Secret Invasion (2023) Movie Review
MCU Phase 5 commences with the resurgence of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury into the fray in Secret Invasion, an action-packed series by Marvel encompassing six episodes, airing from June 21 to July 26, 2023, exclusively on Disney Plus Hotstar.
Despite encountering significant criticism at its premiere for its incorporation of AI in its artwork, the Secret Invasion series remains highly anticipated among Marvel enthusiasts. This anticipation is fueled by the promises of unforeseen twists and connections with other Marvel cinematic installments.
The narrative of Secret Invasion (2023) unfurls as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) reemerges on Earth, already ensnared in turmoil as the Skrulls embark on a path of devastation. Fury’s commitment to the Skrulls to find them a new home planet remains unfulfilled.
A faction of Skrulls based in the recently established New Skrullos rebels, aiming to ignite World War 3 and sow discord between humans. This rebellious faction is led by Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir).
Fury receives assistance from the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). Intriguingly, Talos’s daughter, G’iah (Emilia Clarke), joins forces with Gravik’s movement to divide humanity, simultaneously pursuing her own clandestine mission.
Critical Review of Secret Invasion
A Different Fury
Throughout the span of six episodes, the iconic SHIELD elements that typically define Nick Fury’s character are notably absent. This time, Fury focuses solely on rectifying a problem he inadvertently triggered with the migrating Skrull group.
While Fury initially hides one eye with a blindfold, he occasionally reveals more of his eye patch, showcasing the claw wounds surrounding it.
Unlike other Marvel superheroes, who are notably absent from the series, the character roster is limited. Even Carol Denver’s closest ally, Captain Marvel, remains unseen, existing only in the dialogues exchanged among various characters.
Fury operates independently, supported by Talos and Sonya Flasworth (Olivia Colman). His central role in the conflict underscores his self-assured demeanor, as if his aspirations, vision, and mission are what’s best for humanity on Earth.
In the Secret Invasion series, Fury adopts a demeanor that is noticeably wiser and calmer than what has been seen in previous Marvel films. This portrayal is a stark contrast to his typical character. Interestingly, it’s revealed that his wife, Priscilla (Charlayne Woodard), is also a Skrull.
The Skrull Conundrum
The main antagonists in the series are the shape-shifting Skrull alien species. However, the leader of the rebellion, Gravik, often appears weak and inconsistent, which hinders the momentum of the Skrull movement.
The ease with which the Skrulls devise their plan to initiate World War 3 is somewhat perplexing. Even the US President is easily swayed by trivial occurrences, which seems implausible given the level of security around the leader of a superpower.
The Skrulls, initially portrayed as effortlessly infiltrating various spheres, are eventually rendered impotent. The narrative even suggests that only Fury takes action to thwart the Skrull uprising, without assistance from others.
Beyond the Superhero Realm
Secret Invasion stands apart from typical superhero series by dispersing its focus across six episodes. Skrulls dominate the narrative landscape, and the series delves into political intrigue and Earth’s internal upheaval.
The series offers limited acts of heroism aimed at Earth’s salvation. Given the scale of the human conflict, the superhero trope seems less relevant within the intricate plot.
The Skrulls’ primary objective is simply to find a new habitable planet, prompting the question of why Earth, a planet teeming with superheroes, is their chosen destination. Ultimately, the Skrull menace is thwarted by Fury, Sonya, G’iah, and Talor.
The series doesn’t fit neatly within the superhero genre, instead delving into complex political dynamics and personal motivations.
For a high-tier studio series, the presented mysteries may not be as deeply intricate as anticipated. Consequently, the anticipation for each successive episode’s events isn’t particularly intense.
While initially intriguing, the focus on Fury’s perspective, which dominates the series, somewhat diminishes as the narrative also delves into Gravik’s point of view and the perspectives of new Skrull recruits. The plotlines become relatively straightforward and devoid of surprises.
Multiple viewpoints emerge, including the perspective of Talos and his daughter G’iah, who defect to support Fury’s cause against their own kind. Sonya’s role gains prominence as her contributions prove vital toward the series’ conclusion, and she showcases a daring approach to battling the Skrulls.
In Secret Invasion, Nick Fury abandons some of his hallmark characteristics to combat the Skrull threat. The ease with which the Skrull invasion instigates World War 3 is, at times, disconcerting and is presented over the course of six episodes.
This series diverges from the traditional superhero spectacle and introduces a broader array of villains with sinister intentions. Numerous characters suffer in vain, leaving Nick Fury to shoulder the burden of thwarting the Skrull’s designs.
None of Marvel’s well-known superheroes make appearances, resulting in a lack of unexpected revelations or connections to other Marvel films. The series abstains from intricate easter eggs, and the focus primarily centers on Skrull versus Skrull conflicts.
The concept of Super Skrull is merely a lure for ardent Marvel fans, yearning for extraordinary action that defies human limitations. Overall, Secret Invasion is disappointing and doesn’t significantly contribute to MCU Phase 5.