As is the case with every MCU movie now, The Marvels has now made its way for free (well, “free”) consumption on Disney Plus.
There is no way around it, it was an utterly disastrous theatrical release. The MCU’s worst in every category, opening weekend, second weekend drop-off percentage and of course, its overall box office total, $206 million when its predecessor, Captain Marvel, made $1.1 billion just five years ago. It also scored a 62% with critics, making it the third worst-reviewed MCU movie ever, ahead of only Eternals and Ant-Man: Quantumania.
To me, this is representative of just how much the superhero scene has changed. I am willing to bet that if this movie was released even just three years ago, its box office would have tripled and that critic score would be 20% higher. But this was the wrong movie at the wrong time marketed the wrong way and as such, utter disaster.
It deserved better. It deserved a lot better.
At the shortest MCU runtime, The Marvels is a breezy, fun, extremely funny and charming superhero film that channels some of the best parts of the early MCU, back when the comedy was actually funny and not trying too hard the way we’ve seen recently with say, Thor: Love and Thunder, or the opposite, being too self-serious like Black Widow. Or being too preoccupied with the multiverse and Kang set-up like Quantumania.
The Marvels shines in so many different ways, but namely because of its stars. I maintain that Iman Velani is the most perfectly cast actor in the MCU since RDJ as Tony Stark, and I don’t say that lightly. You already knew this if you watched (the again, poorly viewed) Ms. Marvel Disney Plus series, and now here on the big screen, Velani’s charm is only amplified.
I also like what the movie did for its returning characters, namely Brie Larson and Sam Jackson, who are allowed to take a breath and actually be funny, as both actors are. Larson was overly stoic in a quest to be viewed as “badass” in both the original Captain Marvel and her follow-up Avengers appearances. Here, she’s charismatic and funny as Brie Larson is in real life. The same for Sam Jackson, who just came off the dismal Secret Invasion, but it feels like he’s having an utter blast here.
If the film has one problem it’s probably its forgettable villain, Zawe Ashton’s Dar-Benn, but we are scraping the barrel a bit for standalone villains for movies like this at this point as we wait for future Big Bads like Doctor Doom, Magneto and Galactus to show up in future MCU eras. So what are you going to do, fight another Kang variant?
It’s a great movie, and perhaps one that will be appreciated more on Disney Plus than it was in theaters, now that it’s easier to access. I really would not blame anyone who didn’t want to shell out for a ticket or four to see The Marvels in theaters, given recent MCU events and how the movie was sold. But now? On Disney Plus? Watch it, trust me, you’ll like it more than you think.
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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.