The newest addition to the Marvel Universe has appeared in theaters, starring Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Monica Rambeau who are up against a new foe and a challenging new twist on entangled powers. If you enjoy watching Marvel, take a second to read The Marvels review and see if you agree with our thoughts. Remember, there are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t been able to get to a theatre yet, don’t continue reading.
The Marvels Review: Breaking Down Plot, Setting, Characters
Old Grudges Come Back to the Surface
The main plot line through the entire film is Dar-Benn trying to fix her world Hala, after it was destroyed by Captain Marvel, known to Dar-Benn as “The Annihilator.” This ties directly into the three Marvels, as their own light powers are entangled after Monica and Captain Marvel touch an energy surge in an inter-spacial portal. The Marvels must figure out how to work together as they switch, all while trying to find and stop Dar-Benn as she tries to take the atmosphere, water, and sun from other planets to supplement her own.
The three characters learn about each other as they finally control their powers while switching, just in time to fight against Dar-Benn when she tries to take Earth’s sun. It gets a little tricky though, as Ms. Marvel is wearing the matching band to Dar-Benn, which happens to be both the missing band she’s been looking for and a Quantum band. The power is too much for Dar-Benn as she pries it from Kamala’s (Ms. Marvel) wrist and tries to open a portal, and succeeds in destroying herself and ripping a hole in space.
Monica realizes the only way they can patch the hole is by having Kamala and Captain Marvel shoot energy at her to absorb and transfer to the hole in space. In order to close the hole though, Monica must be on the other side and is able to close the hole, but gets trapped in another realm/universe. Kamala returns home saddened by Monica’s disappearance, and Captain Marvel makes good on a promise to reignite Hala’s sun so they can live.
I thought the plot line was quite good, though I wish there was a little more backstory when Captain Marvel destroyed the A.I. on Hala, or with Dar-Benn as she was crushed by rocks in a flashback but appeared fine in the present time of the movie. The plot line was able to stay light while having some heavier parts, but wasn’t as heart-wrenching as some of the other Marvel films I have seen. Though that is not a requirement, I kind of wish there was more to the movie, but I’m not sure what that missing piece is.
Across the Galaxy and Into a New Realm
Monica, Carol (Captain Marvel), and Kamala travel across the universe and visit multiple worlds in the film, including Hala, Earth, Tarnax (a Skrull refugee colony), and Aladna (a water-based planet). Each planet is richly designed with its own idiosyncrasies, my favorite being Aladna’s people only speaking in song, leading to some very funny scenes between Carol and confused Monica and Kamala.
Of course, planets are not the only settings in the movie, with the space station S.A.B.E.R. appearing, as well as Kamala’s house and Carol’s spaceship. I really enjoyed the varying planets because it only shows how big the universe is in the Marvel world, and how interconnected they are even though they may be millions of miles apart.
I wish we could have dived a little more into each world, but the fight scenes help take care of this problem, keeping you on the edge of the seat, trying to see if the Marvels can finally coordinate their entangled powers to beat Dar-Benn.
A New Team Emerges
Kamala’s dream of not only meeting Carol but being part of a team comes true in The Marvels as Kamala, Carol, and Monica must team up to battle their entangled powers and Dar-Benn threatening the universe. The meeting was rocky at first, as Carol was so used to working alone that she was against the idea of a team, or “needing help” from others.
Kamala struggled with her family allowing her to go and be a hero, as well as the awe of meeting her idol for the first time. In time, she realized how to be the hero Monica and Carol needed in order to fight against Dar-Benn, and proves to her family that she is in fact a hero.
Monica still had resentment towards her “Aunt” Carol when she never returned home, and was not used to fighting in a team either. She had to figure out how to use her newfound powers, as well as heal her wounds with Carol, and find a way to coach Kamala to become a hero.
Each character had to learn about themselves in order to work together, and when they finally figured it out, it was really interesting to watch them fight while switching, almost like a coordinated dance. For the antagonist Dar-Benn, I think she was well-created, as often new villains can come from somewhat random actions that end up severely hurting others (Carol destroying the Supreme Intelligence).
The only critique I have with the characters is that because they were new to each other and learning how to work together, there wasn’t any deep connections or emotions between characters, leading to not as an emotional ending when Monica gets trapped in another universe. Usually I have the tendency to cry during these scenes, but I didn’t do so, mostly because the emotions felt on the surface and not super developed.
How Does It Compare to Other Recent Marvel Films?
Though not as heart-breaking as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, I think I enjoyed The Marvels a little more than the Ant Man: Quantumania film. I like the comic book aspect of the movie, and the ability to have both emotional scenes (Monica and Captain Marvel reconciling) and funny scenes (Goose’s offspring eating members of the crew to save them). I do think there could have been some improvements, like those listed above, but for the most part it was an entertaining Marvel movie that opens up the idea of alternate universes.
Where to Watch The Marvels
You can watch The Marvels in theaters right now, after its premiere on November 10th. If you cannot get to a theatre, it may take a little bit for the movie to transition to Disney Plus. But, you will be able to watch The Marvels and another other Marvel projects on Disney’s streaming service. All you need to do is get a subscription for the service, which is $7.99/month with ads, and $13.99/month without ads.
Other Marvel Projects That Contain Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, and Monica Rambeau
Though these three powerhouses have only appeared together once, there are several other films and TV series that the Marvels have appeared in separately. Check out the list below, and watch your favorite Marvel in another light:
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Ms. Marvel (2022)
- Avengers: Infinity War, credits scene (2018)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, credits scene (2021)
- Ms. Marvel (2022)
All in all, I enjoyed the movie and its storyline, especially in the end with the possible multiverse introduction. It was also nice to see Kamala and Monica in a feature film, as they have only appeared in TV shows so far in terms of their hero form. I kind-of wanted more connection with the characters, and just more storyline in general. I felt like the movie was a bit too quick and compacted so the storyline couldn’t breathe, and prevented some possible growth from each of the characters.
I am sad the Monica is trapped in another universe, because I really like her character and how she attained her powers. But I will have to say that Kamala is really turning into a full-force hero, especially since she has the matching Quantum band that can increase her abilities to fight, and even open Quantum portals in space. Captain Marvel does well again, but I kind-of want to see her have a weakness of some sort. It seems like her powers are boundless and there is no cost to using them, so I fear she will become static or too powerful for her own good.
Hopefully all of the Marvels will return for future Marvel projects, and continue to learn about their powers and their relationships, all within the huge mantel of the Marvel universe.