“How many chapters of Captain Marvel fan fiction is this giving you?” asks a perplexed Monica Rambeau to Kamala Khan, this as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers dances with a singing prince (who is also her legal husband). It’s a fair question, and one that speaks the audience too.

The Marvels is the embodiment of the cultural fangirl, a giddy, happy, almost obnoxiously obsessed part of fandom, and the counter-balance of fanboy, an often angry, agitated, and also obnoxiously obsessed part of fandom. That’s not always true – fanboys of course elicit their own form of excited, geeky glee – but it seems an especially critical point when discussing The Marvels.

There’s enough kooky, happy-go-lucky performances to make The Marvels entertaining

Battered by “fans,” The Marvels has its issues. It’s too reliant on other media (in this case, the streaming series Ms. Marvel). The action/story ratio is completely off track. Brie Larson is an uneven performer, albeit in this campy, weird superhero tale, that fits the tone.

However, it’s not the end of Marvel. If anything, this is the best movie they’ve done post-Spider-Man: No Way Home, and at a mercifully brief 90-ish minutes, it’s among the only contemporary superhero tale not to overstay its welcome. There’s a lot of awkward joy in this movie, where Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) can no longer contain her embarrassed excitement. Why this angers someone? There doesn’t seem to be a rational answer. Then again, hardcore fandoms are rarely rational in the internet era.

There are a lot of streaking lasers, flying heroes, space travel, dimensional portals, and hangry cats throughout The Marvels. Not that any of these needs deep, scientific grounding so much as The Marvels (much the same as other recent entries in Marvel-dom) does stuff because special effects technology lets it, regardless of a sense of scale, pace, or logic. It hampers The Marvels as much as the previous bunch of Marvel sagas.

The difference is in the characters, and while hopelessly thin on its own (without the adjoining small screen series), there’s enough kooky, happy-go-lucky performances to make The Marvels entertaining. The truly emotional bits bounce off the film’s core given their lack of time and build-up, but this is Marvel at their wildest. The fun is how they interact and play off each other, the wildly divergent personalities and the effusive charm from Khan provide enough foundation to tell this tale of regret for Danvers (Brie Larsen). Undoubtedly, there’s a better story in here, but this is live action fan fiction, and all The Marvels needs is a baseline understanding. Of that, The Marvels provides.


Hammering the HDR button, Disney’s presentation spares little, with aggressive peak brightness that blindingly highlights portals, lasers, and more when in space, against the purest possible black. Actually, The Marvels offers up some of the best black levels in some times, with a carefully balanced density and weight. The result is a spectacular image in terms of raw contrast and depth.

Detail isn’t as prominent, sadly, keeping The Marvels a step below reference. The digital source material looks digital, the slightly lacking definition. There is texture (the resolution is enough to pick up on individual stitches in the costumes and facial definition in close), but not enough when in comparison to other modern discs. Medium shots muddy themselves, just enough to knock The Marvels down a notch.

Splashed with color, superhero suits produce spectacular saturation. The Marvels keeps a steady, hugely colorful aesthetic alive without muting anything. It’s gorgeously done.


The Marvels makes for a fantastic Disney Atmos mix, hearty in low-end weight and expansive in surround/height effects. Precision throughout the soundstage is exemplary, action bouncing between speakers effortlessly and accurately. This goes equally for non-action, where ambiance and small audio touches fill every speaker even during downtime. It’s consistently active.

Even the LFE shines, maybe not as deeply as some others, but the effect is prominent. Thick bass accentuates all manner of weird celestial events and superhero powers, from low throbbing rumbles to one-off blasts.


A commentary comes from director Nia DaCosta and VFX supervisor Tara DeMarco. A general EPK making of and set of production diaries are followed by a gag reel and deleted scenes.

The Marvels
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  • Extras


Celebrating the campiness of comic media, The Marvels has fun between the tiring all-digital action.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 39 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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