Something happens when Dar-Benn seizes this potent piece of jewelry that causes Carol, Monica and Kamala to switch places whenever any of them use their own powers. They’re all inextricably intertwined in ways they keep being spelled out to each other, and to us, but remain confusing. One of them will throw a punch, for example, and wind up where another of them had just been. Among the peripheral figures who get caught up in this chaos are Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who does basically nothing but offer a smart-ass quip or two, and Kamala’s family, who are as adorable as ever in a sitcommy way that’s a reminder of just how scattered everything is here.
Reprising her title role from the “Ms. Marvel” Disney+ series, Vellani brings a likable, sunny presence to her big-screen debut, but is stuck for too long in one-note fangirl mode. But Larson and Parris, while individually charismatic and commanding, can only do so much to convey the heartache of a shared trauma when it’s wedged in between blandly frantic action sequences. Many of these consist of characters soaring like fireballs across the stars to pummel each other or pull things apart or push them back together again. It’s all very wearying.
Still, the three must work as a team and hone their abilities to stop Dar-Benn from intergalactic destruction. Speaking of which, the choice of the Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” during an outer space training montage is eye-rollingly obvious. But other musical moments are such a drastic departure from everything else that they’re an unexpected and much-needed delight. They’re SO weird in the best possible way. I won’t ruin them for you, although people are already posting videos of the end credits scene, so apparently nothing is sacred anymore. But two scenes in particular were reminiscent of the irreverent tone of one the best MCU movies, “Thor: Ragnarok.” They’re big swings and they’ll be divisive, but they’re the only truly hilarious moments of the entire movie, and they’ll make you wish we’d gotten more of such risks throughout.
In theaters Friday, November 10th.