communicate with them, Carol has to sing a song to warn them of the upcoming Kree invasion. See, this is pretty fun! But this is also where it feels like a lot was cut out to keep the movie moving along because we get on and off of that planet pretty quickly. Actually, again, the whole movie feels like that. It truly feels like a decision was made, “Let’s just get in and out of this thing as quickly as humanly possible and get to the mid-credit scene so we can start our new thing.” Which makes The Marvels feel like a movie that only really exists as a way to get to that mid-credit scene. (I will not spoil what it is but I’m sure a quick search of social media will fill you in.)

Even though there are some fun scenes with The Marvels trio, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend this to anyone who isn’t an MCU superfan. Again, even *I* was a bit lost with the latest in the Kree and Skrull political relationships — I felt lost by it all and I’ve seen every movie. I bet a pretty straightforward plot involving the main three characters would have gone a long way. Or, on the other hand, really diving into this whole “The Annihilator” side of Carol Danvers’ history would have also been interesting, but it goes nowhere. Instead, we are left with a movie that seems to only exist for a scene that happens after you watch three minutes of credits.

‘The Marvels’ opens in theaters everywhere this week. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.