WARNING: This story contains spoilers.
Missing Captain Marvel’s storyline in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and not sure where to see her again? Fear not, because she is one of the three main characters in the newest Marvel movie, “The Marvels.”
This movie follows Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau and Ms. Marvel as they team up against an alien villain who is set on her revenge. Captain Marvel, also known as Carol Danvers, has reclaimed her identity from the Kree and is set on vengeance for those who wronged her in the first movie. While patrolling anomalies in space, she finds a wormhole made by Dar-Benn, the emperor from the planet Hala seeking revenge for her dying planet. During the investigation, her powers become mixed with Jersey City superhero Ms. Marvel, as well as Captain Marvel’s estranged niece, S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau.
The stars in this movie joining Brie Larson are Iman Vellani, Teyonah Parris and a newcomer to the Marvel universe, Zawe Ashton. Samuel L. Jackson returns in his role of Agent Nick Fury. The film also stars South Korean actor Seo-Jun Park. It is directed by Nia DaCosta and produced by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.
Background on Captain Marvel’s character that continues from the first movie is included. Captain Marvel is an alien Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of a battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as a U.S. Air Force pilot. These memories show her flying planes with her best friend, Maria Rambeau. With help from Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls. She overpowers the villain Yon-Rogg and sends him to Hala with a warning for the Supreme Intelligence. She then departs to help the Skrulls find a new homeworld, leaving Fury a modified pager to contact her in an emergency. Fury drafts an initiative to locate heroes like Captain Marvel, naming it after her Air Force call sign, “Avenger.”
In addition to Captain Marvel’s story, both Monica Rambeau’s and Ms. Marvel’s stories continue in this blockbuster. Monica Rambeau is first seen as a S.W.O.R.D. agent in the Marvel show “WandaVision” that came out in 2021. This show is about Wanda Maximoff trapping a town under her powers to create a domesticated life for her and her dead partner, Vision, including having two small children with their own powers. Monica Rambeau receives her light-based powers from destroying the energy disruptor with her bare hands and being bombarded with extra-dimensional energy. At the end of the show, she is talking to a secret Skrull character, who informs her that she was sent by a “friend of her mom’s” because he wants to see her. When asked where the so-called friend is, the Skrull character simply points to space.
Ms. Marvel’s story also starts elsewhere. Kamala Khan is a 16-year-old high schooler and fangirl of the Avengers, particularly Captain Marvel. She gains the ability to harness energy and create light constructs from a magical bangle or long bracelet sent to her by Grandmother Sana in Pakistan. After putting the bangle on, it causes her to project constructs of cosmic energy. At the end of her show, Khan becomes a beloved figure in her community and takes the superhero name “Ms. Marvel” following a heart-to-heart with her father. Her best friend, Bruno, tells her that she possesses a genetic mutation that the rest of her family lacks. In an end credits scene, the bangle emits a strange glow before she switches places with Captain Marvel, leading the audience into the beginning of “The Marvels.”
The reviews of this movie have been less than ideal. While big companies are looking down on it, many individuals have more positive thoughts. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 61% on their Tomatometer and an 83% on the Audience Score. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times wrote, “‘The Marvels’ reunites old friends and foes while introducing new characters and developments, all of which will presumably be folded into future installments, as is the Marvel way.” Owen Gleibermam, the chief movie critic for “Variety,” also spoke on the looseness and randomness of the movie in an article.
“The leaps in tone would be less jarring if ‘The Marvels’ weren’t so skittery and episodic,” Gleibermam said.
“You can weave the plot together in your head, but you may have a harder time pretending to know why it matters — not within the metastasizing mythos of the MCU, but simply on its own,” Gleibermam continued.
The Bloomington-Normal area has many theaters that are showing “The Marvels.” The AMC Classic Normal 14 has multiple showings per day including ones in the evening and at night. Another available theater is the Marcus Bloomington Cinema. With many theaters, the matinee tickets are cheaper. Movies usually stay in theaters from a couple of weeks to multiple months — but Marvel movies, because of the franchise and recurring beloved characters, typically stay in theaters for 12 to 16 weeks. Like most, if not all Marvel movies, “The Marvels” has a credit scene at the very end.
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