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The Marvels Movie Review: Iman Vellani Steals The Show, Park Seo Joon Wasted In His MCU Debut

The Marvels movie review: I think we can collectively agree that the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs to retrospect its moves, especially after delivering films like Ant-Man and the Wasp and Thor: Love and Thunder. Ever since the curtains were closed on Thanos and the OG Avengers, Marvel fans have been treated to only a handful of good MCU movies. With spirits already low, director Nia DaCosta charges into the universe with The Marvels, and to my surprise, she managed to re-ignite the spark that once shined so bright. She does it with support from Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Teyonah Parris.

The new superhero movie arrives this Friday, coinciding with the last episode of Loki season 2. The film not only stars Brie, Iman, and Teyonah as the superheroes but also introduces Zawe Ashton as the villain, Dar-Benn. Nia DaCosta sticks to Marvel’s thumb rules — keep the story simple, pack it with good dialogues, establish a good on-screen bond with the leading superheroes, and establish a new villain. Nia gets a good score on the four fronts but an extra punch was needed.

Let’s begin with what The Marvels is. As the trailers have already been revealed, the MCU film revolves around three superheroes who share similar superpowers. They are forced to join forces after Dar-Benn threatens to damage the ecosystem which could cause a massive problem in the universe. Through the film, we travel through different planets, explore different beings, and watch the three superheroes grow closer.

There are several things that I truly loved about The Marvels. Topping the list is undoubtedly Iman Vellani. Playing the role of Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel, Iman and the writers score the highest for South Asian representation. There is a thin line between representing and stereotyping, and director Nia DaCosta managed to thread it safely. From watching her fan over Captain Marvel to relating with her when it comes to tackling strict South Asian parents, Iman shines in every scene given to her. She delivers a powerful performance with an impressive balance of humour.

Zenobia Shroff is a brilliant support to her in the film. There came the point when I realised that her character, Kamala’s mother Muneeba Khan, had one of the best character developments in the film. Besides the characters, I love that DaCosta explored the dysfunctional family dynamics with not only Kamala and her family (who are as outstanding as Iman in the film) but also between Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). Both of them light up the screen every time they share the frame.

However, the story does not do justice to the trio. Co-writers Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, and Elissa Karasik, The Marvels deserved a longer run time to explore the new characters in the universe. It breaks my heart to say that Park Seo-joon, one of the drawing factors of The Marvels, was wasted for merely two scenes. All because of lazy writing. The Marvels appeared to be in a rush to wrap up the film instead of layering the events unfolding and properly tying the loose ends.

The fight in the climax is not as clean as the action scenes in other parts of the film, making it a rather confusing and underwhelming fight.

Another writing flaw that was hard to ignore was the character development of Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. It feels like the writers did not contact the makers of Secret Invasion to understand the tone that they were setting for Fury. He is shown as a goofy man interested in cats over actually getting the job done.

The writing also left several questions unanswered, in a good and bad way. Let’s address the bad questions first. Warning: Possible Spoiler Ahead: For example, Ms Marvel revealed that Kamala’s brother has gotten married. However, The Marvels makes a mere passing reference to her but she is conveniently missing from their New Jersey home. In another scene, Kamala is seen using her superpower but is not wearing her bangle which propels her superpower. This paved the questions about the source of her powers.

In the good parts, Marvel Studios finally brought back the magic of after viewing discussion of a film after what seems forever. As soon as The Marvels ended, I found myself seated in a cafe, breaking down the possible meaning of the ending and mid-credits scenes (which is epic, to say the least). This had not happened in a long time. I also liked that DaCosta chose to treat The Marvels like Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, in terms of the humour and the visual factors.

The Marvels’ biggest superpower is the VFX. The film features some epic switches and fight sequences in the first half that will leave you gasping for breath and even hooting.

Unfortunately, like She-Hulk, Loki season 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, The Marvels also faces the issue of a weak villain. Although Zawe Ashton delivers what is asked from her, the writing flaw becomes evident in the climax. When you see Dar-Benn sans her weapon, you don’t fear her. It was here that I began missing Thanos and his aura. The supervillain would bring an aura of fear and intimidation on screen that he didn’t need the Infinity Gauntlet to prove his bad side. For that matter, even Cate Blanchett as Hela posed as a great threat. But Zawe had not such impact and her appearance doesn’t establish a villain story that MCU could explore in the future and honestly, it is heartbreaking to see.

Bottom Line: Despite the flaws, The Marvels is a fun film to watch that brings back the old school MCU. Watch the film for a good popcorn entertainer.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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