The Marvels reviews praise Iman Vellani in “messy, tired” MCU sequel

Jasmine Valentine
Iman Vellani on the poster for The Marvels

The Marvels is about to hit cinemas, and one star is receiving plenty of praise in the reviews: Iman Vellani – but the movie’s reception as a whole is decidedly more mixed.

Even before the movie arrived in theaters, The Marvels had been up against one problem after another. The short runtime has drawn a lot of unwanted attention, with posters, trailers, and spoilers all being critiqued by MCU fans.

The film’s synopsis reads: “Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. However, unintended consequences see her shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with two other superheroes to form the Marvels.”

Even though Brie Larson’s Danvers might be the lynchpin to the movie’s entire plot, one performance in The Marvels is being praised more loudly than others in first reactions.

First reactions to The Marvels praise one star more than others

Iman Vellani’s performance as Kamala – a.k.a Ms. Marvel – is being highly praised in first reactions to screenings of The Marvels.

“LET’S TALK ABOUT #TheMarvels!! I had a lot of fun! Iman Vellani is a star as Kamala and her family is so lovable! Carol and Monica are both excellent as well! The 3 lead actresses have excellent chemistry! VFX COOKED! The space scenes in VFX… I have some issues…,” one fan posted on X/Twitter.

“For me, the standout of #themarvels is Iman Vellani. She held her own in this and further proved that she’s one of the best additions to the MCU — she’s so funny and got the biggest laughs in my theater, but also I love the relationships with other characters she’s helped create,” commented another.

“#TheMarvels flies higher, further, and faster than the first movie! Iman Vellani, take a bow. Easily the most fun I’ve had watching a Marvel movie since Spider-Man: No Way Home,” a third weighed in.

Vellani joined Marvel back in June 2022, when her TV series Ms. Marvel was first released. Larson’s Carol Danvers first featured in the 2019 film Captain Marvel, while Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) got her starring moment in 2021’s Wandavision.

“#THEMARVELS is such a fun film. The addition of Teyona & Iman is chef’s kiss! #NiaDaCosta you did that,” one user stated on the leading trio’s connection.

While some fans clearly had a blast with The Marvels, other first reactions weren’t so positive.

“Despite everyone on screen trying their best, #TheMarvels feels like it lost its battle in the editing room. Scenes don’t flow into each other & you can’t tell when the first act or second act begins. There’s a few really dope scenes but studio interference might be to blame,” one fan said.

“#TheMarvels is Josstice League levels of bad. Idk what the hell I just sat through. So many random threads, empty payoffs, and a lack of any real emotion or character. Tonally & narratively a Jackson Pollock painting. A season finale to a non-existent season of television. A mess,” stated another.

“#TheMarvels is a perfectly fine superhero flick – sitting amongst a rocky at best phase four and a one-for-two score so far in the latest phase. This one lucks out by being an enjoyable, simplistic film that attempts to appease its general audience,” a third commented in indifference.

The Marvels reviews

Early reviews for The Marvels have been published online – and it appears to have divided critics.

SlashFilm echoed praise for Vellani but criticized the movie as a whole, writing: “Make no mistake: Vellani’s big-screen debut singlehandedly makes The Marvels worth your while. The same can’t quite be said for the rest of the disjointed and painfully rushed effort, which comes with the metallic aftertaste of a made-by-committee affair.”

Inverse also wrote in its review: “The Marvels, for better or worse, embodies Marvel’s current identity crisis. There’s a nugget of the truly innovative movie within it… but it’s when The Marvels becomes beholden to the overall MCU that its ramshackle script starts to fall apart.”

The Telegraph wrote: “The villain in The Marvels’ diabolical plan involves robbing entire planets of their atmosphere: perhaps if she’d wanted to speed things up, she could have screened the film there instead.”

The South China Morning Post also wrote: “A tired hodgepodge of muddled storytelling and wearisome superhero clichés… in a franchise that has become a worn-out pastiche of the innovative, escapist behemoth it once was.”

However, there have been positive reviews. The Independent wrote: “While Marvel’s been busy flooding us with endless, exhaustive content, [Nia] DaCosta’s movie offers us the one thing that made this franchise work in the first place – heroes we actually want to root for.”

“The Marvels is that rare superhero adventure seemingly tailor-made for cat lovers, people really into body-swapping shenanigans, and those who live for jubilant song-and-dance numbers,” USA Today also wrote.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “DaCosta’s kinetic direction and intimate storytelling style lets audiences see this trio — whose lives collide in unexpected ways — from new and entertaining vantage points.”

The Marvels Rotten Tomatoes score

The Marvels has a 54% Rotten Tomatoes score at the time of writing.

This places it on the Rotten side of the spectrum, but it’s off the back of 41 reviews, with many more to follow in the coming days, so we’ll keep this section updated if the score changes.

The Marvels hits screens this week – for more on the movie head here, or click on the below articles:

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About The Author

Jasmine Valentine is a TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's the go-to source for all things Young Sheldon, as well as many Netflix originals. Jasmine has also written for the likes of Total Film, The Daily Beast, and Radio Times. You can email her here: jasmine.waters@dexerto.com.