Why “The Marvels” Should Not be Overlooked: A Non-Spoiler Review

The Marvels is not a masterpiece, but is very different from Quantumania or Wakanda Forever : it’s not a failure. The film with Brie Larson, Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris is refreshing, the action is fluid, the trio of actresses is up to the task: we have a pleasant time. Our opinion, without spoilers.

The MCU is in trouble, that’s a fact. After reaching a pinnacle form of his popularity with Endgame, Marvel is having more and more difficulty convincing the public. No doubt it is the fault, at the top of the list, of an overdose of several films and series per year. The quality, too, varies greatly from one project to another. Quantumania, a particularly unsuccessful feature film, does not work in favor of the MCU. Result, The Marvels represents the worst Marvel start in France with barely more than 49,000 admissions in France on the first day in theaters.


But does the film really deserve to be such a flop? Although we cannot legitimately salute an extraordinary artistic approach – everything is quite agreed – the feature film is not a failure. With its three superheroines, played by Brie Larson, Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris, plus Samuel L. Jackson, The Marvels benefits from a cast that is largely up to the task and whose enthusiasm, tinged with a second degree, gives the film an all the more pleasant tone.

Brie Larson, Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris: the trio works

The Marvels is nothing like a sequel to Captain Marvel. Neither in the tone, nor in the narration. Unlike the origin story of Carol Danvers, which is self-sufficient, The Marvels is a pure product of the MCU: it is part of a broader continuity than its characters (everything there is multi-referenced from several other films and series), and it relies on great spectacle. We therefore find one of the faults of the latest Marvel films: a quest-driven story, where the story serves more as a glue for the setting than to convey a point, recount destinies, texture the real world in a fictional scenario. .

This defect noted, The Marvels is by no means a failure. It even stands out from the crowd. Already because it stands out aesthetically from the latest failures of the MCU: The Marvels is beautifully executed. Far from the clumsy fights of Wakanda Foreverand a thousand miles from graphic absurdity ad nauseam of Quantumania. Nia DaCosta’s film, The Marvelsoffers very colorful tones and particularly fluid action – the fights, in particular, are skillfully choreographed, which was all the more a challenge as the powers of the three heroines are intertwined (they exchange their places in space each time that they use their powers).

Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) in The Marvels. // Source: Marvel
Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) in The Marvels. // Source: Marvel

The film also benefits from an infectious joy, even a certain sweetness. The character of Ms Marvel (or Iman Vellani in the role of Kamala Khan) is, as in the series Miss Marvel, an endearing teenager just like our beloved Spidey. His fan attitude towards Captain Marvel is hilarious and, on a few occasions, their relationship even becomes touching – we would have liked this aspect to be more developed. The trio, to which is added Monica Rambeau, forms a little family that we enjoy following.


Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan in The Marvels. // Source: MarvelMonica Rambeau and Kamala Khan in The Marvels. // Source: Marvel
Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan in The Marvels. // Source: Marvel

The Marvels suffers from the exhaustion caused by the MCU, where the film, as such, is not bad – and even more enjoyable than many of its predecessors. By refusing to be excessively pretentious, the feature film reconnects with our pleasure of seeing superheroic figures on screen and gives us a good time.

Despite everything, it also highlights the main difficulty of current Marvel production: the artistic direction no longer has much to do. tell, to the point of moving ever further away from the metaphorical power of superheroic fiction. Result, The Marvels is based on a very ordinary story, and counts above all on the talent of its casting, the alchemy of the characters, and its spectacle. At any rate, The Marvels does not deserve its failure, and does not deserve an escalation of vitriolic criticism either, as if it constituted an ideal target, against a backdrop of sexism, for all the ills of the MCU.

The verdict

The Marvels is not a failed film. Even if the story is very ordinary, the cast is talented: Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, Teyonnah Parris and Samuel L. Jackson give us a good time. Full of joy and humor, we also appreciate good production, offering very fluid action, which contrasts with the rough draft of the latest Marvel iterations. Ultimately, The Marvels does not deserve a flop and even less an escalation of vitriolic criticism, as if he constituted the ideal target against a backdrop of sexism.