Critics Can't Seem To Agree On Marvel's Latest Star-Studded Offering

While the MCU's triple team-up The Marvels has won some over a lot of critics, others are less than convinced.
Brie Larson and Iman Vellani in The Marvels
Brie Larson and Iman Vellani in The Marvels
Disney

The reviews for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 33rd feature film, The Marvels, are out… and it’s fair to say they’re a bit of a mixed bag.

Starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris, alongside Marvel staple Samuel L. Jackson, the latest instalment in the MCU sees Brie’s Captain Marvel team up with Iman’s Ms. Marvel and Teyonah’s Monica Rambeau to stop – you guessed it! – an all-new intergalactic baddie, this time portrayed by Zawe Ashton.

And while some critics are hailing The Marvels as a return to form after a somewhat shaky period for the studio, others are convinced The Marvels deserves its own trip to the Quantumverse.

Here’s what critics are saying about The Marvels…

“The Marvels is, technically, a sequel to Captain Marvel. Equally, it’s a team-up film that gives as much care and space to its two (sort of) newcomers.

“While its action scenes are fluid and well-crafted, especially when it comes to capturing the team’s body-swapping antics, the real charm of the film comes to the fore when these women get to – gasp! – hang out with each other…

“While Marvel’s been busy flooding us with endless, exhaustive content, [Nia] DaCosta’s movie offers us the one thing that made this franchise work in the first place – heroes we actually want to root for.”

“The Marvels is, technically, a sequel to Captain Marvel. Equally, it’s a team-up film that gives as much care and space to its two (sort of) newcomers.

“While its action scenes are fluid and well-crafted, especially when it comes to capturing the team’s body-swapping antics, the real charm of the film comes to the fore when these women get to – gasp! – hang out with each other…

“While Marvel’s been busy flooding us with endless, exhaustive content, [Nia] DaCosta’s movie offers us the one thing that made this franchise work in the first place – heroes we actually want to root for.”

IGN (8/10)

“The Marvels is a triumph. Its depth can be seen not just through its characters, but through its story as it explores war’s complicated fallout; the difficulty of being a human when you are perceived as a monolith; and the hilarious and complicated virtues of family.

“Both funny and heartfelt, Nia DaCosta’s MCU debut will have you asking when she and her leading ladies are coming back immediately after the credits roll. It’s a pity that the villain isn’t given much to do, though.”

“It is all, of course, entirely ridiculous, but presented with such likeable humour and brio, particularly the Marvels’ visit to a planet where everyone sings instead of speaks.

“On this planet Carol is a princess, a set piece presumably placed in the story purely so that [Brie] Larson can showcase an adorable ‘princess’ outfit, part of this film’s bid for the tween-sleepover customer base. Larson, Parris and Vellani are an entertaining intergalactic ensemble.”

“The Marvels is a must-watch for any casual or diehard Marvel fan, even those who may not have been impressed with the majority of Marvel Studios’s recent releases.

“It feels like a combination of everything that worked well in MCU Phases 1-3, with the best of Phases 4 and 5, which is why it’s a return to form for the studio while also being a sign of what’s to come.”

“The leaps in tone would be less jarring if The Marvels weren’t so skittery and episodic. You can weave the plot together in your head, but you may have a harder time pretending to know why it matters — not within the metastasising mythos of the MCU, but simply on its own…

“The movie is short enough not to overstay its welcome, though it’s still padded with too many of those fight scenes that make you think, ‘If these characters have such singular and extraordinary powers, why does it always come down to two of them bashing each other?’”

“If the archetypal Marvel hit came fused into a three-tonne lump of multiplex entertainment, DaCosta lets the new film be tonal spaghetti: a chaos of group hugs, antic montages and earnest self-reflection, with odd musical interludes and still-iffier effects. (A noted recent weak spot for the studio.)

“The running time sails by. But as a future model for Marvel’s corporate captain, company president Kevin Feige, you sense the cats remain un-herded.”

“The franchise’s now-trademark VFX sloppiness is back with a vengeance here, with flying scenes that resemble souvenir photographs from a sky-diving simulator, and digital backdrops rendered in 50 shades of sludge.

“‘Higher, further, faster’ ran the original Captain Marvel’s rousing tagline. ‘Have we reached the bottom yet?’ would be an apt one for this.”

The Marvels lands in cinemas on 10 November 2023.

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