In the nine months since Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania hit theaters, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone through some sizable upheavals. More recent weeks have been particularly heavy with discussions about the megafranchise’s future, something that Marvel itself has quietly acknowledged by pushing back three of its planned movies for 2024 into 2025. (Yes, the Hollywood strikes played the heaviest hand in those delays, but the MCU’s very public shakiness this year can’t be ignored.)
The Woman Who Would Be Photon
The MCU (and perhaps superhero movies in general) falling out of favor this year hangs over The Marvels in a real way. Billed as an action comedy uniting Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau/Spectrum, and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, the film sees the trio switching locations whenever two (or all) of them use their powers simultaneously. What sounds like a pretty fun setup for a team-up movie featuring a veteran hero and two relative up-and-comers is garnering a mixed reaction amongst critics and audiences. The performances of the three leading ladies and Nia DaCosta’s direction have been praised as high marks, but it’s catching the same flak that other MCU material has as of late—namely, it feels like it’s been rewritten too much (or not enough), the VFX fluctuates in quality, and it manages to both have a real ending while being wholly unable to resist doing the setup game in its final five minutes.
It’s hard to know how The Marvels will ultimately shake out in the public eye, given the baggage surrounding this movie in regards to the strikes and its parent series. Right now, it’s looking like the lowest-performing MCU film in North America at $47 million and $110.3 million globally. Things may change now that the actors can actually promote the movie, but there’s also some sizable competition in the holiday movie season with next week’s Hunger Games: Ballads of Songbirds & Snakes and Thanksgiving, Disney’s Wish during the actual Thanksgiving, and other films coming in the tail end of the year.
Let us know in the comments below what you thought of the film, how it stacks up with other recent MCU fare, and where you want the titular Marvels to go next in their eventual future solo ventures.
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