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“The Marvels” is a maddening Marvel misfire

Teyonah Parris, Brie Larson and Iman Vellani star in “The Marvels." Vellani’s energizing presence is the best thing about this un-marvellous movie, while Larson looks and acts like a prisoner of her own film.

The Marvels

Starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, Teyonah Parris, Samuel L. Jackson and Zawe Ashton. Written by Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik. Directed by Nia DaCosta. Opens Friday in theatres everywhere. 105 minutes. PG

⭐️½ (out of 4)

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

“The Marvels” is the 33rd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it feels like the 333rd.

Shakily directed and co-written by Nia DaCosta (“Candyman”), it’s packed with so many zigzagging incidents and characters — including three superheroes whose powers and locations become entangled — it’s as if outtakes from other movies and TV shows were stitched together for a gag reel.

Except it’s not funny. This “Captain Marvel” sequel is also not dramatic, thrilling, profound, interesting or the least bit necessary, which explains why it’s not expected to do well at the box office this weekend, even if it manages to eke out a No. 1 placing. “The Marvels,” in short, is almost completely non-marvellous and a continuation of the MCU’s recent fall from public and critical favour.

Note I said it’s almost completely non-marvellous. What “The Marvels” has going for it, apart from a 105-minute running time that blessedly makes it the MCU’s shortest film ever, is the energizing presence of Canada’s Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, Marvel’s first Muslim superhero. She’s almost enough to save a movie that ultimately is beyond redemption.


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