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RTTP: Marvel's The Avengers

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guek

Banned


Some time ago, I started writing up a RTTP look at Age of Ultron. As I was working on the piece, it occurred to me that coming back to its predecessor would go a long way towards highlighting the sequel’s many faults and successes. There’s also a good amount of contention over what made the original succeed and the actual depth of its artistic merit. For many, it’s a bonafide classic, for others a flash in the pan, and for others still, a wet fart that was followed by an even louder and more obnoxious movie. Whatever camp you fall into, there’s no denying it will go down as one of the biggest cinematic hits of the decade with its impact on Hollywood still to be felt for years to come. I find that to be reason enough to take a deeper look at one of the biggest Hollywood success stories of all time. So pop a squat and hunker down because this is going to be a long one. Let’s you and I revisit 2012’s The Avengers.

The Setup

World Security Council: I don't think you understand what you've started. Letting the Avengers loose on this world. They're dangerous.
Nick Fury: They surely are. And the whole world knows it. Every world knows it.
World Security Council: Was that the point of all this? A statement?
Nick Fury: A promise.

When I say let’s go back to 2012, we should probably start back even a little further. The Avengers was more than a self-contained film, it was the culmination of four years and five preceding movies. It is subsequently impossible to talk about The Avengers without first touching on how such a previously unimaginable project came to be. When 2008’s Iron Man came out, the confidence on display with its closing end credits stinger was anything but safe. Iron Man has since become a pop cultural icon in his own right, but before the titular character appeared on screen in 2008, he was a second string property with little commercial value outside of the niche comic book reader demographic. So when Nick Fury strolled onto the screen to hint at what could become of this “bigger universe,” it wasn’t so much a promise as it was a plea for audiences to buy into the concept.



Marvel doubled down later that summer with the stinger for The Incredible Hulk. While that film didn’t catch people’s attention nearly as strongly as Iron Man, Stark’s cameo appearance was designed to do the same thing – tease at what’s possible. Remember, none of this was a guarantee. While blockbuster superhero films were nothing new, neither were the genre’s failures. Hollywood also had a long history of talking about franchise-spanning films but few of those talks ever materialized apart from a handful of versus movies. The first Iron Man wasn’t even filmed with the presumption of a guaranteed direct sequel. RDJ himself was quite the gamble given his prior history of incarceration and substance abuse. As with all expensive franchise beginnings, sequels were merely the hope. The only difference here was that by including what essentially boils down to the same teaser across two movies in such short succession, Marvel’s appeal to their fans came across as more than just Hollywood executive posturing for endless sequels. The concept of the Avengers, as introduced in Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, showed that not only was Marvel confident in this long term vision but they wanted you to be as well. Those messages were less for the characters speaking them and more for the fans – believe in this project and it will happen.

How fitting then that The Avengers ends by reflecting on that first promise made in 2008 while simultaneously reassuring audiences that the Avengers would return. This isn’t just happenstance. The entirety of The Avengers is constructed to lead up to the formation of the team in such a way that the audience actively roots for that to happen. If you were into comic book movies back when Phase 1 kicked off, you’ll know that Marvel has been pushing that narrative all along. That’s likely the biggest reason their post-credits stingers have lost some of their…sting…in recent Marvel outings. While Thanos and infinity gauntlet teases are all well and good, there has been nothing quite as magical as those first phase 1 stingers that teed up the next interconnected Marvel franchise entry, all of which lead up to the fulfillment of a fanboy fantasy – the Avengers finally assembling for the first time on the silver screen.

But even with all of that build up, the movie had to be more than just fanfare. It had to be good. It had to put all of these different characters in the same movie without feeling overstuffed or cumbersome. To make the dream of having a successful Avengers movie come true, Whedon knew he needed to coax the audience into coming along for the ride. He accomplished this feat by using the natural conflicts between these characters to paint them as unique yet likeable individuals who effectively charm the audience into cheering them on when the time came to defend the world.

