Oh boy…Another day in the MCU with The Marvels. It’s like Disney has let a lot of their stalwart franchises go. This means they’ve gotten almost lazy, tiring, and stale as was this movie. I don’t exactly despise this movie, and it’s not the fault of the director, the cast, or everyone who worked on this movie. It’s a combination of certain groups of audiences not giving it a chance, the same corporate MCU rinse and repeat the formula that has become dull, and the SAG-ARFTA Strike. I’ll get to those reasons later, but for now, here is what the crisis of the week is in this movie.

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Set after the events of Captain MarvelAvengers: Endgame, WandavisionMs. Marvel, and Secret Invasion (sighs…yes, hearing this feels like tiring homework); finds Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonna Paris), and Kamala Khan (Imani Vellani) team up to stop Dar-Benn, (Zawe Ashton) a Kree warrior who has taken up Ronan the Accuser’s mantle to find powerful bangles to somehow restore her home planet Hala to normalcy through universal anarchy. 

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To sum it all up everyone is going through the motions of a typical MCU movie. Vallani’s Khan is still as charming as she was in Ms. Marvel. Parris’s Rambeau is kind of bitter yet slightly resentful of her aunt Carol not showing up when she needed her. Larson’s Danvers is okay yet does the typical “setting things right” and distancing herself from the family scenario. There is LGBTQ representation with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) so that’s cool to watch. It would be nice if Marvel made a rom-com movie with them including Rambeau and Khan. Dar-Benn is another run-of-the-mill MCU villain which feels like about 10 movies or TV shows prior. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury seems more relaxed and playful than the serious gruff spy persona he had in previous Marvel outings including most recently Secret Invasion. Khan’s family—Yusef (Mohan Kapur), Aamir (Saagar Shaikh), and Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff); the actors and actresses did fine, but now they feel like Nicolas Wright—the screenwriter/actor in the Roland Emmerich movies where they just insert themselves in dangerous situations, they shouldn’t be in besides the house attack scene in the movie.

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There are some legitimate good spots in this movie for the three main protagonists. Such as learning how to work together and utilize their switching capabilities. And learning about what happened in between movies and TV shows that kind of makes sense for me to care. But then there were moments where it started to baffle me. Moments like when they go to this singing planet and a scene where I’m reminded of Disney’s Cinderella (plus I forgot Larson can sing. She had a mini music career at one point and did singing videos on YouTube during the COVID-19 Pandemic). Probably because Disney had a mandate for every studio because it was their 100th anniversary to put some kind of reference to their celebration of “magic” and “wonder” they have done over a century (It was a really bad year for Disney by the way). It’s another CGI fest where this time, I was trying to keep myself awake. I was reminded of Independence Day: Resurgence and Godzilla: King of the Monsters of how much the CGI can wear down a person. The post-credit scenes tease the beginnings of the Young Avengers and slowly re-introducing X-Men and mutants back in theaters which kind of has me concerned with the latter. As bad of a losing streak Marvel has been having lately, I don’t know if it’s worth it. Heck. Was Spider-Man worth it after Sony screwed the pooch with their live-action Spider-Man universe without the titular hero in them?

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Distributed by Disney/Marvel Studios

In the end, The Marvels is another ‘mid’ Marvel product. One that unfortunately had a lot it was up against. The sexism and racism of the male fandom, the SAG-ARFTA Strike put a damper on Hollywood and its film studios subsidiaries. Excluding the Spider-Verse films; the looming threat of superhero fatigue on moviegoers and how much more of the same bland to mediocre products are we going to take before we decide “enough is enough”? This movie is truly not the fault of director Nia DeCosta and everyone who ever worked hard on this film. I liked her 2021 Candyman movie also starring Parris. It’s a mish-mash of a lot of unhealthy practices of both the studio and fandomcollided with Hollywood’s laziness to resort to AI instead of real people with actual talents and kids they need to feed. (sigh)…I still hope somebody does a Carol Danvers/Valkyrie rom-com movie with Rambeau and Khan featured in it. Who cares about Kang the Conqueror and the multiversal incursions threatening all of reality? I want a superhero rom-com movie that doesn’t involve any high-stakes universe-ending calamity or fighting whatsoever. Give me that movie.

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By Julian