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“The Marvels” Expands the Multiverse Saga “Higher, Further, Faster”

“The Marvels” is the latest film in Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Serving as a sequel to the 2019 hit film “Captain Marvel,” the movie builds on the established success of the first while also building for the franchise’s future.

The film is directed by Nia DeCosta, who previously worked with co-lead Teyonah Parris on the 2021 reboot of “Candyman.” Now, she has been given a $220 million budget to deliver a breezy cosmic adventure that’s equal parts fast-paced, hilarious and often heartwarming. 

While the plot may not reinvent the wheel that’s been rolling since Marvel released the first “Iron Man” in the year 2008, longtime fans of the franchise will find plenty to enjoy. The cast plays off each other remarkably well, especially in the case of the three leads. In addition to Larson’s role in the previous film; Paris’ role as the Photon was set up in the hit spinoff series “WandaVision.” Iman Vellani previously had her own series as Kamala Khan, better known as the titular “Ms. Marvel.” Though working knowledge of the many spinoff series on Disney Plus (such as this year’s “Secret Invasion”) is not necessarily required, it does help with the many details the film expands upon.

On top the film further laying the foundation for the X-Men and other characters from Marvel that previously saw release under the banner of (now Disney-owned) 20th Century Fox (with a formal entry set for next summer’s “Deadpool 3”); the film’s short but sweet 105-minute runtime incorporates worlds and realities from across the comic publisher’s vast legacy. 

Overall, “The Marvels” is an easy recommendation for this holiday movie season. Though not the breath of fresh air the first film was, it still takes the Multiverse Saga “higher, further, faster.”

“The Marvels” Expands the Multiverse Saga “Higher, Further, Faster”

By Steven Pryor

Directed by Nia DeCosta (based on characters created by Marvel Comics)

Starring Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani and Samuel L. Jackson

Rated PG-13

My Rating: ★★★★½

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