Introductions

There is a certain complaint I have seen become more and more prevalent up to and during the release and reception of the recent Batman v. Superman which calls for several introductory movies to preface the formation of the Justice League. Despite the fact that we’re actually getting 4 movies prior to Justice League next year, the same number of introductory phase 1 MCU films, it’s ironic The Avengers is propped up as evidence for this need when one of its greatest strengths was that an encyclopedic knowledge of prior MCU entries was not a requisite for audience enjoyment. Creating a film the general audience could see without immediately feeling alienated for not dutifully staying up to date with the franchise was a daunting task. The name of the game for the first act was delivering information in such a way as to both inform and intrigue. What followed is one of the tightest scripts ever put to screen that deftly accomplishes the task of introducing The Avengers.

The film starts with the low rumbling voice of the Other who delivers a simple narrative in succinct and understandable fashion. With the looming threat of the Chitauri invasion established, the primary conflict of the film is already known by the audience before any of the main characters even appear on screen. This framing device isn’t a particularly novel way of setting up a movie but there are definitely good ways to do this (The Avengers, Mad Max: Fury Road, etc.) and plenty of bad examples too (The Last Airbender, Green Lantern, etc.). The challenge is in giving enough information to the audience without overwhelming them. If done correctly, the viewer goes into what would otherwise be a very strange movie equipped with some sense of knowledge. This basic concept continues with the sequence at the SHIELD facility. The purpose of this extended prologue is to set up the fundamental plot in the film – assembling the Avengers – and also serves as a great straightforward introduction to Loki as the antagonist. Within the first 15 minutes, we know Loki is formidable, what he wants, and what he can do, all conveyed in a nice balance of action and exposition.


What follows next are introductions for the other main players of this film, the Avengers themselves. These scenes are sometimes pointed to as dragging the film down but I personally love them. Not only does each character get their own time in the spotlight that gives clear insight into each of their unique motivations and goals, these scenes are a great counter to the claim that you needed to keep up with all prior MCU phase 1 films in order to enjoy the film. They’re also probably the prettiest scenes in the entire movie, and each has their own little creative touches. One of the earliest images we get of Natasha is a mirror’s reflection of her being interrogated which works as a fantastic allusion to her life as a spy. Bruce is lured into a trap by a child which represents part of a life he can never have, and he wistfully plays with a crib as Natasha tries to coax him onto the team. Steve is first seen framed against the red and white stripes of a boxing ring, lost in the past as he takes out his frustrations on a punching bag. Tony is the only one we see in complete uniform from the start, and the man underneath is fully revealed as he enters a monument built to himself in the heart of New York City. The color grading and composition are also all top notch in these introductions with subtle hints of black and red for Natasha’s scenes, green and purple for Bruce, red, white, and blue of course for Steve, and blue, red, and gold for Tony. It’s unfortunate that these scenes are probably the best the movie ever looks.


Let Them Fight


Who cares about pretty pictures though, let’s get to the action! The Avengers may take a hair too long between the first and second action set pieces but once it establishes the main cast of heroes, the action ramps up and is steadily drip fed at regular intervals until the climactic finale. The action though is rarely ever just for the sake of having action. Like all good action movies, the battles in this film continue to give you vital insights into each character’s abilities, limitations, and personality. It pits each major hero against another and in doing so, the characters feel well constructed with clear rules surrounding their powers. Cap can keep up with Loki but can’t overpower him. Thor is stronger than Iron Man but can’t break Cap’s shield. Hawkeye has specialized arrows and is a crack shot. Iron Man is powerful but not invincible and his armor can still be heavily damaged. And Hulk is the strongest there is. By the time the final battle starts, the audiences has a firm grasp of who these characters are, both as living, breathing people and as powerful titans. By using most of the action sequences as a way to flesh out the characters, the movie mostly avoids superfluous or pointless action so that even with a 40 minute battle finale, the film doesn’t feel exhausting when it reaches its conclusion.

