The Marvels Saved the MCU

(L-R): Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, and Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau in Marvel Studios' THE MARVELS. Photo by Laura Radford. © 2023 MARVEL.

After a number of films and series led to franchise fatigue for Marvel’s audience, The Marvels have managed to save the MCU.

There is only a single mid-credit scene. You’re welcome to stay through the rest of the credits but there are no post-credit scenes. What I will say about this scene is that it made me very happy. The 33rd Marvel film (really?!?) shows that Kevin Feige and company know exactly what they’re doing with the future of Marvel Studios. Unfortunately, some spoilers are already online because people are terrible and have to ruin everything for everyone.

I’ll have a lot more to say about the film below the flerkittens. Goose, a flurken, was such a scene-stealer to where we now have flurkittens showing up for duty in The Marvels and further stealing the show. As for what you need to watch before going into the film: Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and WandaVision. If you haven’t watched either series, it’ll be best to do so before watching the film. This way, there will be less confusion about the characters. That being said, the film has its own way of catching viewers up, too. As for the film’s tone, there is a lot of comedy especially with the entanglement of powers.

The film kept my attention for the entire run time. It runs 1:45 in length and I did not look at my watch once. This speaks to the film’s quick pace.

Flerkittens in The Marvels.
Flerkittens in Marvel Studios’ THE MARVELS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) has been using Skrull technology to help get her memories back. The technology allows the film to answer some questions that came up during Avengers: Endgame and WandaVision. It doesn’t necessarily answer the question about her decision to have shorter hair during the post-blip years. One thing that is for certain is that the relationship between Carol and  S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) has changed because of Maria Rambeau’s (Lashawna Lynch) death. While Carol has been a workaholic, the two have not talked much, if at all, after the Blip.

The events of Captain Marvel led the Kree to refer to Carol as the Annihilator. In destroying the Supreme Intelligence, Carol brought hell to Hala. After finding the other bangle, Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) unleashes hell on the galaxy. She chooses to get revenge against Carol by destabilizing jump points in space-time. However, the energy left behind is what leads to Carol, Monica, and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) having their light-based powers get entangled. We got a tease in the season finale of Ms. Marvel but the film expands on the scene by playing it in comedic fashion. Speaking of comedy, I love this side of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). The first film allowed audiences to see his lighter side and the sequel is no different. Where Secret Invasion left a sour taste, The Marvels is an improvement.

Nia DiCosta’s direction of The Marvels brings solid chemistry and an all-around fun tone that allows a powerhouse trio of Carol, Monica, and Kamala to shine on screen. Each character can lead their own vehicles but they are a supergroup when teaming up together. The fact that the film plays to the comedic side certainly helps with tone. It doesn’t miss an opportunity to joke about Kamala’s Captain Marvel fan-fiction. One of the new planets, Aladna, uses song to communicate and it allows the film to show off Brie Larson’s skills as a singer. Larson previously released an album, Finally Out of P.E., back in 2005.

SCREENWRITERS: Nia DaCosta and Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik
CAST: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Seo-Jun Park, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, and Samuel L. Jackson

Marvel Studios will release The Marvels in theaters on November 10, 2023. Grade: 4.5/5

Please subscribe to Dugout Dirt and Solzy at the Movies on Substack.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.