Okay. So. I was sorely disappointed with Spider-Man 3, the first Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Fantastic Four: the one with that Silver Guy, Iron Man 2 and all of the movies featuring the X-Men. I was ‘meh’ about Spider-man 1 and 2, Daredevil, the second Hulk and Blade (technically Marvel). Frankly, Ghost Rider doesn’t even exist in my mind. So that leaves… the first Iron Man, I quite liked, and now the Avengers.
It’s shocking, I know.
And don’t read it as if I hate the super hero genre, because it’s exactly the opposite: I love superheroes so much that when they come out with such mediocre movies I become rather upset with the injustice.
What they did right: first off, pacing. It’s actually remarkably similar to how Iron Man was shot, which is awesome. There were a few shaky bits where someone or other was taking the reigns on the scenes and they started to feel like the other movies, most notably the two recent ones Capt. America and Thor, but for the most part it was spot on. Well done for that.
I liked the direction the Hulk is going in, actually. We saw it a little bit in the second of his movies and I’m glad they’re continuing to take it there. I liked his interactions with the other heroes, demonstrating both a loyalty and his wild-card side, and I liked his uh… “interaction” with Loki near the end. After all, he’s the mother-flippin Hulk. That’s his job. The punch at the end was perfect and was a nice point of levity, which actually, was a well done thing overall; the humour bits punctuated things exactly as they should.
Thor is still silly, and the invading army / Loki himself fell under that category again: it’s like those bad Saturday morning Power Ranger shows. The costumes are just so plastic and foam and outrageous and the immersion is broken because you can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous the man you’re supposed to be fearing is. Like, Darth Vader scared me a child – it’s silly now, of course, but that’s a villain. He’s evil by himself, whereas Loki feels like a guy pretending to be evil. A guy who had only seen those terrible Power Ranger shows and that’s how he thought villains should be. There’s no genuine fear there.
The giant flying turtle thing was cool, if only because it reminded me of Shadow of the Colossus, and especially so when they were fighting on the back of it, driving that metal piece into it’s back. Man I love that game… anyway.
Hawkeye was cool, which is a relief because he was actually pretty silly in the comics. I can’t decide if he should get his own backstory movie. He doesn’t actually have any super powers (although, neither does Batman…) and he works as a flat character that’s just explained as having a mercenary history and a spot in S.H.I.E.L.D’s troops. That’s sometimes all you need. I do think it’s silly, as a personal aside, that any hero would run into battle with like, 20 arrows. I mean, then what? He runs out in the movie but even then, it took a long time. You’d get through 20 pretty fast…
Tony Stark is his usual, which is awesome. The Potts romance is sealed and things seem pretty routine. His getting in and out of the suit has been perfected (and in the coolest way possible) and it seems like they’ve settled down a bit. He isn’t so reckless, which is cool to see; we get to watch him mature from the first movie. Grow with him. He’s still witty and has those perfect quips, but I think they strike a good balance in attitude.
Captain is starting to turn into a jerk, honestly. In his origins film he was played off as naive and virtuous and that was cool – that was Cap as we know him – and now he’s standing on the edge of arrogance and seems to have control issues when confronted with Tony who wasn’t really doing anything unreasonable. Cap seems like that straight-laced dweeb who tattles on everyone, which is a quick way to being the kid no one likes. Except, with muscles, so they have to keep him around.
That’s another thing I don’t get. Why don’t they make everyone Iron Man suits. I mean, Tony has what, seven of them now? We’ve seen in the second movie that other people can wear them. I want a movie with Hulk in a flying suit. And why don’t they make them out of the stuff Cap’s shield is made of? “Well, the vibranium used…” you start in your know-it-all voice, but no. If that’s really all the material they had in the world with such fantastic properties they wouldn’t give it to some untested soldier dude in a form so easily stolen or lost.
I was upset at first with Nick Fury being black, since in the comics he was actually more similar to J. Jonah Jameson (who was the best character in all the Spider-Man movies) but I have to hand it to Sammy Jackson’s performance. No one can pull off that kind of nonchalant badassery quite like he can. So, it’s growing on me. It works, and I can see the merit to their decision.
The graphics are good. This is such a moot point these days. We’re already past the point where things are reasonably real looking, so it’s not like any major breakthroughs have abounded. The helicarrier is basically just a MKII version of those found in Skycaptain and the World of Tomorrow, which I am entirely fine with.
What else is there?
TL;DR I went in with low expectations given the recent past and was pleasantly surprised. I’d recommend it to friends, yeah.