The MCU’s latest installment, ‘The Marvels,’ has found itself under the critical microscope, and the verdict is far from stellar. Critics have honed in on several aspects that contribute to the film’s lukewarm reception, ranging from forced humour to a disjointed storyline.
One of the notable criticisms revolves around the film’s attempt at humour. While Marvel movies are no strangers to wit and banter, ‘The Marvels’ seems to have taken a page from its predecessors without adding much innovation. The quick-witted jokes, reminiscent of those in ‘The Avengers,’ now come off as a tired formula. Even the success of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ with its humour doesn’t quite translate to this installment, with critics suggesting that the comedic elements sometimes overshadow the narrative itself.
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As Owen Glieberman of Variety succinctly puts it, “The bits of absurd comedy tend to feel strained.” This is echoed by many who argue that the humour, once a highlight of Marvel films, now risks becoming a cliché.
Adding an unexpected twist to the mix is a lengthy musical segment, drawing inspiration from ‘Ms. Marvel’s solo series. While the idea of a planet communicating through song and dance may sound intriguing, it appears to be a misstep in the eyes of critics. Some describe it as out-of-place, making the movie feel shallow and creating a disconnect with the audience. Richard Whittaker of the Austin Chronicle quips, “[Nick Fury]’s saved the indignity of the MCU’s second and by far the worst song-and-dance sequence.”
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The storyline itself faces criticism for lacking cohesion, earning the title of the “messiest Marvel movie.” The combination of powers from Kamala Khan, Monica Rambeau, and Carol Danvers teaming up against the tyrant Dar-Benn seems more like a sequence of set pieces than a well-crafted narrative. Matt Singer of ScreenCrush captures this sentiment succinctly by labelling it as the “messiest Marvel movie.”
Technical jargon has long been a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in ‘The Marvels,’ it seems to have reached a tipping point. Critics argue that the dialogue is bogged down by excessive nonsensical explanations, creating an annoyance rather than enhancing the viewing experience. Linda Marric of The Jewish Chronicle notes, “I would have just liked to see a little more story and less pseudo-science.”
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The film’s potential dynamic between its three leading ladies, Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan, falls short of expectations. Despite the cosmic intervention that brings them together, some critics find the interactions unconvincing and poorly scripted. Mike Massie of Gone With The Twins criticizes the personas as “so poorly scripted that audiences will surely feel the grating lack of chemistry and creativity.”
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe approaches its 15th year, signs of superhero fatigue are becoming apparent. Recent offerings, aside from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,’ have struggled to captivate both audiences and critics. ‘The Marvels’ may be the tipping point for some, prompting questions about the necessity of a constant stream of Marvel products. Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com concludes, “The clearest evidence yet that maybe we don’t need some sort of Marvel product in theatres or on streaming at all times.”
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In an era hungry for fresh and engaging content, ‘The Marvels’ appears to have missed the mark. The mix of humour, music, and storytelling, falling short of expectations, leaves critics pondering whether the once-invincible Marvel Cinematic Universe is losing its magic.