tek's rating: ¾

The Marvels (PG-13)
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Caution: spoilers!

This 2023 film (set in 2026) is a sequel to Captain Marvel, as well as the web series Ms. Marvel and WandaVision. It's the third movie in Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 33rd film overall. It failed to recoup its budget, which I think is a shame because I loved the movie. But it did make over $200 million, so that just goes to show budgets are overblown, these days. That kind of box office, in my opinion, should be more than enough to make any movie a blockbuster hit.

At the start of the movie, the new leader of the Kree, Dar-Benn, discovers one of two Quantum Bands, which she plans to use to save her people's planet, Hala, which had been devastated by civil war. Meanwhile, Kamala Khan (aka Ms. Marvel) finds her bangle (which is the other Quantum Band) activates, and she switches places with astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau, ending up in space, while Captain Marvel (aka Carol Danvers) ends up in Kamala's house on Earth, and Monica ends up... wherever Carol had been. (I forget whether we saw that during the initial switch.) The story flashes back to the previous day, when Dar-Benn created a jump point using her Quantum Band. And... I forget the exact details, but Monica was investigating some anomalous behavior from Earth's jump point just as Carol investigates the new jump point. That's when the switch between the three happened, as their light-based powers became entangled. A lot more switching places happens, and they eventually figure out that it happens whenever they uses their powers at the same time, so once they're all together, they try to stop doing that (and at one point practice controlling the switches).

Um... yeah, so much stuff happens that I can't keep it entirely straight. But at one point Carol, Monica, and Kamala all go to a planet where there's a Skrull refugee colony, and peace talks between the Skulls and the Kree are ongoing (a plot point that had been established at the end of Secret Invasion). But Carol's investigation... wait, I think that happened before the other two were there... man it's hard to keep track of everything. Carol's investigation unwittingly put an end to the peace talks, because Dar-Benn blamed the Skrulls for her interference. (The Kree all call Carol "The Annihilator", because when she destroyed the AI that ruled them, known as the Supreme Intelligence, 30 years ago, she triggered the civil war that destroyed their world and its sun.) I'm a bit confused, because at this point, Dar-Benn creates a jump point to steal the Skrulls' air, but I thought that had happened elsewhere, earlier. Gah, jumping around in time is not good for my understanding of plots, sometimes. So I'm not sure what the earlier jump point was for, if not stealing air. Anyway, Carol, Monica, and Kamala try to help evacuate as many Skrulls as possible, but a lot of them die.

Then the three heroes (aka "the Marvels") go to another planet, where at some point in the past Carol had gotten married to Prince Yan, for reasons that aren't made entirely clear. But the people of this planet communicate through song, so it feels a bit like a musical (and before the movie came out I think there was some speculation that the whole movie was going to be a musical, because of this one scene). But luckily, they can just talk with Yan, because he's "bilingual". (Though it seems strange to me that all the alien races in the movie appear to speak- or sing- English, which can't be true. There must be some kind of translator in effect, but no mention is made of any such thing.) Anyway, Carol believes Dar-Benn is going to come there next to steal the planet's water for Hala, and of course she's right. So there's a big battle. Meanwhile, the creation of new jump points had been destabilizing the whole network of jump points around the universe, and the last one Dar-Benn creates, near Earth's sun, to steal its energy to reignite Hala's sun, causes a tear in spacetime, and opens a portal to an parallel universe. And I'm still getting things out of order. But the Marvels try to take Dar-Benn's Quantum Band, but she ends up getting Kamala's instead, and then somehow the Marvels' quantum entanglement ends, so they won't be switching places anymore. But Dar-Benn ends up being destroyed by the tear she had created, I guess, and Kamala gets both Quantum Bands.

And... the Marvels manage to close the tear in spacetime, but that leaves Monica trapped in the other universe. I'm leaving out tons of details, like I haven't even mentioned Kamala's house in Jersey City being wrecked, and her parents and brother going up to Nick Fury's SABER space station, and the evacuation of the SABER station after the tear in spacetime caused some troubles for it, and a certain aspect of how the station was evacuated (which is a solution I came up with probably a few seconds before Fury did). And Kamala finally returns to Earth, while Carol goes to Hala to reignite its sun with her own powers. There are things I'm left wondering about, like what happened to the other jump points that were already destabilizing the network? That was never addressed. And did the water ever get returned to that one planet? And after all the action is over with, Carol moves into Monica's house in Louisiana (a fact that I read while working on this review; while watching the movie, I thought the Khans were moving into the house, which confused me). Um... and I was wondering why we never saw Kamala's sister-in-law in the movie. And... I guess that's enough to wonder about. But at the end of the movie, Kamala gets to act like Nick Fury herself, which must have been a hell of a lot of fun for her, when she invites Kate Bishop (from Hawkeye) to join a new team of young super heroes. I loved that scene. And all of Kamala's fangirling over Captain Marvel and Nick Fury, throughout the movie. Yeah, she's definitely my favorite character. But all the characters were good. I just thought it was a super fun movie, overall. Even if parts of it were confusing. Oh! And I guess Valkyrie is going to find a new home for the Skrulls. I hope to learn more about that at some point.

There's a mid-credits scene with Monica in the other universe, but I won't spoil any details of that. It was pretty cool, though, and I'm sure it will pay off in a huge way in future films.


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Marvel Cinematic Universe
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Phase One: Iron Man * The Incredible Hulk * Iron Man 2 * Thor * Captain America * The Avengers
Phase Two: Iron Man 3 * Thor: The Dark World * Captain America: The Winter Soldier * Guardians of the Galaxy * Avengers: Age of Ultron * Ant-Man
Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War * Doctor Strange * Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 * Spider-Man: Homecoming * Thor: Ragnarok *
Black Panther * Avengers: Infinity War * Ant-Man and the Wasp * Captain Marvel * Avengers: Endgame * Spider-Man: Far from Home
Phase Four: Black Widow * Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings * Eternals * Spider-Man: No Way Home *
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness * Thor: Love and Thunder * Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Phase Five: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania * Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 * The Marvels
short films: Marvel One-Shots
TV: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. * Agent Carter * Inhumans * Cloak & Dagger
Netflix: Daredevil * Jessica Jones * Luke Cage * Iron Fist * The Defenders * The Punisher
Hulu: Runaways * Helstrom
Disney+ (P4): WandaVision * The Falcon and the Winter Soldier * Loki * What If...? * Hawkeye * Moon Knight * Ms. Marvel * I Am Groot *
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law * Werewolf by Night * Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Disney+ (P5): Secret Invasion * Loki s2 * Echo