The Marvels

12 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD

Much like many of their heroes facing a menacing enemy, Marvel is in trouble. Many of their new releases are ominously under-performing, that seems to signal a significant disinterest from global audiences in their current cinematic universe.

One case in point is The Marvels, which only just managed to break the $200 million mark globally, which sounds a nice number, until you factor in that it cost over $270 million to make.

So is it a case of it being just another poor superhero flick, or did it just meet its toughest foe – an audience’s suffering from superhero fatigue?

boom reviews The Marvels
No, we are not the new Charlie's Angels - d'uh!

There is a dispute in the universe, between the Krees and the Skrulls, which sees Kree leader Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) pull no punches, as her planet and people are dying. It just so happens the reason for it is a certain Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), so there’s genuine beef there.

Dar-Benn uses a power from an ancient relic, known as a Quantum Band, that allows her to create jump points throughout the universe, which finds Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) investigating one in space.

This soon leads to chaos, with Monica, Captain Marvel and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) AKA Ms Marvel, all swapping locales, back and forth between them. It doesn’t take them long to decide that whatever Dar-Benn has planned, she needs to be stopped, and it just may take a new superhero team to defeat her.

boom reviews  The Marvels
I just need the bathroom real bad!!!!

The Marvels sees a convergence of a number of characters, all with differing profiles. You have Larson, with a character that has grown on the big screen, and then both Parris and Vellani being promoted from their respective Disney + shows, WandaVision and Ms Marvel. It’s a clear attempt at not only promoting a more feminine superhero agenda, but also a mini-Avengers style team up, both of which are refreshing.

But it’s possibly this very thing that was its downfall. Regular Marvel cinema-goers will probably be aware of Captain Marvel, but the other two characters may well not have appeared on their superhero radar, especially as there has been so much content spewed out onto Disney+ in the last few years.

It’s a shame because relative newcomer Nia DaCosta, has done a great job of directing one of the most entertaining entries in the MCU in recent years. Sure the story isn’t great, feeling a little contrived in places, and although it’s great to see another Brit in Ashton bossing it in the MCU – much like her real-life hubby Tom Hiddleston, who’s, you know, Loki – it’s one of those super-villains that takes their job far too seriously, which is usually at the expense of a personality, as is the case here.

However, DaCosta really takes a grip of it, and injects a healthy amount of pacing, meaning there’s very rarely a dull moment. There’s a welcome amount of silliness too, as if the director was inspired by a certain Thor: Ragnarok, with a singing planet and a cute cat or three all involved.

It’s shining star however is Vellani, who has stepped up to the cinematic plate with aplomb, with her adorable Ms Marvel; she continues with her fangirl mentality, that goes off the scale with her main hero Captain Marvel, making her a joy to watch throughout.

There’s no doubt that there is a genuine superhero fatigue looming heavy on the horizon, and Marvel only have themselves to blame, but The Marvels certainly didn’t deserve as rough a reception as it received. Hopefully it will find its audience with its Home Entertainment release, because this is a film that gave a super-heroic effort at delivering a hugely entertaining film.

we give this four out of five