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The Marvels first reactions roll in amid low box office projections

MCU is in need of positive reviews after a bumpy year – but what’s the verdict?

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 09 November 2023 20:58 GMT
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The Marvels trailer

A new Marvel film is almost here and the verdicts are rolling in – but is it a return to form for the studios after the flop that was Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania?

The once unstoppable Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has showed signs of, if not stopping, then slowing down since the release of blockbuster Avengers: Endgame in 2019.

Since then, there have been several attempts to launch fresh franchises led by new characters and sequels considered the weakest in their 32-film history.

But, despite finding box office success with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, Marvel is in need of a powerhouse hit – and it’s hoping to find that in The Marvels. Starring Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani, the film is a follow-up to 2019 film Captain Marvel as well as TV shows WandaVision and Ms Marvel.

However, box office projections are not looking good – one week after being projected to amass an opening weekend of $75m-$80m, these estimates have now been lowered to $60m-$65m, which would be one of the lowest openings ever for a Marvel film.

The Marvels, which is directed by Nia DaCosta, has now been screened for critics days before its worldwide release, and the verdicts are fairly divisive if erring on the side of positive.

While some are praising the film as a “pleasant surprise” and a generally fun ride in the MCU, and others are calling it a “disjointed mess” of a film with a “rushed” final act that feels as if there are scenes missing.

Fandango’s Erik Davis wrote: “Nia DaCosta’s #TheMarvels is a great time at the movies! It’s well paced & full of frantic, hilarious energy. I even liked it more than 2019’s #CaptainMarvel. This thing moves!”

Rotten Tomatoes critic Tessa Smith said: “The Marvels is a whole lot of fun! Hilarious, action packed! Kamala Khan & her family steal the show, but seeing this teamup of 3 powerful ladies is something special! The most excited I’ve been for the future of Marvel in a LONG time!”

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Geekly Gods YouTube star Leo Rydel mostly praised the film, highlighting Ima Vellani’s performance as Ms Marvel aka Kamala Khan. However, Rydel – and plenty of critics – said that one of the weakest aspects of the film was its villain, played by Zawe Ashton.

“Dar-Benn was a bad villain,” Rydel continued, stating: “Her motive, character, and acting were dry. She lacks the presence of a good villain and isn’t unique or memorable.”

Zawe Ashton as the villain in ‘The Marvels’ (Marvel Studios)

Others were not impressed with the film at all, with @griffschiller calling the film “Josstice League levels of bad”, in reference to Justice League, which is considered to be one of the worst supehero films ever made.

He wrote: “Idk what the hell I just sat through. So many random threads, empty payoffs, a lack of any real emotion or character. Tonally & narratively a Jackson Pollock painting. A season finale to a non existent season of television. A mess.”

Find more reactions to The Marvels below.

The Marvels is in cinemas 10 November.

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