The Marvels review – bonkers battle for ‘quantum bands’ in bubblegum sort-of sequel


This is a science fiction superhero movie that is light and entertaining like bubblegum. It is a continuation of the 2019 film Captain Marvel, which introduced Brie Larson’s character, one of the few in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have the franchise name in their actual name. However, the concept of a “sequel” is complicated in this world where consequences can be changed or undone, alternate universes exist, and post-credits scenes may render previous events meaningless.

As the story begins, we are reintroduced to Captain Marvel, also known as Carol Danvers, as she travels alone in her spaceship through the galaxy. She reflects on the events of the previous film, including her heroic actions to save the universe. This led to a crisis on the nearly destroyed planet of Hala, where Danvers has complicated personal connections as a member of the Kree people. Now, she will come face to face with the new Kree leader, the fanatical Dar-Benn, who is portrayed by Zawe Ashton in a delightfully villainous role. Dar-Benn has obtained one of two powerful bracelets, known as “quantum bands”, from a distant planet. Together, these bands could provide her with immense power and allow her to manipulate “jump points” in space.

Manipulating these portals will result in our trio of protagonists coming into comical and intimate proximity. One of them is Danvers, while the other is Monica Rambeau, portrayed by Teyonah Parris, gifted with extraordinary abilities and the grown daughter of Carol’s close friend and fellow fighter pilot Maria Rambeau (played by Lashana Lynch) – although there is not a significant age difference between Carol and Monica. (In fact, Parris is only one year older than Larson, but the concept of time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is flexible.) The third member is Kamala Khan, soon to be known as Ms Marvel, humorously portrayed by Iman Vellani (in the upcoming TV series Ms Marvel); she is a teenage superhero from Jersey City whose family coincidentally owns the second quantum band.

Kamala spends most of her time in her bedroom, daydreaming and avoiding her homework, while also obsessing over Captain Marvel and arguing with her parents (Zenobia Shroff and Mohan Kapur give great performances in these roles). However, things take a wild turn when Carol, Monica, and Kamala start teleporting across the universe and swapping bodies whenever they use their powers. This is all due to Dar-Benn’s interference with the “jump points.” Nick Fury, leader of Shield, is not pleased with this development, but manages to maintain his calm and friendly demeanor (thanks to Samuel L Jackson’s portrayal). Unlike Charlie’s Angels, Fury now finds himself bewildered as he leads this new team, known as the Marvels, in their mission to defeat Dar-Benn.

The story may seem absurd, but it is delivered with a charming sense of humor and energy, especially during the Marvels’ trip to a world where singing is the preferred form of communication. In this world, Carol takes on the role of a princess, most likely included in the plot solely for Larson to wear an adorable “princess” outfit, appealing to younger audiences. Larson, Parris, and Vellani make for an enjoyable intergalactic team.

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