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‘The Marvels’ superhero movie hit by some critics as contender for ‘worst Marvel film yet’

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“The Marvels,” headlined by progressive actress Brie Larson, was blasted by critics from many of the most powerful media outlets as yet another flop.

“The Marvels,” released on Friday, has been shredded by many critics and currently sits at a grim 43% among the “Top Critics” category on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregator website at the time this article was written.

Michael O’Sullivan of the Washington Post declared that “Despite its progressive bona fides, ‘The Marvels’ is so fueled by fan service and formula, like pretty much everything in the MCU these days, that it gives short shrift to such basics as narrative comprehension.” 

Captain Marvel

Screencap from the final trailer of “The Marvels” by Marvel Entertainment on the Marvel Entertainment YouTube channel. (Marvel Entertainment)

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Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post noted previous poorly received Marvel films by name, “If you thought ‘Eternals’ and ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ were low points for the limping Marvel Cinematic Universe, strap in for the ride to abject misery that is ‘The Marvels.’”

Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press noted that this film is part of a recent phenomenon of “pandering” among Marvel properties.

“As is often the case with Marvel’s girl power attempts, it feels a little pandering in all the wrong places and doesn’t really engage with any specific or unique female point of view,” she wrote.

Donald Clarke of the Irish Times dubbed “The Marvels” a “solid contender for the worst Marvel film yet” and wrote, “To say The Marvels is hard to watch would be to risk understatement. It’s not just that it’s not very good. It is hard to watch in the sense that a tree is hard to defibrillate.”

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle offered a backhanded compliment that the film is at least mercifully short, “Thankfully, the movie clocks in at a mere 105 minutes. ‘The Marvels’ doesn’t have much to say, but at least it says it quickly.”

Chris Evans as 'Captain America' looks up in the sky as he is surrounded by other Avengers including Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Iron Man (Anthony Stark) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)

Many have noted a sharp decline in Marvel movies as key stars like Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., (who played iconic superheroes Captain America and Iron Man, respectively) have moved on from the franchise. (Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

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A long way from the ubiquitous popularity of Marvel’s Avengers movies, Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com noted that this movie is “the clearest evidence yet that maybe we don’t need some sort of Marvel product in theaters or on streaming at all times.”

“’Higher, further, faster’ ran the original Captain Marvel’s rousing tagline,” Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph recalled. “’Have we reached the bottom yet?’ would be an apt one for this.”

Peter Travers of ABC news declared that this film is a sign that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has fallen from being a “spawner of glories” in the past.

“Poised between goofy and godawful and plagued by rewrites and reshoots, this 33rd entry in the Marvel cinematic universe is in serious disrepair,” he wrote. “The MCU, once the spawner of glories, is stuck in a rut. The time for a rethink is now.”

Zachary Barnes of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The superhero is as bored as we are, but the Marvel machine grinds on.”

The movie did receive some backhanded compliments and positive reviews; one Guardian writer declared, “It is all, of course, entirely ridiculous, but presented with such likable humour and brio, particularly the Marvels’ visit to a planet where everyone sings instead of speaks.”

Peter Howell of the Toronto Star praised the film for including a Muslim superhero, but warned that could not redeem the movie as a whole.

“What ‘The Marvels’ has going for it, apart from a 105-minute running time… is the energizing presence of Canada’s Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, Marvel’s first Muslim superhero,” he wrote. “She’s almost enough to save a movie that ultimately is beyond redemption.”

Jake Wilson of The Age declared this film was proof that Marvel “finally got the girl power memo” at the expense of male “fanboys..”

“A large portion of The Marvels feels designed to troll the fanboys, and god bless DaCosta for that. Carol’s spaceship resembles a comfy student common room, with throw cushions and popcorn on hand,” he wrote. He later added that “subtextually this may be the queerest Marvel production yet.”

Larson herself has previously made headlines both for her advocacy of liberal politics and her co-star Samuel L. Jackson claiming in a Rolling Stone interview that he had to console her after being “broken” by the Trump presidency.

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