West Springfield High School Newspaper

The Oracle

West Springfield High School Newspaper

The Oracle

West Springfield High School Newspaper

The Oracle

Higher, further, faster?

Photo courtesy of IMDb
“The Marvels” became the most streamed movie on Disney+ globally shortly after its Disney+ release.

“The Marvels” was a movie that fell prey to much bad luck, causing it to fail in terms of its box office revenue. However, the movie itself was enjoyable, although not perceived well by some viewers. 

“I thought it was a fun movie,” said sophomore Kalina Chang. “Definitely not one of Marvel’s best, but I thought it was enjoyable, and I had a fun time watching it with my family.”

“The Marvels” came out on November 10, 2023, making $46 million during its opening weekend. Overall, the movie made $206.1 million, considered a failure in the Marvel realm (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” had made $845.6 million, coming out May 5, 2023. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania” had made $476.1 million, coming out February 17, 2023, despite being received very poorly by critics and audiences alike).

 While it does have its flaws, as any movie does, its strengths exceeded its weaknesses, allowing the movie to be enjoyable and fun. Expectations of Marvel movies were raised to heights unachievable after “Avengers: Endgame,” but not every one of their movies has to be an event. This movie was just fun, requiring no extraneous thinking. One just needs to provide a positive attitude and a willingness to like the movie. 

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The core of this movie was the bond between the three main characters: Carol Danvers, known as Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonnah Parris) and Kamala Khan, known as Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani). Putting three characters together on screen who have already been in other Marvel projects and who have never been on screen together before is a risk, but it was one worth making. The chemistry between the three actresses elevated the entire movie. If their bond did not work or was not believable, the movie would have malfunctioned in the first 30 minutes. 

Seeing the mentorship between Carol and Kamala was hugely fun to watch, especially due to the fact that Kamala had always looked up to Carol; the niece/aunt bond reigniting between Carol and Monica was wonderfully sweet; and the sistership that developed between Kamala and Monica was something no one saw coming but everyone needed. 

“I know how the ‘never meet your heroes’ thing should be taken in some plots, but I like how on  this one, it wasn’t. The Carol and Kamala relationship wasn’t as big of a deal, it was just really cute and wholesome. Like, ‘Sure, meet your heroes. It’s not always bad,’” said senior Andy Ramzy. 

Vellani herself was the glue holding the whole movie together. Her blatant enthusiasm poured forth into her character, as she constantly cracked jokes, held the team together or very much embodied the audience. Vellani is a Marvel diehard, and her love for the character and the universe was contagious, almost palpable on screen, and the audience couldn’t help but root for her.

“I have a very special connection to Kamala because my dad had bought all the Ms. Marvel [comic] books for me. So having her in this movie was very, very exciting because I finally got to see her on the big screen,” said Chang.

The choreography of the fight scenes were unique and unlike anything else seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) before. Not only were fun songs layered on top, but the idea of the characters swapping places in space every time they used their powers generated stunts and choreography that were new and fascinating to watch. Seeing their wildly different fighting styles, from Kamala’s more elegant fighting, to Monica’s swift punches and blasts, to Carol’s full strength and power, made each fight scene visually pleasing to watch. 

“Honestly, it was done so well that I felt like I blinked and they switched, which I think was the whole point. So they did that really well,” said Ramzy.

The movie fell short in multiple respects, however. In a very literal sense, the movie fell too short. Coming in at about an hour-and-a-half, it felt cramped and rushed, causing the plot to feel limited due to its length. It left almost no room to explore certain aspects of the film, such as more information about the villain Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). Furthermore, the continuation of Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) story from the Marvel Studios’ show “Secret Invasion” were left untouched, as he was just used for comedic relief, creating plot holes and leaving questions for committed fans. 

Dar-Benn was almost immediately lobbed in with the list of Marvel’s worst villains. The acting from Ashton was as good as it could be, and she took the character as far as the writing  

would allow her. The problem was, indeed, in the writing. With almost no backstory or connection to the villain, there was no real way for the audience to connect with or sympathize with her. At the same time, she was not among Marvel’s more conventionally charming antagonists, such as Hela (Cate Blanchett) from Thor: Ragnarok  or Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) from Iron Man 2 . It felt like there was a lot of uncovered ground, and it made her character feel half fleshed out and not well-rounded. 

Overall, this movie was very good. It pushed women to the forefront, not just with its three main characters and villain, but also with its director, writer, composer and producer. This movie celebrated the talent, strength, vulnerability and sisterhood of women, helping to make up for the MCU’s first ten years, where their main character was always a man.

“I did think that they did a good job, because women’s representation wasn’t the sole focus of the movie. Because usually with women’s representation, it’s trying to make a big deal out of it, which can be [lengthy], but this was just some aliens from space trying to destroy the whole galaxy. So that was nice, and I think it is important because not everything can always be men, men, men. I mean, the whole world isn’t just men,” said Ramzy.


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