Marvel has finally unveiled its latest tentpole, “The Marvels,” and film journalists are calling the Nia DaCosta-directed tentpole a “short and sweet,” “astonishingly wacky” film that’s “full of girl power.”
Although many have been hesitant about the superhero movie’s potential, with a few already predicting “The Marvels” as a box office bomb — a surprising number of positive reactions poured in on social media Tuesday night. Washington Post reporter Herb Scribner described the film as “exactly what a comic book movie should be,” while “Deep Dive” host Erik Voss called it “astonishingly wacky.”
“It’s funny, silly, short and sweet, action-packed. Loved the cosmic sci-fi moments,” Scribner wrote on X/Twitter. “Plenty of MCU interconnectivity without being overbearing.”
“The Marvels” features the return of Brie Larson‘s Captain Marvel, whose 2019 standalone movie grossed $1.1 billion. “The Marvels” not only serves as a sequel to “Captain Marvel” but also to the Disney+ series “WandaVision,” “Ms. Marvel” and “Secret Invasion.” Larson’s Carol Danvers is forced to team up with Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) after they begin swapping places when they use their light-based powers. The trio link up with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to stop a Kree warrior hellbent on finding a new home for her people.
“It’s hilarious, action-packed & full of girl power” Pop Culture Planet founder Kristen Maldonado. “There was a great balance of the team, while dropping shocking bombs that will change EVERYTHING.”
“The Marvels” arrives amid a shaky year for the comic book movie genre. Marvel’s own “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and DC’s “The Flash” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” all flopped at the box office. The James Gunn-directed “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” ($845 million worldwide) was a success for Marvel, but “superhero fatigue” appears quite real at the moment.
“I think superhero fatigue absolutely exists,” DaCosta recently told. “The biggest difference from the other MCU movies to date is that [‘The Marvels’ is] really wacky, and silly. The worlds we go to in this movie are worlds unlike others you’ve seen in the MCU. Bright worlds that you haven’t seen before.”
Some were a bit more critical about “The Marvels,” with Collider’s Nate Richard saying that “the story is a huge mess with an underutilized villain and an underwhelming finale.” Andrew J. Salazar from DiscussingFilms said the MCU feature “feels like it lost its battle in the editing room,” adding that “scenes don’t flow into each other [and] you can’t tell when the first act or second act begins.”
All in all, however, there appears to be a glimpse of hope for “The Marvels,” as most critics praised the 105-minute runtime, DaCosta’s direction and the chemistry between the three female leads.
“Female Avengers team-up movie packs in chuckles, cats, hairballs, and musical sequences. Much more episodic than a cinematic endeavor, but I think that’s its greatest strength,” Variety‘s senior awards editor Clayton Davis wrote. “Great post-credits. Loved my leading lady trio. Great visual effects.”
“‘The Marvels’ is a good time at the movies. Definitely not everything works, and there are two cringe-inducing sequences that threaten to derail the whole thing,” wrote Clarence Moye, film and TV editor at Awards Daily. “BUT DeCosta can direct action sequences, it’s never boring, and the leads are all very good.”
“‘The Avengers’ movies are these epic conclusions to chapters of storytelling, whereas this is a team-up within the narrative that we didn’t necessarily expect for Marvel,” producer Mary Livanos added about what makes “The Marvels” stand out. “Usually, you wait for characters to show up all together in ‘Avengers’ movies. We were excited to design a team-up featuring characters that women from all walks of life could relate to.”
“The Marvels” is set to open in theaters Nov. 10 from Disney. Check out more first reactions to the film below.