image credit: Disney

Movie Review: The Marvels (2023) ****

Hey, I didn’t hate this one!

Long before I started forming (only slightly) more cogent movie opinions, my rule for answering “Is this movie any good?” was based upon whether or not it bores me. If I wasn’t bored watching a movie, it was Good Enough.

By 35-year-old Sara standards, The Marvels wasn’t really any good. The story was nigh incoherent. The stakes were flimsy. The movie did not take its own central drama seriously.

But I was Not Bored in a very pleasant way for most of The Marvels after the first twenty minutes or so, which means there is a solid hourish of watchable movie there. You can’t have any expectations for Actual Plot because, again, flimsy and incoherent. Let me tell you a little secret about American cape comics though: The writing is almost never the strong suit anyway. I don’t really care when Marvel movies are badly written. I’m willing to meet them on their level, like The Eternals.

What I hope to get is gonzo, Golden Age nonsense, and The Marvels delivered with alien kittens devouring people. Why is there a planet where people have to sing to understand each other? Who freakin cares. Did you notice that Kamala is dancing the whole time? It’s adorable. I want Captain Marvel’s dress. The graphics are pretty. Teyonah Parris. There’s just so much to speak for it.

Really, I’m mostly here for Baby Lesbian Kamala, who surely leaves The Marvels with a whole lotta brand-new confusing fetishes for violent mommies. I have never seen more of a Flop-Sweat Lesbian Panic than the moment where Kamala realizes that Captain Marvel was actually in her bedroom. That’s how I would feel if Brie Larson showed up in my house too. Kamala has so many fan-drawings of herself hugging/helping/living a beautiful life with Captain Marvel, and I relate so strongly.

There’s no heterosexual explanation for anything happening with Captain Marvel. She doesn’t have to grapple the generic hot mommy villain so intimately, but she does, and bless her heart for it. There’s no denying Captain Marvel is Monica’s lesbian mommy and they can’t reconcile missing Captain Marvel’s wife. You just can’t!

Only a lesbian would look at the prince of the magical singing ocean planet and think, “Yeah, let’s make this a marriage of convenience rather than hanging out to rail this hot guy wearing this beautiful dress.”

Only a lesbian would have this much of her hero arc based upon the activity of an orange cat. If you read that sentence and thought, “But I’m not a lesbian and I’d have a hero arc based on an orange cat?” then you’re a lesbian. I don’t make the rules.

Baby Lesbian Kamala’s family is also a very sparkling highlight of the movie, much with the family in Blue Beetle, and I was happy to see them even if they got better writing on Kamala’s show. I also really enjoyed Samuel L. Jackson’s commitment to enjoying himself throughout the film. This man is tired of taking life seriously, and I enjoyed the haze of compersion from watching Nick Fury ham it up alongside kittens, family, and my sweet flaw-free niece Kamala.

This whole thing is really a rollicking good time for families, if you ask me. I rewound the scene with the kittens eating people twice to show my kids. I’ll probably make my spouse watch this later because I think he’ll also love Kamala and kittens. Kamala, kittens, and “this one is for the girls and gays” as an overwhelming priority makes this one of the most tolerable MCU entries I’ve watched since the Kamala show.

(image credit: Disney)

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