The Marvels: Its only marvel is how short it is, writes BRIAN VINER
The Marvels review: This movie’s only marvel is how short it is, writes BRIAN VINER
When I told a friend I was off to see The Marvels on Wednesday evening, she thought I meant a Motown girl group, on a reunion tour. If only.
Instead, it’s the 33rd salvo from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a notional sequel to Captain Marvel (2019), although girl power is very much the theme in a film precision-tooled to appeal to teenyboppers.
All those kids who rushed to see Barbie without knowing it was grown-up satire can sit comfortably through this movie, especially if they watched all the episodes of Ms Marvel on Disney+.
The title character from that TV series, nicely played by Iman Vellani, looms large here.
You can almost hear the Disney money men back-slapping at the idea of a two-pronged incursion into teenage hearts, minds and pockets.
The Marvels is the 33rd salvo from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a notional sequel to Captain Marvel (2019)
‘You can almost hear the Disney money men back-slapping at the idea of a two-pronged incursion into teenage hearts, minds and pockets’, says Brian Viner
Samuel L Jackson (pictured) reprises his role as Nick Fury in The Marvels
The three protagonists team up to fight militant Kree warriors led by another muscular female, Dar-Benn, played as rather politely evil by British actress Zawe Ashton (pictured, centre)
The earthly name of Ms Marvel is Kamala Khan. She is a schoolgirl from suburban New Jersey who happens to have superpowers, much to the amazement of her parents, who are played for (steadily dwindling) laughs by Zenobia Shroff and Mohan Kapur.
They are even more startled when Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and her once-estranged protegee Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), pitch up in the family living room.
From there (with the help of dozens of mutant cats, naturally), they whisk Kamala off to outer space to fight militant Kree warriors led by another muscular female, Dar-Benn (played as rather politely evil by British actress Zawe Ashton).
A decidedly perfunctory plot, which seems to bore even Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), is driven by urgent exclamations such as: ‘It seems the surge has had some residual effect on the jump point!’
Lines like that always leave me floundering, but seemed to make perfect sense to the people around me at Cineworld Leicester Square on Wednesday.
They loved the cats, too, and the planet where everyone talks in song, and all the other whimsical flourishes by director Nia DaCosta that, despite their air of desperation, at least had the merit of being contained inside an hour and 45 minutes… which in fairness had a happy residual effect on my own jump point.
I can’t think of a single other MCU movie that has ever whooshed me to the Bakerloo Line before 9.30pm.
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