By Tyrannotaur Comments
So now that The Dark Knight Rises is out and I've had the pleasure of seeing it, I wanted to do a little blog post on my thoughts on the top 3 super hero films of 2012. I'm leaving out Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, mainly because I didn't like it that much. I will be covering The Avengers, Amazing Spider-man and The Dark Knight Rises. Please note these posts will spoil the movies. Go see them first if you don't wanna be spoiled.
First up is The Avengers. The Avengers is a culmination of Marvel Studios' efforts to get their arguably biggest team on the big screen. I do believe they succeeded. Bringing all the heavy hitters from their recent movies into one giant film was amazing. Having so many main characters is often a challenge for films. If you look at Batman and Robin or Spider-man 3 you can see how something like this can fail when trying to do too much at once. Luckily Marvel brought in Joss Whedon to direct. When I heard Joss would be at the helm I wasn't worried. I (like most of the nerd world) am a fan of Firefly and Serenity, in both of those Joss juggles several big characters and manages to make a wonderful TV series and a movie to accompany it. The Avengers brings together Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth's Thor, Chris Evans Captain America/Steve Rodgers, Scarlet Johannson's Black Widow/ Natasha Romanov, along with newcomer Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye/Clint Barton and Mark Ruffalo as the new Hulk/Bruce Banner all under the supervision of Sam Jackson's Nick Fury to fight Tom Hiddleston's Loki. One would think with all this star power the movie would be a convoluted mess, but actually it all just works. The amount of chemistry between these characters is just wonderful. Stark brings his ego and snark which gets matched with Thor's pride and boastfulness which in turn is checked by Cap's boy scout like attitude. Seeing them all interact with each other is a true delight, not only for a Marvel fanboy like myself, but really for anyone. I think that's where this movie shines. Its seeing all these characters together and their struggle to not only overcome the external threat of Loki and his army, but also to get over their own shortcomings and work together as a team in order to save the world.
The plot revolves around the Cosmic Cube (called the Tesseract here), which was established in both Thor and Captain America (as well briefly in Iron Man 2). The Cube falls into the hands of Loki, who uses it under the orders of a mysterious figure to bring forth an alien army (The Ultimateverse Chitauri) to conquer earth. It is up to Nick fury's band of super heroes to save the world from this global threat. The main thing I loved was the fight scenes towards the end where you see all the Avengers working together to fight the aliens. Those scenes are what I was hoping to see in the movie and it did not disappoint. That along with the interactions between each character was great, and left me more than satisfied when I left the theater. As for the characters themselves, I felt the movie did them all justice. Stark got probably the better end of the stick in this film. We get to see his Stark Tower, which becomes a major plot element in the end. He also pretty much saves the world single-handedly in the end. Plus there's all his wonderful jokes which are pretty much the only reason anyone would find Schwarma funny in 2012. The movie did Iron Man very well, which I am glad to see as Stark is one of my favorites in the Marvel U. Captain America is one of the lesser represented heroes in the film, but he still gets a nice share of the spotlight. The movie seemed to glance over Cap adjusting to the 2012 world. One thing I did like alot about the animated Avengers movie from a few years ago is it did give Cap a scene where he wanders around the present day NYC and is stunned at whats changed. I know we got a bit of this at the end of Captain America, but I still would have liked to have seen a bit of it here. Other than that, Cap lends himself to be the one who tries to see both sides of the fence and be the moral compass of the film. There's a great part in the film when he manages to gain the respect of all the Avengers and leads them. Its probably one of my moments in the film. Thor along with Hawkeye are the two characters who got glanced over the most I think. Hawkeye can be expected as he is a new character for the common non comic reader (Yes I know he was in Thor for 5 seconds), but Thor had a movie and was still glossed over. Thor was there as a heavy hitter, but also for his relationship to the antagonist, Loki. Thor is a complex character and I would have liked some more of that showing up here. Jane Foster was reduced to a picture cameo, as a representation of Thor's ties to Midgard it would have been nice to see her in person, but I guess paying Natalie Portman for 5 lines would have been a bit much. Thor's relationship to Loki could have been flushed out a bit more, but for the most part they nailed that. Hawkeye should really get his own movie. Jeremy Renner is a cool guy, I'm sure the success of his Bourne film and the Avengers itself might prompt a Hawkeye movie so we shall see. Hawkeye spent half the film as a villain, which worked for the plot but it also meant he had to spend the last half of the movie redeeming himself to the audience which kinda stinks. Hawkeye was originally a villain so I guess that does follow the comics a bit. I still would like to see him do more in the next film, which I'm sure he will. Black Widow was excellent in this film. I felt they really did her justice here. She wasn't treated as the oversexed female member of a mostly male team, she was given the signature Whedon Female role. Basically she was able to kick major ass just like Iron Man, Cap and Thor. They also delved into her past a bit which would be a great set up for a possible Black Widow movie at some point. Widow and Hawkeye also resemble the human element to the Avengers, as all the other member have either a enhanced body or armor or are a demigod. It was nice to see that the characters that specialized training aside are only human keep up with the Hulk. Speaking of the Big Green guy, I believe he stole the show. Especially the one scene when he slams Loki into the floor. It was great seeing the Hulk unleashed in everyway I'd imagine him to be. From punching a giant space whale in the face and killing it to leaping from on building to another to smash, he was great. Ruffalo played Banner wonderfully and I'd love to see him in his own Hulk film in the future. The supporting cast of Shield and Fury were all done well. Sam Jackson does his usual with Fury which is enjoyable. Maria Hill was played well by Colbie Smulders, and wasn't a complete bitch, though time will tell (please no Civil war for Avengers 3). Coulson was here again for his final romp, and he goes out like a true champion. Now as far as the villain goes, Loki was great. He gives his grand speeches of how superior he is and his mastery of trickery and deception are shown off very well. He is truly a villain you love to hate, and its ever so satisfying when he is beaten. I would love to see Hiddleston stay with the role for future Thor movies as well as Avengers 2. The characters of the film really make the film what it is, Amazing. Of course the best part of the film was the big reveal of Thanos as the guy pulling Loki's strings. Its truly awesome to be able to look forward to his reign of terror in future films.
I managed to get into AMC's Marvel Avengers Marathon when I first saw Avengers. Being able to see the build up from Iron Man 2 all the way to the Avengers was really awesome. It goes to show what the proper amount of planning can do. I'd actually Welcome WB and DC to copy this model for their future JLA movie, as I'm sure it'd work for them too. Overall The Avengers is probably my favorite Super hero film. That goes for this year as well as out of all the current ones out there. It delivers on so many levels and appeals not only to Comic Book fans but to the general public as well. Like Avatar set the blue prints for 3D effects in films, The Avengers sets the blue prints for what a super hero team film should be.
Next Up- The Amazing Spider-man!