The Marvels

“The Marvels” marks the 33rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I’m sad to report that I think this once highly entertaining franchise has finally hit the wall and become less than, well, MARVELous.

While the cast still gives it their all, and the effects are occasionally dazzling, the story amounts to nothing more than a jumbled plot that doesn’t add up to much.

Brie Larson returns as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, who teams up with Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) to find a device that can tear the universe in half. Only half of the device is missing and it falls into the hands of a teenager named Kamala Khan (Iman Vallahi). Kamala is a huge fan girl of Captain Marvel and by possessing this device, the three women are able to transport from one location to another.

The villain this go-round is Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), who attempts to do things with the aforementioned device that I couldn’t make heads or tails of in this subplot. It’s not like it really matters, as this movie just uses its story as a clothesline to serve the effects.

There’s a lot that’s odd about this entry in the MCU. One of which features the female trifecta visiting another world in which the people only communicate through song, and the results are just peculiar and end up being like a bad live-action version of a Disney musical.

Oh, and Goose the cat returns, vomiting up more and more. The end result is regurgitated (no pun intended), indicating this script is simply out of ideas.

Even with a short runtime of 105 minutes, “The Marvels” doesn’t really allow its characters to do anything memorable or exciting, and the story only offers a smattering of coherence. Even Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is mostly relegated to exposition and doesn’t get an opportunity to let his charisma come through.

Some of the computer animation is effective, but other scenes just look weird and forgettable without any imagination.

I’ve tried to be a defender of the MCU for the longest time, but even my patience has a limit and “The Marvels” proves that the best miss sometimes.

Grade: C+

(Rated PG-13 for action/violence and brief language.)

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