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Movie Review: The Marvels (2023) *No Spoilers*

The Marvels Poster
I must admit I would've preferred more of a Captain Marvel solo movie over this team up event that is The Marvels. I'd still be fine with Ms Marvel and Monica Rambeau being in supporting roles but I kind of feel the character earned a sequel from the previous Captain Marvel box office alone.

Unfortunately the audience for the MCU has shifted dramatically since the last movie, as has the quality of the films and streaming shows being made by Marvel Studios.

The Marvels pays off the conclusions to two Disney+ shows, Wandavison and Ms Marvel, by bringing together Ms Marvel, aka Kamala Kahn, and Monica Rambeau with Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers. While the shows aren't essential viewing for The Marvels it is extremely beneficial having seen each character's backstory over just getting the speed notes version in this movie.

In terms of being a sequel it's a direct sequel to Ms Marvel's streaming show, as well as picking up on storylines left open in the original Captain Marvel film.

For some unknown reason all three lead heroes of the film are switching  places when they use their powers at the same time, literally teleporting them through time and space instantly (though not time so much, other than it takes no time for them to switch places even over great distances).

With the help of Nick Fury they must work out what caused them to be linked while defending several worlds from a new threat.

This movie does not deserve to be the MCU's lowest opening box office film in the current continuity. It's fast paced, fun, with plenty of action, that all builds on previous MCU movies and shows, just like all the MCU movies up to Avengers Endgame. It even has a weak villain, Dar-Benn, who is played well by Zawe Ashton but ultimately is only here to be the villain in this movie.

Unfortunately it's a victim of what came before and, much like DC's last Shazam and Blue Beetle movies, there's just no motivation to see them in a cinema, even though those two films are entertaining. (I would include The Flash here too but that has a whole other layer of problems it faced at the box office with its lead actor going rogue).

I enjoyed The Marvels. More so because I have seen and enjoyed the Disney+ shows that lead into it. It does lean, a little awkwardly at times, into being and preaching inclusivity and feeling heard but it's not beating you over the head with that messaging. 

It just feels like those moments are a little shoe horned in rather than organic to the scene. When they do happen it's just the characters trying to do the right thing rather than preaching to the viewer.

I do feel it could've been a stronger story if it was more focused on Captain Marvel but I can't fault the writers for actually paying off two Disney+ shows when Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness completely wasted what was set up in Wandavision.

I'd definitely give The Marvels a few more viewings. It's not outstanding but it's far from being the worst thing Marvel has released since the whole multiverse saga began. It's poor box office isn't indicative of a bad film. 

If anything it is a step up from recent Marvel TV offerings and is more inline with The Infinity Saga films than anything that Marvel Studios has released since. It's actually connected with the past and the future of the MCU more clearly than recent movie outings.

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