I will admit it and I know it’s no secret that I am not a fan of super hero movies. They tend to be repetitive and redundant (see what I did there?) with nothing new or even creative. HOWEVER, to every seemingly hard and fast rule, there are occasionally exceptions…this time, with “The Marvels,” we do not find an exception. In fact, this one has absolutely nothing exceptional about it except the scene after the credits roll, or so it has been explained to me. (Some surprise character appears…couldn’t tell you who he/she/they were until a fan of the Super Hero Universes, both DC and Marvel ‘splained it to me.)
“The Marvels” is a female-centric story (making me want to like it) featuring Brie Larson as Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers. Returning to the Captain Marvel universe is Monica (Tehona Parris) who is the grown up version of Carol’s former colleague and best friend who passed away. We see that the two of them have a few issues to resolve, and thanks to the third and newest character of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), they get a chance to sort through it all. Of course, that’s not until after the two women and one teen find that their powers are all intertwined like your Christmas lights after being stored for a year. Nick Fury played comically by Samuel L. Jackson wrangles the three of them and they try to figure out what in the world is happening and why.
The Marvels (as Kamala is hoping to be called) soon realize that Kamala’s spangle-bangle bracelet from her dear old granny is what gives her powers and the leader of a planet destroyed by Captain Marvel aka The Anihilator has the matching wristlet. She’ll stop at nothing to complete her jeweled ensemble, giving her the ultimate power.
Does this sound familiar because it should. It’s the same premise we’ve seen literally dozens and dozens of times before. And then there are the numerous fight scenes that, you guessed it, you’ve seen too many times to count. To the film’s credit, these repetitive fight scenes do give you time to scoot to the bathroom or the concession stand or even to check your texts…outside of the theater, obviously. (Theater rules are a must to be followed.)
And now I need to mention a little musical number — remember this is made by Disney and this felt like the Disney Signature Stamp — but not even a planet filled with songbirds and crooners as this is their primary language, can breathe life into this, nor can a bunch of adorably menacing kittens.
Sadly, there are so many comedic opportunities completely lost, many of which Larson just couldn’t play, that “The Marvels” couldn’t find its way. While Jackson has a few moments and Parris with Vellani can be light-hearted, those moments are far and few between rendering the script DOA.
Skip this one as there isn’t a sage message at its heart or a lesson to be learned from any of the characters. But fans are fans and you will go, so if you do, stay for that final scene.
1 1/2 stars