The Marvels: twilight of the muscles (**)

by archynewsy
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One imagines a worthy decline for the last great genre that has determined commercial cinema in recent decades and cannot help but play, even dream, of parallelisms. In the same way that the ‘western‘He lived in a time of revisionism, of fiery twilight, where he not only questioned himself and each of his principles but, one step further, He dared to refute even suicide itself, It is at least seductive to glimpse the possibility of something similar on the planet Marvel. In part, that’s what the misunderstood and showy (or just failed) ‘Eternals‘. Chloe Zhao, the director, proposed from the outskirts of the Marvel universe a different, baroque and extemporaneous reading where the most obvious elements that have defined each of the sagas and sub-sagas were both exacerbated and denied. The bet seemed strange and unique enough (as well as unapologetically sloppy) to earn the incomprehension of everyone: fans and newcomers. And that, the truth is, is already a merit.

‘The Marvels’ He doesn’t aspire to that much. But something there. The proto-proposal (what is right to guess and what seems to be intended) of the director Nia DaCosta It has something of a radical twist. And it’s not just about irony or self-reflection, which is already part of the house’s DNA. The sequel to ‘Captain Marvel’ wants to be a comedy and, in a hurry, a silly comedy. There is something of classic ‘screwball’ in that way of presenting family relationships, admiration and even resentment between the three main characters played by Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Teyonah Parris (the last mutant of the X people) and, the best of the three, Iman Vellani (Ms. Marvel). It seems that, from the first second, the idea is to move the film away from that muscularly pompous effort that has presided over each of the 32 previous installments of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) to get closer to the light grammar more typical of a comedy. situation.

Now there is once again a galactic conflict to resolve, but what matters is the friendship between the triad of superheroines and the mess of exchanges and cross-talk generated by not having full control of the situation. Let’s say that the lack of control of the protagonists’ superpowers would serve as a metaphor for the chaos that the franchise and even the cinema of people who fly as a whole is experiencing right now. Special mention, by the way, for the zarzuela moment (and I won’t say more).

The problem is that all this (to which we should add the good, although too repeated, cat joke) is part of the chapter of what could have been and has not been. Soon, and to the dismay of the crowd, ‘The Marvels‘ gets muddled in it Tired ritual of fights that go nowhere where two characters whose fate doesn’t matter in the slightest beat each other without paying attention to reason. And that in a setting with zero capacity for surprise, a clumsy script that is predictable and a display of very ordinary, almost out-of-the-box special effects. When the level of visual finishing of a film is worse than that of most series, things are going badly.

The result is a fiasco. But not a melancholic, violent and disillusioned fiasco like a Sam Peckinpah film. No, he is a fiasco because he is boring and, worst of all, because he promises something that he is incapable of putting on stage. Let’s say that we are facing a twilight fiasco that functions as a warning of all the fiascos that will come at dawn. One leaves the cinema wanting to have seen the film that DaCosta had in his head and that has remained there. Which leads one to think that either something will happen between now and soon, or the endurance capacity is already very close to the limit. How many bad Marvel movies make up for one decent one?

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