That’s not to say though there aren’t more than a few missteps. While most of the action is good, it’s rarely outstanding. Witnessed in a vacuum, there isn’t much that genuinely wows outside of a rare few moments, and much of a viewer’s enjoyment is tied to how much they enjoy seeing these characters on screen. This is why it was so important for Whedon to reestablish the Avengers as a group of likeable and interesting people even if that had already been covered in their respective solo movies. Thor and Iron Man’s battle in particular revels in having these strikingly different characters interact and clash to great effect. But even with the character driven action, some scenes can’t help but underwhelm. Loki vs Cap is fairly blasé and Cap’s entrance for the fight is a bit of a wtf moment (where he hell did he appear from?). Hawkeye vs. Widow is competent but there is nothing in it that’s memorable. That scene in particular was a reshoot and it shows. Loki and Thor’s tussle on Stark tower is also egregious for a few seconds of close ups with quick edit making it impossible to make out what’s going on. But for every one of these scenes, there are multiple great and memorable moments such as Thor supercharging Iron Man’s suit, the tracking montage, and practically every Hulk scene. While most aren’t technically impressive, Whedon knew that what made these interactions interesting were the characters involved and it’s the magic of seeing these icons fully realized on the big screen that left an impact on general audiences the world over.

His Name was Phil

As was mentioned earlier, a closer look at this movie reveals the driving force behind the plot isn’t stopping Loki, it’s the task of actually assembling the Avengers. Even Loki’s primary scheme on the hellicarrier is grounded in preventing this from occurring, knowing full well that the Avengers are the only legitimate threat Earth can muster against his rule. When phase 1 is examined as a whole, you can see the entire slate of movies was building towards the same thing – the formation of the Avengers. While I don’t buy the argument that only those already indoctrinated with these characters from previous films could really appreciate the film (Avengers’ gross was $1.5B, second highest phase 1 film is Iron Man 2 at $624M), it’s hard to argue being familiar with the rest of the MCU didn’t add substantially to the experience. The one familiar element between 5 films for the diehard enthusiast was Phil Coulson. Coulson died for the fans.

When The Avengers first came out, there was common joke being passed around that poked fun at the way the movie treats the death of Phil Coulson as a pivotal moment. Whedon made sure to give Coulson at least one notable scene with every Avenger (well, every one that wasn’t brainwashed at the time) to establish his rapport with the team, but for many, it wasn’t enough and his death came across as forced. For anyone who had kept up with the MCU however, Coulson’s death felt much more significant than what seemed like just another minor casualty. He had been the common thread connecting multiple MCU phase 1 films together. Even if you didn’t find Clark Gregg’s portrayal particularly endearing, he was a familiar face whose death was fairly unexpected. Whedon has a penchant for killing off beloved characters as a cheap way to invoke emotion, and there was certainly a part of this death that felt like a cheap shot, but I believe it worked for the audience the exact same way it worked for the characters. Fury says The Avengers “needed the push.” It was cheap, it was manipulative, but it also worked to tie the Avengers together on a personal level and give them a sense of loss that was easy to empathize with. Coulson’s death was the final catalyst that spurned The Avengers to action and it gave the audience a real reason to cheer for that to finally happen. I’ve seen people criticize the finale as working only as fan service but that’s precisely why it worked so well. The movie does a tremendous job of converting its audience into fans that by the time the portal opens, all of the theater audiences I had the pleasure to be a part of were electrified and completely absorbed with the film’s general premise.


Did that work for everyone? No, and no movie ever does. Coulson’s was the cherry on top of the constant pushing this movie and phase 1 as a whole did for the formation of the Avengers. Whedon took full advantage of all the hype leading up to Avengers to make their formation feel like a real monumental event, both in the world of Hollywood blockbusters and in the film itself. When the Battle of NY finally begins, the movie no longer becomes concerned with building up these characters and instead switches to celebrating the moment. It’s been argued that this fight had no weight or stakes to it but that completely misses the point. The hard part was done and the Avengers had finally assembled. The finale wasn’t designed to be taught with tension, it was a moment of jubilation to applaud like one big prolonged fist pump. Of course, the effectiveness of this construction was entirely dependent on how much you bought into the narrative building towards the team-up. As much as I love this film, I can’t deny that The Avengers has a fair share of glaring faults.

