It may seem like too little too late – and maybe it is – but The Marvels is just now showing up as Video on Demands – twenty bucks a pop? Really? — and it’ll be streaming for “free” in February … which, I expect, is the way most of y’all will be seeing it. I mean, it didn’t get actively terrible reviews, just … limp ones. And even if it hadn’t been the victim of the worst possible timing, with the writers and actors strike making promotion nearly impossible, and the equally unfortunate downward trajectory of superhero movies in general over the last few years… hell, it could have been Iron Man 1 risen from the grave, and it would have had a tough time getting the attention it deserved.
But admit it, if only to yourself in the quiet of your iPhone: you are to watch it if you haven’t seen it already. You’re not going to drop a twenty for it, but you’re not going to run away from it when it shows up on Netflix or HBO or whatever. And let me tell you… if you keep your expectations fairly low, you won’t be too disappointed It ain’t no Avengers: Endgame or Spider-Verse, but it has its moments. And it ill leave you with one abiding question:
Why didn’t they just split this into six episodes, fluff it up a little with more character interaction, an d release it as a series on Disney Plus? Because in the quality of performance, the level of special effects, all of it – there really isn’t much difference between The Marvels and, say, Loki or Vision & Scarlet Witch.
Everybody here, with the possible exception of Iman Velani as the young Ms. Marvel, seems … tired of the whole thing. A little distracted. And yes, it’s probably past time to admit that Brie Larson isn’t any Robert Downey Jr. when it comes to charisma and conviction, in or out of costume. Few are, but in this case, it’s odd that the audience seems to be paying more attention to Iman than Brie in most scenes. And there was more interest in, “When are we going to see more of these Young Avengers” than “When are we going to see more Captain Marvel”?
By my estimate, this is not a major bomb. It’s not even a major disappointment, since the pre-publicity and review-bombing had lowered most folks’ – including my – expectation so much that I was mildly relieved that it didn’t suck. And it certainly isn’t any kind of larger proof that people are ‘tired of superhero movies.’ No, they aren’t. They’ll be lining up ten deep for Deadpool, and Daredevil, if they ever finish either of the damn things. They’re just tired of derivative, predictable, poorly told stories with characters you don’t care about, whether they’re superheroes or cops or the psycho-killer next door. Good movies in any genre? We’re ready and waiting (Except maybe westerns. No more westerns.)
Anyway: as a public service, I do delayah… don’t spend twenty dollars on renting The Marvels. You’ll feel heated just like you probably would have if you had seen it at the local Cineplex. But if you’re already a Disney Plus subscriber, or you plan on buying a month to catch up on all your Marvel and Stars stuff… sure. Include this in the mix. Personally, I liked Blue Beetle a whole lot more, right down to the family dynamic, but either way – you could do way worse.