‘The Marvels’ review: If there’s such a thing as chemistry, Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Villani have it

‘The Marvels’ review: If there’s such a thing as chemistry, Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Villani have it


Marvel Studios

Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani in a scene from The Marvels.

The sisters do it for themselves in “The Marvels,” now in theaters where they need to convince viewers, suffering from Marvel fatigue, to take another chance at the MCU, a cinematic universe that is now 33 epic years old and showing evidence of a very poor state. . I’m looking at you “Ant-Man 3” and “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

Between the goofy and the terrifying, “The Marvels” endures rewrites and reshoots, pinning its hopes on a trio of female Avengers in training. If you’re looking for naughty girls on a march toward empowerment, this is your movie.

Brie Larson returns to play Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember the 2019 film that bears her name, though you may be wondering about Larson’s career trajectory since her 2016 Best Actress Oscar win for “Room.”

Laura Radford

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, and Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau in Marvel Studios’ The Marvels.

That independent hit was small and indelible. “The Marvels movie, which reportedly cost $250 million, is huge and incoherent, with cheap digital effects. We’ll get to that and ask why The Marvels movie feels so long when it’s the shortest MCU saga ever at 1 hour and 45 minute.

But first, let’s play catch-up. Our daughter Carol still has amnesia and hangs out on a spaceship with her cat, Flerken Goose, singing the song “Memory” from the movie “Cats.” I’m not joking. There will be more tunes when everyone gets to a water planet and goes full Broadway.

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I digress, but so does the movie. The plot thickens or thickens (you be the judge) when former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) issues a distress call from a space station he co-occupies with astronaut Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Carol’s niece. They have been separated since the death of Monica’s mother, Maria Rambeau, who was once Carol’s best friend.

And don’t forget Pakistani-American teen Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, Carol’s Jersey City-based Muslim fangirl-turned-superhero since she played with the star shine to avoid the dynamite Iman Vellani, who’s currently on a roll big time. Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel.”

It would be worth watching this show, along with “Loki,” “Secret Invasion,” and “WandaVision.” But if life gets in the way of staying closely connected to the MCU, you should just watch as Larson, Paris and Villani unite as a force to take on the evil Dar Ben (Zawe Ashton), the group’s leader. Creeper (don’t ask) and a victim of the worst overall screenwriting.

Marvel Studios

Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani in a scene from The Marvels.

Dar Ben has a magic bracelet, and Kamala has another, which will help her destroy Carol and give the plot a trace of narrative motivation. But who are we kidding? What matters here are a trio of female warriors who unite as The Marvels to take on every global threat that director Nia DaCosta and co-writers Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik can throw at them.

This creates a rupture in the time-space continuum causing the trio to randomly swap places or when they use their powers at the same time, making the fight scenes even more chaotic. Compensation comes through the specialized teamwork of the three main players. If there is such a thing as chemistry, Larsen, Paris and Villani have it.

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“The Marvels” has moments of inspired madness. But DaCosta, who excelled in his 2021 horror reboot of “Candyman,” can’t handle the horror of a film that sacrifices continuity, logic and purpose for its place in a winding world that has become too big for its own good. Marvel, once a purveyor of glories, is stuck in a rut. It’s time to rethink.

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