The Marvels, the latest big screen foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been the subject of harsh criticism by the League of Armchair Critics who trashed it without the benefit of actually seeing it.
They will tell you the all-female superheroine cast was “too woke” and that the story was too complex. They have already declared that it will be the weakest box office Marvel movie in years, exhibiting prophetic powers that would put a superhero to shame.
Speaking as one who actually watched the movie, I call foul.
The Marvels, which is a better name than The Female Avengers, takes numerous loose ends from Marvel’s comics, films, and television shows and wraps them up in an enjoyable plot with, naturally, brilliant special effects.
As Captain Marvel, Brie Larson shows a depth to Carol Danvers that we have never seen before. She is flawed and admits it. She also cuts loose and proves herself to be one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe. Look out, Thor.
Still, she asks for help and advice and admits that she is in over her head. She also recognizes that she and her friends are all that stand between salvation and annihilation at the hands of a very angry Kree warrior, Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton.)
Through a complex turn of events, teenage superhero Ms. Marvel becomes embroiled in the interstellar war at the side of her personal hero, Captain Marvel. The teenager, played by Iman Vellani, uses her energy powers to their best advantage. She was far more enjoyable than she was in her Disney/Marvel television series and even more likeable than her comic series.
The third member of the team, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), went through the entire movie as others tried to think of a superhero code name for her, running through dozens of names, including “Captain Marvel” and several that she actually used at one time or another. In the comics, she is called Photon—at least she was last time I checked.
In The Marvels, she is a brand new superhero who recently got her light powers in the Scarlet Witch television mini-series, WandaVision.
Director and co-screenwriter Nia DaCosta (Candyman) took chances with a complex plot by adding a weird twist. For reasons hard to explain, the three women changed places physically with one another if they used their powers at the same moment. The result was dizzying during battle scenes and used to great effect.
But, in the end, the most important scenes of the film took place right before and during the credits. Sadly, watching either scene on-line and out of context will deny folks the pleasure of the intricacies we see in flashbacks between Captain Marvel and Rambeau’s mother.
That mid-credit scene is a game-changer that signals a new era in the Marvel movie universe, one that everyone has been clamoring for.
The other scene, a pre-credit scene, is also powerful and meaningful for the future. To say any more about either scene would be an unforgiveable spoiler.