I don’t see how that’s a party

At some point, all this enthusiasm and gushing over one of my favorite movies of all time needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of criticism. I’ll be the first to admit The Avengers is far from being a perfect film. Whedon, who had primarily stuck to the TV director chair up to this point, does a commendable job of shooting these characters with mostly clear and understandable framing but there’s definitely a lack of panache that might have been more evident in the hands of a more visually ambitious director. The 1.85:1 aspect ratio is also a big killer for how this movie looks. When Seamus McGarvey, the cinematographer for The Avengers, was questioned on why they went with this particular ratio instead of the more modern 2.35:1 standard, he replied

McGarvey said:
Shooting 1.85:1 is kind of unusual for an epic film like this, but we needed the height in the screen to be able to frame in all the characters like Hulk, Captain America and Black Widow, who is much smaller. We had to give them all precedence and width within the frame. Also, Joss knew the final battle sequence was going to be this extravaganza in Manhattan, so the height and vertical scale of the buildings was going to be really important.

Whedon later reneged on this principle however with Age of Ultron which was shot at the more traditional 2.35:1 ratio. Along with a bevy of other small stylistic changes, Age of Ultron opted for a different overall aesthetic with nothing of significance lost. Whedon also noted in his commentary of The Avengers that with this being his first time shooting for 3D (though not with 3D cameras, everything was done in post), he tried to emphasize perspective and movement in his action scenes. What we get is a lot of parallax effects and tracking shots with limited cuts in the middle of action. To the film’s credit, I recall seeing a fair amount of praise for the movie’s 3D experience but that doesn’t count for anything during rewatches at home. He may have a penchant for writing clever dialogue but Whedon is surprisingly pedestrian when shooting dialogue scenes. Most exchanges vary between medium or close shots and a steady camera – cornerstone techniques for dialogue on TV with tight shooting schedules but quickly mundane in a full length feature. And then there’s the fact that some shots just look bad. I always cringe at the start of the movie when we see Coulson in a medium-close shot, wearing shades at night and looking like a goober.


It should also be noted how the lighting in this film took a hit in the last act. Whether it was due to being shot mostly on a soundstage or because they wanted that bright comicbook style pop of color on muted backdrops, I ‘m not sure, but the lighting in the finale wavers between adequate and drab. I believe it’s the desaturated look of the city backdrop combined with the unusual aspect ratio and preponderance of dull dialogue shots that mostly gives fuel to the “looks like TV complaint” despite some truly spectacular effects work and a stronger looking first half. Lastly, there’s the issue of some of the jokes not landing as well as others. However, this comes down to a matter of taste, and there are plenty of people who like some of the jokes that others don’t care for. The “party” line for example felt stilted and out of place to me but it always got a laugh in the showings I’ve been to and I’ve seen a lot of fans reference that moment with fondness. The dialogue as a whole is punchy and engaging with lots of comedic beats sprinkled throughout to maintain the viewer’s attention. Faults and all, it’s hard to deny the movie still connected strongly with its audiences by being exceptionally entertaining.

A Promise

Maria Hill: Sir, how does it work now? They've gone their separate ways, some pretty extremely far. We get into a situation like this again, what happens then?
Nick Fury: They'll come back.
Maria Hill: You really sure about that?
Nick Fury: I am.
Maria Hill: Why?
Nick Fury: Because we'll need them to.

I could go on dissecting this film but I think I’ve probably written enough already. I’ve only touched on some of my favorite bits of action and dialogue, the interplay between the characters, and the overarching grand scope of the entire MCU experiment. These movies aren’t perfect, and they have their fair share of detractors, but the first Avengers in particular seems to hold a soft spot for many. More than nostalgia and fan service, what lies underneath is a spectacular juggling act that miraculously sticks the landing. More often than not, we see movies crumble under their own gargantuan weight. The Avengers is a master class in taking multiple disparate concepts and combining them to form something greater than the sum of its parts. It has flaws, I’ll never deny that. But as the fulfillment of a promise we were first given 4 years prior in the original Iron Man, The Avengers delivers something truly special that will be remembered fondly by a generation of film lovers, casual viewers, and comic aficionados alike.

More Screenshots


gifs

 

AMUSIX

Member
I agree with pretty much everything you said in your love letter to the film.


Honestly, I see this as a great example of a movie being both underrated and overrated.
 

dan2026

Member
Was the first time I sat in the cinema and thought 'this is a comic book come to life'.

Respected all the characters and was a genuinely fun movie.
 

atr0cious

Member
This has the best scene Thor has ever been in it. When he first gets introduced by snatching loki off the plane, and they have that conversation on the hill. When the crows fly across the screen, it's like a page out of a book, the lighting and staging is perfect.

