The Marvels


The Marvels begins with Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, journeying to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary. While investigating the strange phenomenon, her powers become inexplicably entangled with super-fan Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. This unlikely trio must team up and work together to save the universe.

As a fan of 2019’s Captain Marvel, I was certainly eager to revisit this corner of the MCU. Unfortunately, an overabundance of narrative threads, odd tonal shifts and misplaced shtick result in a lackluster entry that many found disappointing. The concept of having the three heroes join forces is fine, but the attempt to give them an equal share of the narrative pie is where things go awry. The lack of a well-drawn villain and a hurried runtime didn’t help matters. Hopefully, the next installment — if there is one — gets things back on track.

This film is boldly colorful, relying on stylized visuals that employ stark contrast, varying chromatic elements and lots of CGI. The level of detail and emboldened chromatic highlights underscore the film’s thematic impact. High dynamic range plays a central role, via vibrant specular highlights, while mixed light/dark elements reveal appreciable dimension in blacks and shadows, which provide lots of depth. There is some innate softening due to the extensive CGI, but it’s rarely depreciating. Across the board, this presentation — with its level of detail, color depth and deep blacks — made for an enriching and engaging visual display.

The Dolby Atmos mix is solid, offering rich sonic clarity and clear dialogue reproduction. The detection of subtle background sounds, off-camera cues and spatial dimension within the acoustic environment is excellent. The sound mix creates true immersion that serves the onscreen action. The music is spread effectively across the soundstage, adding a natural depth to the orchestrated elements of the track. The LFE channel is active, working in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the bass and impact associated with the action-based sequences.

I particularly enjoyed the soundtrack’s balance of atmosphere/discrete object placement, each complementing the source material and making for an entertaining listening experience.

Bonus features include two excellent production featurettes that offer insights from the cast/crew, along with deleted scenes, a gag reel and director’s audio commentary. A feature film Blu-ray and Movies Anywhere digital code complete the set. The Marvels looks and sounds great on 4K disc although the movie itself is not akin to the level of superhero entertainment we have come to expect.

STUDIO: Walt Disney, 2023
AUDIO FORMAT: Dolby Atmos with True-HD 7.1 core
LENGTH: 105 mins., PG-13
STARRING: Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, Teyonah Paris, Samuel L. Jackson, Zawe Ashton, Seo-Joon Park

foriler434's picture

The visuals and sound design sound like standout elements, though. | move walls