The Marvels Parent Guide
The action keeps moving, and the jokes keep coming. This superhero flick is well paced and well balanced.
Parent Movie Review
It’s known as “blowback” – an unforeseen, unwanted effect or consequence. In this story, blowback goes both ways.
For Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), it all begins on the planet Hala. In her attempts to save the Kree people from the tyranny of the Supreme Intelligence, an AI that rules them, and to protect the Skrull people from Kree aggression, Danvers triggers unexpected consequences. Devastation is the result, and Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) seizes control, determined to restore Hala to greatness. All she needs is a set of arm cuffs with unimaginable powers.
Dar-Benn soon experiences blowback from her own plans. As she manipulates the jump points that permit interstellar travel, she sets in motion events that unite Danvers, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani). The three women find that their light-based powers have merged and they inadvertently switch back and forth between each other’s locations. Realizing what they’re up against, the women work to gain control of the switching problem and coordinate their powers – thereby giving Dar-Benn an unexpected obstacle on her path to planetary destruction…
When it comes to Marvel movies, I’m basically agnostic. Don’t love ‘em, don’t hate ‘em. I watch them from time to time but find the quality variable. Luckily for me, The Marvels delivers solid, balanced entertainment that kept me focused on the action and laughing at the jokes.
Of late, too many action movies have suffered from excessive bloat; thankfully, this flick keeps the action moving and the jokes coming. I’ve never watched the Ms. Marvel series on Disney+, but Kamala Khan and her family provide the humor this film needs. All that “saving the universe” stuff can easily make superhero movies feel pretentious, but the jokes in this script balance out the interplanetary peril quite nicely. Goose the cat also keeps things light – and occasionally gross – and those of you who are die-hard Marvel fans will appreciate the chance to see more Flerken save the day.
All this praise isn’t to say that the movie is perfect. Frankly, I could do without having a planet where all dialogue is sung, but at least it’s tongue-in-cheek. The movie’s villain is particularly disappointing. Her overall career indicates that Zawe Ashton is capable of chewing scenery with gusto, but she misses the mark as Dar-Benn. Ashton manages to have “crazy eyes” when necessary, but for the most part she just looks like she’s had a bad day at the dentist and her teeth hurt. Not sure if it’s the gold tooth grills she’s wearing or if she’s trying to look menacing, but it fails to be fearsome.
If you’re considering this film for family viewing, you can be reassured that violence is less frequent than most similar productions, and it’s not terribly gory. There’s plenty of destroyed infrastructure and some planetary catastrophes, but few scenes of up-close blood or death. With no sex, no booze, and minimal profanity, The Marvels is on the safer side for superhero stories. It also carries themes about the power of friendship, cooperation, forgiving oneself, making restitution for past wrongs, duty, courage, and self-sacrifice. The movie also offers one final, critically important warning: never, ever let Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) run an evacuation – especially if Goose is involved.Directed by Nia DaCosta. Starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, Teyonah Parris . Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release November 10, 2023. Updated November 10, 2023
Watch the trailer for The Marvels
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Marvels rated PG-13? The Marvels is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for action/violence and brief language.
Violence: There are frequent scenes of physical combat with people being punched, kicked, thrown. Weapons violence is also common, featuring bladed weapons and sci-fi energy weapons. Superheroes use their powers to overpower opponents. Spoiler: A character uses technology to ecologically devastate planets and it is certain that many residents die.
Sexual Content: None noted.
Profanity: There are approximately a half dozen profanities in the script, including two scatological curses plus terms of deity and minor profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated November 10, 2023
The Marvels Parents' Guide
Why is Monica angry with Carol? What is behind Carol’s protracted absence from Earth? What were Carol’s intentions on the planet Hala? What resulted? How does she react to those consequences? What do you think would have been more productive? How do her friends help her reframe the events and her future responsibilities?
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The imminent destruction of the Klingon home planet is the basis for another sci-fi movie: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Environmental catastrophe threatens the earth in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.