Movie's not that great after multiple rewatches, but that first time was full on cinematic joy, pretty sure I had tears in my eyes during the team ups.
 
This has the best scene Thor has ever been in it. When he first gets introduced by snatching loki off the plane, and they have that conversation on the hill. When the crows fly across the screen, it's like a page out of a book, the lighting and staging is perfect.

Almost like a page out of a comic book?

I agree that this is like a comic come to life, and I love it for it.
 

AMUSIX

Member
This has the best scene Thor has ever been in it. When he first gets introduced by snatching loki off the plane, and they have that conversation on the hill. When the crows fly across the screen, it's like a page out of a book, the lighting and staging is perfect.

Movie's not that great after multiple rewatches, but that first time was full on cinematic joy, pretty sure I had tears in my eyes during the team ups.

I agree that it has the best Thor...but I think the scene you wanted was this one:
 

BLACKLAC

Member
Never even thought a pure unapologetic SUPER hero film like this was possible until The Avengers did it. Absolute delight that will never be replicated, even by Whedon himself. Proved the "cinematic universe" concept, and has changed cinema forever.

Bonus: Really That Good: THE AVENGERS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSAp-QCHj_A
 

atr0cious

Member
Almost like a page out of a comic book?

I agree that this is like a comic come to life, and I love it for it.
I mean more on a aesthetic level, they really sell the mythological feel ofthese two literal gods, the crows representing Odin's "eyes" really sells it. The whole scene is framed very painterly and unlike the rest of the movie's more TV movie appearance.
 

NotLiquid

Member
That ending scene from the movie you paraphrased is exactly why I love The Avengers so much. It is the ultimate justification and love letter to where we've come in terms of reverence and love for our icons. Building the entire movie's premise around the mere concept of it's existence was an absolute genius move in terms of bringing these guys to life.

I remember sitting there in the theater enjoying every moment, and when those lines at the end were read the big picture instantly just "clicked". It was the perfect way to cap it off, the triumphant music, it all put a massive smile on my face and I actually think I got a little bit sentimental. I don't think I'd ever heard such a big standing ovation in a theater after having watched the movie.

Despite it's imperfections there is no denying that the ripple effect of The Avengers can be felt everywhere in the movie sphere right now. This was a seminal event, and it managed to make all the pieces work. To this day I still feel that the movie holds up, and few things compare to being there opening day to see all that build up pay off in such a spectacular way.
 

atr0cious

Member
I agree that it has the best Thor...but I think the scene you wanted was this one:
Nah, that was bleh compared to Thor and Hulks fight, I love the way he handles mjolner. How are the thor solo movies so wack and cookie cutter, just boring average adventures that just inexplicably fail in direction? I watched thor 2 thinking the hate would be wrong, but damn is it a flat movie.
can i just say thor sucks in this movie
Everyone is welcome to their opinions.
 

Reset

Member
I hated this movie, I was bored through about 95% of the movie and the only scene that I found enjoyable was when those aliens attacked.
 

Cipherr

Member
Great movie, and super easy to see why people loved it and went to see it so many times.

Just pure fucking comic book joy on screen. Has every other studio out there chasing "cinematic universes" now.

Incredible.
 

MattKeil

BIGTIME TV MOGUL #2
i mean, when you think about it, you could have cut thor from the movie entirely and it wouldn't have mattered.

Thor's presence in the film is entirely justified in the one Hulk punch gag. Everything else is gravy.

I hated this movie, I was bored through about 95% of the movie and the only scene that I found enjoyable was when those aliens attacked.

 

slade

Member
For all of the spectacle, this was one of only three comic book movies I was bored by towards the end. The other two were Man of Steel and Thor 2. Can't really explain why either. I thoroughly enjoyed everything up till the end of the Helicarrier sequence but the Battle of New York always causes me to yawn and start falling asleep.
 

Effect

Member
Is it me or does The Avengers visually look a lot better as still images then when it's actually in motion. I can't unsee the TV look of it when I watch it. Marvel films in general around that time had a cinematography issue, they've gotten a lot better, but Avengers is the worse example of it I think because it's trying to be so grand. Some of it looks so cheap looking and for as important as the film is it shouldn't. There is a big difference between it and Iron Man 3 and Winter Solider for example.

