It's been a tough year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" failed with critics, the Disney Plus series "Secret Invasion" was viewed by many as a total failure, with the final episode scoring a 7% rating on rotten tomatoes, the double strikes caused massive delays to their projects, and Jonathan Majors assault charges caused delays and possible cancellations to high profile projects involving the controversial actor. It looked like modern cinema's most dominant franchise was losing its mojo. Still, it had a silver lining with season 2 of "Loki" and "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3" being successful, and now the question remains: where does "The Marvels" land? The answer to that question is on the successful side but not without its faults. The newest film in the MCU from director Nia DaCosta is a lot of fun and is an excellent showcase for its three leading actresses. Returning for the fifth time in the franchise, Brie Larson delivers another excellent performance as Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel. Following her debut as the character in the limited series "WandaVision," Teyonah Parris gives another great performance as Monica Rambeau. After making her debut last year in the series "Ms. Marvel," Iman Vellani delivers another fantastic performance as Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel, and continues to establish herself as a fan favorite within this new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film also features a great supporting cast of old and new characters, which includes Gary Lewis as Emperor Dro'ge, Park Seo-joon as Prince Yan, Zenobia Shroff as Muneeba Khan, Mohan Kapur as Yusuf Khan, Saagar Shaikh as Aamir Khan, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. As far as negatives go, While there are many incredible action sequences, there's not enough time spent to develop certain characters and the film feels rushed due to sloppy editing. Despite giving a pretty good performance, Zawe Ashton's role as the villain Dar-Benn needs to be executed correctly, making the character an uninteresting villain. This isn't surprising because, minus certain villains like Thanos, Loki, Killmonger, and Kang, the MCU's biggest weakness has always been how they portray their villains, and this was another example of that problem. "The Marvels" may not be a perfect movie. But, thanks to Nia DiCosta's direction and the performances/chemistry from the three leading actors, "The Marvels" ends a bizarre year for the MCU on a positive note that knows how to give you a good time at the movies. It should also be worth mentioning that "Deadpool 3" is the franchise's only film coming out next year, which will set them up for a big comeback in 2025 when a total of 4 movies will come out. If there is one franchise in Hollywood that knows how to get momentum back, it's the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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