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The Marvels Movie Review

Updated: Jan 19



Let me start by saying this, The Marvels was not made for me. And that's perfect. I am a 46 year old American white guy. I have been able to identify with just about every hero movie that has been made. Why? Because they are mainly white dudes, many of them Americans or American based.


I cannot speak to young African-American girls. Likewise, I cannot identify with young Pakistani girls. But I can tell you that I saw my fourteen year old daughter hoop and holler throughout the movie because it was made for her. And that was perfect! Representation matters and Marvel Studios did a great job representing a lot of underserved communities in this entertaining movie. I love my background, where I'm from, and who I am, but it was somewhat refreshing to see a movie with nary a white dude saving the day. It just makes life more interesting and accurate.



With that out of the way, I thoroughly enjoyed The Marvels. I have seen every Marvel release to date, so I felt very comfortable knowing the story and prior MCU history. On the flip side, I have never read a Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel comic, so I am not terribly familiar with these characters beyond what they show me in the movies. I bring this up because I have no issues with Kamala Khan's origin of powers, which is a big focus of this film. I know of the argument that fans are unhappy that she is no longer powered by the terrigen mist that connects to the Inhumans. I was actually thrilled that they shifted and utilized the idea of a mutant in her Disney+ series. I am a huge X-Men fan, so the more mutants, the better!


Again, I have no idea if this story from the movie exists in comic book form. And I'm fine with that. I thought the further use of Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) complimenting Kamala, (Iman Vellani) and Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) was masterful. This added to the complexity of the relationship and family ties as Rambeau and Danvers had unsettled business and abandonment issues to deal with. Throw in the over-the-top enthusiasm of a teenage girl wanting to emulate her hero, and we have a lot of hilarity with moments of sobriety. I feared at first we would be inundated with the humor, but I feel like they found a fantastic balance and used it well.



For the most part, we see Captain Marvel having to deal with the repercussions of her early decisions when she first gained her powers. In typical superhero fashion, her actions led to the creation of this film's villain, Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). She is of Kree descent and utilizes all her energy, or more accurately hate, to unite her peoples and destroy anything Danvers holds dear. Although a member of the Avengers during Endgame, it is obvious that Captain Marvel has become very accustomed to working alone. This time, however, she literally can't. From the very beginning we learn that through the actions of Dar-Benn, Danvers, Rambeau, and Khan's powers are now connected. So if two of the ladies use their powers at the same time, they are immediately transported to the others position in space and time. This also means they must deal with whatever was going on with the other hero. At times it was somewhat confusing, but always engaging.



The overall bad guy story basically boils down to her need to save her Kree planet of Hala, which of course involves destroying other planets and civilizations. Our heroes must stop them at all costs. At no point did I find the story trivial or boring. I was engaged to see new planets and a couple of new aliens we have not seen before. I am sure people will have issue with the Aladnean culture and their language utilizing song, but I found that fascinating. They truly are not us, so why on Earth would they communicate or interact like us. It was a breath of fresh air in my opinion. Others, like the Skrulls, we have seen rather recently. We can also better understand why there was an internal power struggle in the Disney+ series Secret Invasion within the Skrull community. They have put up with a lot of death and destruction, and humans have not always helped. But that's a story we've already started elsewhere.


I also really enjoyed the further return of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Kamala's family, last seen in Ms. Marvel. Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff), Yusuf (Mohan Kapur), and Aamir (Saagar Shaikh) were fantastic additions to the story that really grounded the story in regards to Earth, as well as furthering the knowledge of different cultures on our planet. At one point, Nick Fury asks if Aamir is praying to Allah, to which he replies in the positive. But he immediately stops when questioned. Fury quickly encourages him to continue as they need all the help they can get. I love this scene in that we need to be open to all possibilities. Although not human, or of Earth, I also enjoyed the return of Goose and his Flarken roots. That definitely added to the humor of the film.



So back to my daughter. She was born in 2009. Obviously this makes her too young to have seen and memorized every addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As I stated above, I've seen everything, many of them more than once. I definitely felt like there were things in the this movie that I caught due to my uber nerdy nature towards Marvel. On the flipside, my daugther showed no signs of missing things in the story just because she hasn't seen everything Marvel. Things that I believe were necessary to see, which see has, to fully enjoy the film are Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Wandavision. I would include Avengers: Endgame, but Madisson was fine without having seen it. I'm sure many will disagree, but I think this is necessary for Marvel to continue with their storytelling. They need these soft "reboots" that allow casual fans to enter the universe, but don't take away from the fans that read the comics and/or have seen every movie and show. And in this, I feel like a lot of the post Endgame storytelling has accomplished this.


As you are probably aware, I am not one of the MCU haters that has been extremely vocal of late. I truly feel like this film sets up a great path for the future of Marvel Cinema. I really hope the executives at Disney allow a lot of the previous announcements to play out because this movie showed to me that they are in control and know what they are doing. Their plan works. (I say this knowing full well the Jonathan Majors legal issues are outside their control and could force them to make changes. This is just a statement of fact and not meant to offer my opinion on that situation).


Now. I have to add a spoiler section. If you have not seen the movie, DO NOT CONTINUE. THIS IS HUGE AND I AM NOT JOKING.


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There were several cameos of varying importance thorughout the film. We see Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) show up to help find the Skrulls a new home as the Marvels failed to save their most recent home planet.


We also get an awesome cameo from Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) as Kamala seems to be recruiting for a new team, potentially the Young Avengers. That in and of itself was pretty badass.


And finally, holy shit we get one hell of a doozy that I can't fathom how it stayed a secret! The film ends with Monica waking up in another dimension. She comes face to face with that dimension's Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), who has zero knowledge of a daughter. Obviously that's fascinating, but as the scene expands, we see Beast. Yes, the X-Man Beast! Played by none other than Kelsey Grammer! And he seems to be somewhere in an X environment as the old circle shaped metal doors are in the background. I have literally never been so excited by a post credit scene in my life! Awesomesauce!







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