I enjoy the ending but it's boring for the most part. Far better then Thor's and CA1's but I found the end of Iron Man 2 more entertaining. IM3 and CA2 walk all over it.
 
Great read, and the Avengers is one of my all time favourite films, I've watched it 6 times over the years and still hold it in very high regard. It gets so much right, and basing the core of the film on the characters and their stories rather then flashy visuals or rote script (sadly BvS comes to mind) I think will help the film stand the test of time.

I fucking love the scence where Hulk was duking it out with Thor and tried to pick up the hammer, but couldn't. Same goes for the iconic panning shot around all of them near the end. Soo good.


Great, now I want to watch the damn thing again, heh
 

guek

Banned
i mean, when you think about it, you could have cut thor from the movie entirely and it wouldn't have mattered.

Hulk would have killed a bunch of people and a lot more people would have died in NYC. Thor was one of their big guns during the battle.
 

Firemind

Member
And? Thor was responsible for Loki so his inclusion is explained.
but he didn't actually stop loki from doing anything
he didn't stop the hulk
heck he couldn't beat captain america nor fry iron man with his thunder powers
his only achievement of note is he fried a couple of space dragons
 

GhaleonEB

Member
but he didn't actually stop loki from doing anything
he didn't stop the hulk
heck he couldn't beat captain america nor fry iron man with his thunder powers
his only achievement of note is he fried a couple of space dragons

He doesn't have to succeed in his goals to serve an important role in the story. For example, he failed at containing Loki in the helicarrier, but in so doing showed what Loki was willing to do (kill his own brother) to reach his aims.
 

MattKeil

BIGTIME TV MOGUL #2
Is it me or does The Avengers visually look a lot better as still images then when it's actually in motion. I can't unsee the TV look of it when I watch it. Marvel films in general around that time had a cinematography issue, they've gotten a lot better, but Avengers is the worse example of it I think because it's trying to be so grand. Some of it looks so cheap looking and for as important as the film is it shouldn't. There is a big difference between it and Iron Man 3 and Winter Solider for example.

Avengers' look is flatter, but it doesn't look "cheap" by any stretch. I appreciate Avengers' willingness to simply show what's happening without much artifice. It's far easier for films like IM3 and Winter Soldier to create a cinematographic point of view because they're focused on one character. In the case of Avengers, they were merging so many disparate characters that the film settles on an almost "documentary" style that fits the material quite well.

I enjoy the ending but it's boring for the most part. Far better then Thor's and CA1's but I found the end of Iron Man 2 more entertaining. IM3 and CA2 walk all over it.

IM2 is the quintessential "pointless exploding robots Marvel ending." Avengers' ending is interesting because of the characters and their relationships (also why Winter Soldier's ending is so effective). It's watching these people finally start to work together as a team and bounce off one another in a positive way. I will never understand why people find that boring.
 
The first Avengers movie was fantastic with brilliant humour, action and awesome characters.

The hulk and Thor scenes still make me laugh
 
God I love this movie. It's just an absolute love letter to a medium I've enjoyed since I was learning to read. Despite its shortcomings it is so confidently executed and when it's best moments hit, they are pure audio-visual euphoria.


RTTP tomorrow for the first time in a while as part of my pre-CW rewatch and I have that same feeling from when it first came out.


Great write-up. You dove into or at least acknowledged much of what I love and hate about the movie.
 
Is it me or does The Avengers visually look a lot better as still images then when it's actually in motion. I can't unsee the TV look of it when I watch it. Marvel films in general around that time had a cinematography issue, they've gotten a lot better, but Avengers is the worse example of it I think because it's trying to be so grand. Some of it looks so cheap looking and for as important as the film is it shouldn't. There is a big difference between it and Iron Man 3 and Winter Solider for example.

Key reason why I didn't like the movie was because it looked more like a tv show episode more than a movie. The cgi looked cheap and tacky TOO FAKE. Also when you see the behind the scenes stuff and how much of the envionrment they filmed in was real vs how much of it was green screen work - it takes you out of the film and the realm of believe ability is insanely low. Surprisingly the Hulk's cgi was top notch (including when mixing him in with real human elements), everything else was not.

