When I reviewed The Marvels in November, I said, “The Marvels is an entertaining and light-hearted affair that’s delightful enough to offset all the negatives that the movie has going for it.” After re-watching the movie, my opinion remains unchanged. The Marvels emerge as a vibrant addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, weaving together the rich tapestry of interconnected stories with flair and finesse. At its core, the film delves into themes of unity, family, and identity, setting a distinct tone that resonates throughout its rapid runtime.
The chemistry among the trio of heroes—Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau—is undeniably the film’s highlight. Their interactions are a source of relentless amusement and the embodiment of a more profound connection that transcends their powers. DaCosta masterfully captures their quirks and strengths, crafting scenes that are as heartwarming and exhilarating. The seamless blend of humor, empathy, and action underscores the narrative, making their dynamic entertaining and profoundly impactful.
Amid the spectacle, the Khan family stands as the emotional anchor of the film. Their portrayal is a heartfelt ode to the complexities and joys of familial bonds, lending a relatable depth to the superhero saga. The Khans bring warmth and authenticity, reminding us that at the heart of every hero lies the universal desire for belonging and acceptance. Their inclusion is a testament to DaCosta’s commitment to grounding fantastical tales in real-world sentiments, enriching the film’s overarching message.
Unfortunately, the film stumbles when it comes to Dar-Benn, as she comes across as one-dimensional and lifeless. This lack of depth in the villain’s character arc starkly contrasts with the vibrancy of the protagonists, resulting in a missed opportunity to explore more nuanced conflicts and motivations.
Overall, The Marvels excels in portraying heroism intertwined with personal growth and camaraderie. The film may falter with its antagonist, but it more than compensates with its spectacular action, heartfelt character dynamics, and a narrative that champions the power of unity and friendship. DaCosta’s vision for this installment not only entertains but also reaffirms the enduring appeal of the superhero genre.
Movie Review: 3/5 atoms
The Marvels hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an upscaled 4K, HEVC / H.265, HDR10 presentation with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The 4K upscaled resolution (from the original 2K DI source) highlights more detail in the film’s visuals, from character costumes to expansive set pieces. Brightness levels are well-calibrated, ensuring the image pops where necessary, particularly in scenes in the various vibrant worlds that Carol, Monica, and Kamala visit. Black levels are deep and consistent, contributing to a sense of depth and dimensionality in darker scenes without any crush.
The HDR10 presentation highlights the vibrant color palette. The colors are rich and deep, with saturation that enhances the look of the film’s diverse settings and character costumes. As a result, it makes the imagery strikingly vivid. Visual effects gain clarity and definition, enhancing the visual impact of action sequences. However, the difference might not be equally noticeable in all scenes thanks to the softness of some of the film’s visual effects.
Video Review: 5/5 atoms
The Marvels hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos or a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio presentation if Atmos is not supported. This review will cover the Blu-ray’s Dolby Atmos mix. The audio offers a detailed, albeit static, soundstage where high-intensity action sounds and quieter dialogue moments are well balanced. Also, the surround sound and atmospheric effects are accurate, allowing for a detailed soundstage where every sound element occupies a distinct space. Plus, the use of overhead channels is effective, particularly in action sequences, adding depth to the audio experience. The score benefits from the enhanced audio format, adding to the film’s emotional and dramatic scenes. Dialogue remains clear, ensuring every word is intelligible, even amidst the most chaotic scenes.
Audio Review: 4.5/5 atoms
The Ultra HD disc of The Marvels only includes the audio commentary by Nia DaCosta and Tara DeMarco. You can find the following bonus features on the HD Blu-ray disc, along with the audio commentary.:
- The Production Diaries
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes
- It’s Under Control
- Space Yoga
- The Chase
Entangled is an engaging Electronic Press Kit (EPK) style behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film—including interviews from the cast and crew. True to her standout performance in the movie, Iman Vellani steals the show in this mini-featurette as her charisma and contagious enthusiasm shine through.
Production Diaries offer a captivating peek behind the curtain, providing a snapshot of the day-to-day life on set. Nevertheless, the shortness of the featurette might make some fans feel shortchanged. Gag Reel may be brief, but it delivers a delightful dose of fun, showcasing the cast’s off-screen chemistry. As you might expect, the deleted scenes are a collection of moments that didn’t make the final cut. Each scene offers something unique, providing fans additional context or character development.
In the audio commentary, director Nia DaCosta and VFX supervisor Tara DeMarco offer an in-depth look into the film’s visual effects and production intricacies—discussing the technical and creative challenges. While at times informative, the commentary is marked by occasional gaps of silence, punctuated by moments where both commentators share their favorite scenes. DaCosta’s commentary also demonstrates that she’s a passionate fan of the superhero genre, particularly highlighting her fondness for the X-Men.
Special Features Review: 2.5/5 atoms
Overall, The Marvels is an enjoyable and entertaining journey. The film’s electrifying synergy between its heroes and the heartfelt depiction of the Khan family ultimately outweigh its cons. The audio and video quality is top-notch, although the special features are lacking.
Overall Review: 4/5 atoms
The Marvels hits stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on February 13th.
This Blu-ray was provided by Buena Vista Home Entertainment for review purposes.