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Brie Larson gets some help this time

“The Marvels” is a movie about a fashion accessory collector who covets a complete arm bling set of four shiny bracelets known as the Quantum Bands and begins a new tear across the galaxy as the fearsome leader of the Kree alien race. One.

“Marvels” is also about three women determined to prevent the story from reaching an apocalyptic conclusion; They’re all Marvel. Of course, nothing is ever set in stone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the 33rd movie in the officially confirmed MCU, which at this point also means More Unnecessary Episodes.

On the other hand: There are some aspects of director and co-writer Nia DaCosta’s delightfully strange film. It’s a really weird situation; his nervous energy diverts things reasonably well. There is also an extended scene of Flenen. You may remember from earlier Wonders that Fyken disguised itself as a cat, surprisingly fast and with long-toothed tentacles flying out of their small mouths, capable of swallowing dozens of humans and carrying them to safety, drenched in saliva. Then lift them up.

This scene goes on for a while, as does the accompanying music – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Memory”, if “somewhat” is synonymous with “still going”. Another detour takes place on the serenely obscure cult theater camp of a planet ruled by benefactor Prince Yan (Park Seo-joon), who has a history with Captain Marvel. Song is the primary language in this kingdom, and for a few dizzyingly strange minutes, “The Marvels” teleports itself into a remake of the musical “Lost Horizon.”

Brie Larson returns as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel here, reuniting uneasily at first with her late friend’s now grown daughter, Monica Rambeau (Tayonah Parris). Jersey City teenager Kamala Kahn/Ms. Marvel (Iman Vallani), another Disney/Marvel TV series, “Ms. amazement.” He dreamed of meeting his high-flying idol all his young life, and he got his chance on “The Marvels.”

There’s more on the plot, but I haven’t watched the movie in hours, and honestly, if you’re going for this stuff for the plot, then I hope all is well on your planet. Key points: The highly acclaimed Quantum Bands allows a trio of Marvels to swap and share superpowers in the blink of an eye. Antagonist villain Dar-Benn (a fierce and welcome Zawe Ashton) has some pretty intriguing resentments. First, Hala picks a fight with Captain Marvel, known to the Kree people as “The Destroyer” for unintentionally bringing her planet to the brink of destruction. And wrap it. shred And ruin

The film has many criteria: All leading roles are women; dominant female creative collaborators; The first Marvel movie directed by a black woman; and is the shortest Marvel movie at 105 minutes, which means it’s closer to 95 minutes, excluding the end credits. DaCosta is a huge talent and – it’s a good thing – with his boldly unconventional attitude. Remake of “Candyman” and now in “The Marvels,” he both embraces the demands of the genre to some extent and tests its limits in unpredictable directions. The action is fast, furious and mostly understandable; It’s played for violent humor rather than harrowing violence under the guise of comic book kinetics.

Teyonah Parris in a scene as Captain Monica Rambeau "They are wonderful."

It’s probably the most entertaining Marvel movie since “Spider-Man: No Way Home” two years ago, but keep in mind that the world has seen six Marvel movies since then, including this one. That’s a lot, and the recent grosses of forgettable franchise entries reflect it. At his sharpest, working with an uneven script, DaCosta is working more in the spirit of the bracingly animated “Spider-Verse” movies. More often than not, the film’s franchise mechanics and green-screen overload have a way of dragging “Marvels” into a generic sequel. But the stars give us something to hold onto, even though Larson, who has been so good in so many movies, has yet to master the useful trick of appearing neutral, investing in many reaction shots.

It can’t be easy. Related topic: I’m not sure how Samuel L. Jackson is staying awake as Nick Fury at this point, where he’s relegated to the role of a beleaguered telecom worker coping with power surges and crappy Wi-Fi.

“They are wonderful” — 2.5 stars (out of 4)

MPA rating: PG-13 (for action/violence and brief language)

Running time: 1:45

How to watch: Premieres in theaters November 9

Michael Phillips is a Tribune critic.

mjphillips@chicagotribune.com

excitement @phillipstribune



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