This far along the Marvel highway, it must be difficult to add much new and exciting to the franchise. With The Marvels, the filmmakers have tried to overcome these self-imposed limitations and have succeeded to a surprising degree.
Incorporating moments of hand-drawn animation and teen angst alongside contemporary family dynamics sets the film firmly in the current day. Basing almost all the action around the three main female characters, Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan is also a welcome change from the usual testosterone-fueled fare.
The story is not a particularly strong one but the interactions between the three ladies give the work most of its charm. The only male actor with any real screen time is Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and his role is merely there as window dressing. Even the almost always-present threat of world destruction is delivered with a light touch. Heavy going it is not.
In another departure from the norm, the running time is only 105 minutes. This helps the film from overstaying its welcome. As blockbuster movies slowly creep back onto our screens, it remains to be seen if they will still provide the box office punch they had pre-covid. We have enjoyed a more indie-flavoured film approach as of late and that might have refocused audience expectations.