The Marvels is a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film directed by Nia DaCosta and released on 10/11/2023. Even before the film’s release, all the signs were pointing to red, as promotion had been rather weak. What’s more, the film is the successor to several ‘failures’ at Marvel. Even the studio didn’t seem to believe in it. So, another failure or a pleasant surprise, find out with us.
Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, must deal with the unforeseen consequences of her victory over the Kree. Unexpected effects now force her to shoulder the burden of a destabilised universe. In the course of a mission that propels her into a strange vortex closely linked to the actions of a Kree revolutionary. Her powers combine with those of Kamala Khan – aka Miss Marvel, her Jersey City super-fan – and those of her ‘niece’, Captain Monica Rambeau, now an astronaut with S.A.B.E.R. Initially chaotic, this unlikely trio soon find themselves forced to team up and learn to work together to save the universe. There’s only one name for it: The Marvels!
Clearly, the film is far from the disaster that was predicted. The story has the merit of focusing on the three heroines. Each of them evolves as the film progresses. The relationship that develops between the three heroines is really convincing. The film’s villain is completely forgettable, as are all the moments with Nick Furry, which are more filler than anything else. For once, the film’s stakes allow a superhero to face up to the consequences of his actions, even if they are very poorly introduced, which implies a profound lack of interest.
The action is pretty well filmed though. With characters swapping places using their powers, I was a little worried about the legibility of these scenes. But the direction and editing allow us to put ourselves in the characters’ shoes. When they themselves don’t understand what’s going on, the action and editing sequences make it all very confusing, putting us in the same state of mind as them. On the other hand, when they are in osmosis, the action is very clear, and we know where everyone is and what they are doing. There are a few scenes that may not be to everyone’s liking, such as the scene with the kittens (or the part where they try to be cute) and a musical. Although completely unexpected, the latter is very well integrated into the world and the film.
Continuity in the MCU
The film is a direct sequel to Captain Marvel film, WandaVision series and Miss Marvel series. While the storylines of the various heroines are repeated, it seems essential to have at least seen the previous film and the Miss Marvel series, which are not really re-explained, while Monica Rambeau‘s arc is well and truly re-explained. There is, however, a real question mark over the consequences of Secret Invasion series, which featured Nick Furry and the Skrulls. In the film, you almost get the impression that the series didn’t even exist. But the film, with its final scene and post-credits scene, shows great promise for the rest of the MCU.
Far from being a masterpiece, this film is on a par with most of the studio’s films. It’s a great family film, full of good humour and action. I highly recommend it.