What Went Wrong with The Marvels? The Downfall of the MCU Explained

A new MCU movie is out in theaters, and absolutely no one is talking about it. I never expected such a day would come, as I still remember the good old days when my friends would wait for weeks for Infinity War or Civil War tickets to go on sale. The tickets would sell like hotcakes once the advance bookings opened.

Now, and I am not exaggerating as I write, there are at least four to five shows for The Marvels that are running almost empty. The downfall of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is crazy, and The Marvels is yet another step in the wrong direction.

The Marvels has recorded the lowest domestic opening ever for a Disney MCU film, collecting $47 to $55 million in three days. The collections are lower than two of the MCU’s biggest flops, The Incredible Hulk and Ant-Man.

The critics have also not been kind to the film, calling it the messiest Marvel film to date and criticizing its weak storyline. As such, things do not look good for The Marvels. However, it is not surprising as this downfall has several reasons.

The Marvels has been criticized for its lack of a strong plot, a messed-up storyline and weak protagonists. It has been badly received by both the critics and the audience as they have high expectations from the MCU, and the film fails to match the mammoth expectations.

1. None of the Three Marvels Can Carry a Film

The weak protagonists are the most important reason The Marvels is not doing well critically or commercially. This is true for not just The Marvels but all other recent MCU films.

What Went Wrong with The Marvels? The Downfall of the MCU Explained
Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau and Ms Marvel | Source: IMDb

The new MCU protagonists do not have the aura or the personality of the original Avengers, such as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor or Doctor Strange. The Marvels is led by Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan, neither of whom has the capacity to pull off a Marvel movie.

Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan are supporting characters at best so I don’t know what Marvel Studios was thinking while bringing them in to lead a film. At a point when the MCU is struggling to stay relevant, it is not a good idea to release a film with such a weak storyline and absolutely no star power to carry the film.

2. The Multiverse Does Not Make Any Sense

At this point, even the diehard MCU fans are tired of the multiverse, its branched timelines and random tears in the universe. We hate breaking it to Marvel Studios, but they’ve messed up.

The Marvels is all about the three leading ladies coming together to fight a villain who has caused a tear in reality. It sounds cool on paper, but the story is predictable, messy, boring and confusing, to say the least.

The entire idea of the multiverse and the new Avengers does not make sense. In fact, the MCU stopped making sense after Avengers: Endgame. No matter how hard they try, the current and future projects will never be able to live up to the enormous expectations people have of the MCU.

3. The Marvels Has a Poor Antagonist

One of the most important aspects of a superhero film is the antagonist. The MCU has had villains like Thanos, Ultron, Mysterio and most recently, High Evolutionary. The villain in The Marvels, a Kree warlord named Hala, can hardly match up to either of them.

Hala has no personality or purpose, and the character is awfully written. The only thing that can make up for a weak protagonist is a strong antagonist, but The Marvels fail in both aspects.

The reason why The Marvels is doing so badly is because it didn’t get anything right. The protagonists are weak, their purpose makes no sense, the story is predictable, the antagonist is boring, and there’s too much world-building going on for no reason.

4. The Marvels is Not a Standalone Film

Another big reason behind the failure of The Marvels is that it is not a standalone film. If you haven’t watched Captain Marvel and Ms Marvel, there are a lot of things that will not make sense.

What Went Wrong with The Marvels? The Downfall of the MCU Explained
Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel | Source: IMDb

While MCU movies usually do include a lot of easter eggs, references and connections to other films and shows, many of them have been enjoyable as standalone films as well. Even if you miss an easter egg, it does not take away much from the experience.

In the case of The Marvels, it is impossible to follow the story without knowing the background story of the bangles (previously featured in Ms Marvel), which play an important role in the story. The film begins when Carol Danvers switches places with Kamala Khan, which is a direct continuation of the final scene of Ms Marvel.

So, it is hard to follow unless you’ve watched MCU’s other recent installments.

5. Verdict: Is The Marvels Worth Watching?

Unless you are a diehard Marvel fan, The Marvels is not a must-watch. You can skip it. The Marvels is a disappointing watch because of its weak storyline, underdeveloped protagonists, boring antagonist and lack of substance.

Fans did not have high expectations from The Marvels in the first place because the MCU has collapsed since they decided to kill off their most popular characters and bring in a host of new characters without developing them.

What Went Wrong with The Marvels? The Downfall of the MCU Explained
The Marvels | Source: IMDb

The MCU has been trying to do damage control ever since Endgame by bringing in pseudo-versions of Iron Man and Captain America, but it hasn’t worked. Moreover, the recent MCU films have not been doing well at the box office either, so there might be cause to worry about. 

If you think watching The Marvels might boost nostalgia or bring back the good old days, you’re mistaken. The film is yet another addition to the string of MCU duds in the recent past.

Watch The Marvels on:

6. About The Marvels

The Marvels is the sequel to Captain Marvel (2019) and the 31st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Nia DaCosta from a screenplay by Megan McDonnell

Following the events of Ms. Marvel (2022), Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau begin swapping places with each other every time they use their powers and must team up to figure out why.

The film stars Brie Larson, Teyonnah Paris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, and Samuel L. Jackson. It hits theaters on November 10, 2023.

Pratyasha Sarkar

Pratyasha Sarkar

Officially a student of literature, but unofficially a defence lawyer of fictional characters. I am mostly either feasting on chocolate chip cookies or binge watching sitcoms. Also, I firmly believe mint ice cream tastes like toothpaste.


Leave a Reply