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Laramie Movie Scope: The Marvels

A movie that requires Marvel immersion

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 15, 2023 – I am a fan of Marvel superhero movies, and I've seen all of them, but I felt a bit like an outsider on this one, because I did not know a thing about S.W.O.R.D. or S.A.B.E.R. After watching the movie, I had to do some research to figure out what I had seen.

It turns out that just watching all the movies and some of the Marvel series is not enough to keep up with all the developments in the Marvel storyline that happen after the movie “Captain Marvel” (2019). It seems like an awful lot happened in four years. It turns out that it may be longer than that in the official “Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline” Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson of “Room”) dates back to 1995 in the Marvel timeline.

Evidently, key elements of the storyline in this movie are borrowed from related Marvel shows like “Wandavision,” “Ms. Marvel” and “Secret Invasion,” as well as from other series and other Marvel Movies. Now, I have seen some of the Marvel TV series and streaming series, but I have not seen them all, and I haven't read the comics.

Considering the time and expense of subscribing to all the streaming networks it would take to watch all of these series, it is asking too much of the viewer who comes into the theater to watch “The Marvels” thinking this is a standalone movie. It is not. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the movie.

The movie does have a lot of humor in it and some good action scenes. Captain Marvel (AKA Carol Danvers) finds herself in a four-way quantum entanglement with three other characters in the movie, Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani of the “Ms. Marvel” miniseries) Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris of “Candyman”) who is the grown up daughter of the late Maria Rambeau and Kree leader Dar-Benn (played by Zawe Ashton of “Velvet Buzzsaw”).

Kamala and Dar-Benn are connected by the quantum bracelets they both wear. Carol and Monica are connected because they simultaneously contacted faster-than-light jump points that were being affected at the same time by Dar-Benn's quantum bracelet. This entanglement causes Carol, Monica and Kamala to instantly switch places with each other when they use their powers simultaneously. By the way, that is not how quantum entanglement works at all.

When Dar-Benn finds out that Kamala has the other matching quantum bracelet, she will do anything to get it. Dar-Benn hates Carol because Carol's well-intended actions on Kree somehow led to a civil war that decimated the Kree home world. Dar-Benn wants to both restore the Kree home world and punish Carol by destroying the worlds she loves.

Carol, Monica and Kamala team up to try and take away Dar-Benn's quantum bracelet (these bracelets are called Bangles in the movie, because that's easier to say). If the trio can take away Dar-Benn's bangle, that will greatly limit the amount of trouble she can cause. Dar-Benn also has a war hammer that looks like the one wielded by another Kree (Ronan, in “Guardians of the Galaxy” in 2014).

As usual, the grand scale of things in this story is huge, with not only Earth and the Kree home world at stake, but the entire universe, and maybe the multiverse as well. As usual, stay tuned for a couple of extra scenes after the credits start rolling. I liked the interplay between the main characters. Zawe Ashton, playing Dar-Benn, is an especially effective villain.

Of course, it would not be a Marvel movie without Samuel L. Jackson, appearing for the umpteenth time as Nick Fury, floating around in the S.A.B.E.R. space station with over 100 cat-like flerkens (I won't even try to explain this sentence, so you'll have to look it up, or watch the movie). Suffice it to say Fury and the flerkens are all part of one of the best scenes in the movie.

This movie is both loved and hated. I think part of the hate has to do with misogyny by those who don't like superhero movies with a feminist point of view, starring powerful, assertive women characters, as seen in this movie, and others, like “Eternals” (2021) “Ghostbusters” (2016) and “Wonder Woman 1984” (2020). The level of hatred is so high that some actresses in these movies have received death threats. This is a serious problem in our so-called “enlightened” society.

As for me, I am a feminist, and have no problems with movies about women, directed by women, like this one, and “Women Talking” (2022). As I said, I did enjoy this movie, even though I think it does have problems, including not really being standalone movie, and a plot that is way too busy with exaggerated grudges, complications and technobable. This movie rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2023 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]