I love Marvel movies. I get all giddy when the beginning logo pops up showing all the different heroes. So it took me a while to figure out why I felt kinda empty leaving “The Marvels.” I think it’s because it feels a bit empty, too.

The story doesn’t make much sense, and it’s nearly impossible to follow, but here’s the rundown: A wormhole somehow makes it so that Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Captain Monica Rambeau inconsistently swap physical locations with one another when they use their powers. There’s no point to this, other than to make the fights against the bad guys less like the 33 titles that entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) before this one. Otherwise, it’s all quite familiar; if you’re watching for eye candy, the movie meets the typical Marvel expectations of highly choreographed superpower battles on top of a stellar soundtrack.

Captain Marvel had previously destroyed an artificial intelligence that was ruining life on the Kree planet Hala, but this remedy only made the Kree’s situation worse. A brutal civil war followed, somehow ridding the planet of essential resources like oxygen, water, and apparently its sun. I’m not sure how that happens, but the story moves on. A Kree survivor known as Dar-Benn locates a Quantum Band, much like the one Ms. Marvel wears, and she uses it to jump around space and take those vital resources from other planets—targeting those that Captain Marvel cares most about.

The problem is the MCU is getting too big. We’ve already seen it literally expand into the multiverse, but the sheer volume of stories they’re trying to connect confuses projects like “The Marvels,” in which we’ve got a trio of superheroes that, sadly, I don’t care about. 

If you’re wondering why the movie didn’t do well at the opening weekend box office, it might be because to even know who these characters are you have to have seen the “Captain Marvel” movie and two Disney+ series, “Ms. Marvel” and “WandaVision.” That’s a big ask for the casual moviegoer. The writers try to mitigate this through a few flashbacks, but there’s just too much missing context. I’ve seen everything Marvel has put on the big screen over the last few decades, and I still struggled to follow along. 

Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) is a lovable goofball, but even that starts to get old. And while Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) has seemingly unlimited power, she has the personality of a cyborg (scratch that—the Guardians of the Galaxy’s robotic Nebula feels more human). 

Writers try to toss in some emotion through her relationship with Captain Rambeau, but those attempts earned more annoyance than sympathy. 

Captain Rambeau: “When I was a kid, you said you’d come back and visit. You didn’t, so I’m mad!”

Captain Marvel: “Pump the breaks, diva. I was saving entire galaxies.”

I’m paraphrasing, of course, but the angle was too stupid to take seriously and made both characters unlikeable in the moment. Poor Captain Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) feels like the forgotten middle child—neither the veteran authority in charge nor the young naive rookie—though it’s clear Marvel has big plans for her in the future.

I think I’ll always enjoy Marvel movies because superhero stories are fun and nostalgic. I hope so, anyway, because in an overpopulated cinematic universe, movies like “The Marvels” are like a dying star being pulled into a black hole. 

3/5 Pesky Wormholes


 I love Marvel movies. I get all giddy when the beginning logo pops up showing all the different heroes. So it took me a while to figure out why I  Read More