The Marvels: Mark Kermode’s superhero movie review (video).

Our man of many movies, Mark Kermode, is here again to bring you his take on the latest MCU superhero movie offering – The Marvels.

2023 is the year the Marvel Cinematic Universe decided to play quantum leapfrog and brought us The Marvels. This isn’t just any superhero flick; it’s like the MCU’s version of a wild family reunion, but with more quantum physics and less awkward conversations about why you’re still single.

Director’s Chair: Nia DaCosta’s Cosmic Rodeo

Enter Nia DaCosta, the director who looked at the MCU and thought, “Let’s add a dash of cosmic chaos and a sprinkle of quantum headaches.” Co-writing the screenplay with Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik, DaCosta embarked on a journey that made Doctor Strange’s magic look like a children’s magic kit.

The Plot: When Superhero Scheduling Goes Haywire

Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, joins forces with Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan, or as the cool kids call her, Ms. Marvel. Our heroes, through a twist of quantum entanglement (because that’s a thing now), start swapping places every time they flex their super-muscles. Picture this: you’re about to land a solid punch, and poof! You’re now shopping for groceries in another galaxy. Talk about inconvenient.

This quantum conundrum leads to a series of mix-ups and showdowns that, frankly, make you wonder if they should’ve just started a group chat instead. The trio takes on Dar-Benn and her universe-endangering shenanigans, involving ripping open jump points and casually attempting to steal Earth’s sun. As one does on a slow Tuesday.

The Cast: A Trio of Powerhouse Performers

Brie Larson reprises her role as the universe-saving, workaholic Carol Danvers. Teyonah Parris steps up as Monica Rambeau, bringing electromagnetic spectrum manipulation to the table, which is way cooler than anything you could bring to a potluck. Iman Vellani, as Kamala Khan, balances teenage angst with cosmic power juggling. It’s like high school drama meets space opera.

And Samuel L. Jackson? He’s back as Nick Fury, the man who’s seen everything twice and still manages to be surprised by intergalactic shenanigans.

Production: A Journey of Intergalactic Proportions

Filming this cosmic rodeo wasn’t a walk in the park. It was more like a sprint across multiple universes. From Pinewood Studios to the scenic coasts of Tropea, Italy, The Marvels had sets that made Star Trek’s Enterprise look like a DIY project. Imagine coordinating a shoot across five different planets and a space station. You’d need more than a good GPS for that.

Box Office: The Tumultuous Tale of Ticket Sales

Now, let’s talk turkey. Or rather, box office numbers. With a modest opening weekend haul of $48.5 million, some called it a box-office bomb. Maybe audiences were saving up for the next Spider-Man movie? Or perhaps they were just out watching the real stars. Either way, The Marvels had a bumpy ride in theatres.

Critics’ Corner: A Mixed Bag of Marvel Magic

Critics had a field day with this one. Praises were sung for DaCosta’s direction and the lead trio’s chemistry. But the plot? Let’s just say it had more holes than Swiss cheese in a shooting range. It was a wild ride through the cosmos, leaving some viewers needing a map to navigate the story.

In Conclusion: A Cosmic Kaleidoscope of Chaos

The Marvels was like a space-age Shakespearean drama with less “to be or not to be” and more “to swap or not to swap.” It had heart, humor, and heroes stuck in a cosmic game of musical chairs. Sure, it wasn’t a walk in the Marvel park, but hey, it was a valiant effort in stringing together a narrative that spanned galaxies. And for that, we give a quantum-sized round of applause.


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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