The holy trinity, a triangle of feminine energy, and some one-eyed dork
dir: Nia DaCosta
Maybe this flick doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then none of them really do.
I can’t imagine that there were millions of people clamouring for this. Just a small subset (fans of Captain Marvel and Ms Marvel in comic book form, or the first Captain Marvel movie) of a subset (Marvel comic book fans), and those who enjoyed the mostly excellent Ms Marvel Disney+ series.
But they did it, and so we’re here. For whatever reasons (I don’t remember why, and I only watched the flick yesterday), at the end of the last episode of Ms Marvel, I think Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) sneezes or something, and Captain Marvel / Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) appears in her place, in her bedroom in New Jersey. How perplexing!
This flick extends on from that, with Kamala, Danvers and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), who knew Danvers when she was a child, swapping places whenever they use their magical powers.
I don’t know if it’s a great hook or not, in fact, one could argue that it’s a terrible hook, but I guess it’s necessary in order to force the team up they require, which is the three of them working together to save... various worlds including Earth.
The various worlds… there are two other planets that pretty much get destroyed. I don’t even think that constitutes a spoiler, because the movie doesn’t seem to worry about it afterwards either.
The person doing the destroying of worlds is called Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). She has Ronin the Accuser’s hammer thingy from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and she finds a bracelet that’s the same as Kamala’s. This allows her to open wormholes in the fabric of space-time, I guess?
She is angry, and maybe a little bit sad, because her Kree homeworld of Hala is dying, with no atmosphere and no water and a dying sun. Why is the sun dying?
Um, something something because Captain Marvel did something bad 30 years ago when she did whatever she did at the end of the Captain Marvel movie?
I don’t know how she made a sun stop working, but, she does feel guilty about it.
Also, Monica is pissed off with Carol, because she never came back from her time away off Earth(?) Talk about manufactured conflict.
All three have powers that come from various sources, but are linked because of the bracelets that Kamala and now Dar-Benn are using via quantum entanglement, which, you know, checks out. There is a comical montage training sequence where the three heroes learn somehow to swap places and do whatever it is that the person whose place they took was about to do.
The training involves juggling and skipping rope. I have to think on some level that this is a piss-take on montage training sequences, because otherwise…
There’s a bit on a planet where there are skrulls (the shapeshifting race), which gets its atmosphere stolen. And then the skrulls are never spoken of again. Thankfully, or unfortunately, no mention is made and no reference entered into regarding the appalling Secret Invasion Disney+ series that had Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), where a whole bunch of skrulls wanted to take over, Russia or the world or something.
There’s a bit on a water planet that is quite humorous to me (which I imagine a lot of people probably had their underwear bunch up and twist painfully), because the people there sing and dance as a natural way of communicating, which is equally disturbing and entertaining to the two Earth humans who are along for the ride. There’s something with a prince or something.
Anyway, all their water on their water world is stolen. Nothing is said about it pretty much ever again.
The last thing Dar-Benn wants is to steal is the energy from Earth’s sun. Finally, our heroes find a way to stop that from happening. Hooray, everything is great for ever more.
All that it takes is for Kamala to stop fangirling all the time over being in close proximity to Carol Danvers; Monica has to… forgive Carol?; and Carol has to realise that she could have fixed things for Hala oh, 30 or so years ago if only someone had mentioned it to her?
It’s…it’s not a strong story, but really it’s about as strong any of the recent Marvel flicks in this phase of their cinematic and global domination. I don’t care about its weaknesses thematically etc, because there are parts I liked about it well enough. The effects work is… also terrible. Films entirely dependent on special effects that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make shouldn’t look this bad. But the effects work is bad, like, 1990s bad.
I don’t feel that the flick really does the Captain Marvel character many favours, though it’s a great introduction for Kamala / Ms Marvel and her delightful family (well, maybe not the brother, but her parents played by Zenobia Shroff and Mohan Kapur are so wonderful). Iman Vellani is the best, but I guess there’s only so long she can do the wide-eyed “I’m just a kid and your biggest fan!” thing before that well runs dry. The ending of this very inessential flick at least strongly implies that they’re doing the Young Avengers down the track which would include Kamala and Kate Bishop as Hawkeye (Hailee Steinfeld).
As for what they were doing with Monica waking up in a completely different universe, well, I’m guessing that one of the many things they imply and then never follow through on, because, well… who really cares about that kind of stuff? Even the nerds are starting to turn on this franchise, and if they lose the nerds there will be no normal people left handing over their hardly earned money.
Nothing in this flick really seems like it matters, and if that’s the case why would we care? I at least found it slightly more enjoyable than either Ant-Man: Quantumania or the Doctor Strange sequel. But that doesn’t mean it’s really that much better as an actual movie. It’s especially sub-standard compared to the last Guardians of the Galaxy movie, even as it has some problems itself. But at least that felt like it mattered, and it went out on such a strong note.
This just fades out, with a resolution that’s a real head-scratcher. It’s a shoulder shrug of a solution, and about as effective as having someone say “um, a wizard fixed it.”
It feels like they are just churning and churning, recycling all of the Marvel IP “content” in slightly altered configurations, to little effect other than saying “at least we brought out something new recently. Please clap.”
Um, no. No claps for you. Some guarded clapping for Kamala. But not for the rest of you.
6 times and I thought the solution to rescuing all the people on that space station via flerkins was hilarious out of 10
“Okay, I'm getting a lot of negative energy from you and I don't like it.” – nailed it with the sassy dialogue, no notes - The Marvels