Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau have their superpowers intertwined in Marvel's final film of the year.
In the final seconds of Avengers: Infinity War, Nick Fury sends out a distress signal that becomes the starting point for Captain Marvel's entry into the MCU. She had her own solo film and then helped defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, but has been scarcely seen since.
Now, however, a continuation is finally here. But a continuation of what? It's not just Carol Danvers' story that moves forward, but also Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau, whose superhero stories began in Ms. Marvel and WandaVision, respectively. It's time to find out why Captain Marvel quite literally crashed into Kamala's closet.
Carol Danvers - Captain Marvel - has long reclaimed her identity from the brutal Kree who kidnapped and manipulated her, seeking vengeance on the Supreme Intelligence. However, her actions have had unexpected consequences, so when the new Kree leader, Dar-Benn, is ready to resort to extreme measures to restore their homeworld, Carol must now bear the burden of an imbalanced universe.
S.A.B.E.R astronaut Monica Rambeau investigating a malfunctioning wormhole.
When she is sent to investigate a strange wormhole that threatens to disrupt the entire space travel system, her superpowers become linked with Kamala Khan and Carol's niece Monica Rambeau, now a S.A.B.E.R astronaut. Together, the trio must work together to figure out how and why their powers are linked and learn to live with and harness them to save the universe.
Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Teyonah Parris reprise their roles as the film's main trio - Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau, respectively - and Samuel L. Jackson returns for the fifteenth(!) time as Nick Fury. We also see Kamala's family portrayed by Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, and Saagar Shaikh, and Lashana Lynch makes an appearance as Monica's mother, Maria Rambeau.
The film's antagonist is the Kree leader, Dar-Benn, played by Zawe Ashton. New to the MCU is also Gary Lewis, who portrays Skrull Emperor Dro'ge. Another new face is Park Seo-joon in the role of Prince Yan.
The ensemble works well together, and it is worth noting that Iman Vellani does an excellent job and is here to stay, while Samuel L. Jackson is by now on autopilot without any major issues.
And yes, the not-a-cat Goose is also back.
Kamala realizes Goose isn't an ordinary cat.
Sound and Visuals
Marvel has recently received some negative criticism regarding the visual quality of their films and series. I don't know if I am just more forgiving, if explosions and space are easy to create, or if they have improved, but in this film, I think it looks good. The effects are impressive, and the movie uses a color palette that fits well into the Marvel universe.
Note that in the beginning of the film, the Marvel intro is redesigned to fit the movie, a nice little detail.
However, I did not even notice the music, which can be seen as a negative. It is worth noting, though, that the song from the film's trailer, Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic," unusually also appears in the film. The sound effects, on the other hand, are solid and contribute well to enhancing the action sequences.
I enjoyed the series Ms. Marvel and looked forward to seeing more of her when it was announced that she would be in the Captain Marvel sequel, without knowing much about what the film would be about. Even though the stakes are higher and the format is bigger, Iman Vellani is the one who generally performs the best and is just as good in this film as in her series.
Carol Danvers proves to be human and is not as rigid as before, which suits the film's theme, and Brie Larson gets to show a softer side than before, which she handles without any problems.
The film's villain is Dar-Benn, played by Zawe Ashton, portraying the desperate Kree leader whom I would have liked to see more of. She is not entirely evil; she simply wants to, like Thanos, solve an incredibly significant problem using extreme methods that harm countless innocent lives.
Carol and Kamala have an unusually calm moment together.
Danvers has always had a dry sense of humor that, although I appreciated it, may have been lost on many, making her appear boring. Here, Kamala complements her with her exuberant teenage enthusiasm as she is paired with her idol, similar to how Peter Parker and Tony Stark were paired when Spider-Man entered the MCU a few years ago.
So, do you need to have seen all of Ms. Marvel and WandaVision to know where Kamala and Monica come from and understand the film? No, I don't think so. The main character, if we boil it down to a single main character, is still Captain Marvel, and who the other two are is explained briefly but sufficiently in the film. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to have seen the series, which goes without saying.
Director Nia DaCosta has created a film that, despite the action, superpowers, and worlds being destroyed, fundamentally revolves around families and how much their support means for us to grow and face challenges. Not just Kamala and her family, but also Carol and Monica, who reunite after many years. Even the film's villain genuinely only wants to save her planet and her people (her family), although, like most superhero villains, she goes a bit too far in her attempt to do so.
Despite the impressive fight scenes in which the trio constantly switch places and the film's place in the larger context, I can't help but feel that it feels a bit like an extended episode of Ms. Marvel. That's not necessarily a negative thing, but I had hoped for something a bit more grandiose. When the film goes all out, it does it well, but now it has chosen a more familial theme, and that's what we have to relate to.
Zawe Ashton portrays Dar-Benn, who wants to save her planet using extreme methods.
Although it may feel refreshing to have a film that is not excessively long (clocking in at just 1 hour and 45 minutes), the limited runtime may have left us with a few loose ends that we would have liked to know more about. Granted, nothing crucial, but we'll see if they are resolved in the future.
And oh, one last thing. When the film ends, stay seated. True to Marvel's tradition, there is an extra scene after the initial credits, which is quite important for the future of the MCU. You do not want to miss it.
The film The Marvels premieres in the United States today, November 8th.
The Marvels gets the score 7 out of 10.