I did not enjoy the story and while I don't have a problem with humor in movies, I felt The Avengers jokes were forced and fell flat (except the Galaga comment! and Captain America's reference that he understood because of the call back to TFA).

The Dark Knight Rises was the better super hero movie of 2012.
 
Avengers 2 makes Avengers 1 seem much better. It was still nothing spectacular to me, just above average.

It was probably because of Loki vs Ultron. 2 felt like a Transformers level film.
 

Bold One

Member
Key reason why I didn't like the movie was because it looked more like a tv show episode more than a movie. The cgi looked cheap and tacky TOO FAKE. Also when you see the behind the scenes stuff and how much of the envionrment they filmed in was real vs how much of it was green screen work - it takes you out of the film and the realm of believe ability is insanely low. Surprisingly the Hulk's cgi was top notch (including when mixing him in with real human elements), everything else was not.

I did not enjoy the story and while I don't have a problem with humor in movies, I felt The Avengers jokes were forced and fell flat (except the Galaga comment! and Captain America's reference that he understood because of the call back to TFA).

The Dark Knight Rises was the better super hero movie of 2012.

That wasn't even a superhero movie...

 
That wasn't even a superhero movie...


Fine!! movie based on a comic book property

Christian Bale is also the best Batman cinema has ever had.
Just because Affleck or Affleck's stunt double did a sequence ripped out of a Batman video game people are screaming best Batman ever :-/ haha.
 
You know, I feel like in the last year or two I fell into the "Avengers is overrated camp." Without really a reason to feel that way, I hadn't even seen it in awhile.

I rewatched it this week as part of getting ready for Civil War, and y'know what? This movie is great, especially in a post-BvS world. It was really refreshing.
 
Dat OP. Great write up. I remember being extremely afraid the movie wasn't going to be good during those first rocky 15-20 minutes but everything after that was me being a 10 year old seeing my favorite characters finally come to life and interact with each other on the screen.
 

inky

Member
I remember thinking before seeing the movie: "There's no way this is going to work". After seeing the movie: "well, shit, that was great, how the heck did that work?"

It was really a surprise for me, and I understand someone will come and explain to me all the reasons it was evident, but for me at that point in time (sounds like so long ago, right? lol) the whole Marvel movie discussion wasn't something I concerned myself with. I loved Iron Man 1, IM being my favorite childhood hero (thanks mostly to the 60s cartoon, not even the comics), then Iron Man 2 happened and I imagined it was never going to recapture that initial spark.

But man, was I wrong. I remember watching it, and everything just clicked. I'm still impressed at how tight the script is. I wouldn't argue it is particularly good, but everyone got its moment to shine, and the dialogue help the scenes and events segue so fluidly one to the next to the next that it works effortlessly. Whedon made it look so easy, I think that will always be his major contribution. Of course there is more to the movie's success; the most important reason it works is at the core, the characters. The people involved just love and respect them, and it shows.
 

guek

Banned
Never even thought a pure unapologetic SUPER hero film like this was possible until The Avengers did it. Absolute delight that will never be replicated, even by Whedon himself. Proved the "cinematic universe" concept, and has changed cinema forever.

Bonus: Really That Good: THE AVENGERS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSAp-QCHj_A

MovieBob is really, really hit or miss for me but I do like his Spider-man 2, Avengers, and Ghostbusters videos
 
OP, great job.

I love the movie. And you built it up so well from Iron Man 1. Marvel did something amazing from Iron Man 1 to Avengers, and I hope they keep running with it.
 

guek

Banned
amazing analysis, loved it. I'd read more for other superhero movies.

OP, great job.

I love the movie. And you built it up so well from Iron Man 1. Marvel did something amazing from Iron Man 1 to Avengers, and I hope they keep running with it.

Thanks! I'm going to do one of these for Age of Ultron too, hopefully before Civil War, and then maybe one for Winter Soldier
 
Nice write up, guek. Haven't watched this in a while so I think I'm gonna give it a rewatch before Civil War releases and see how I feel about it.

Last time I watched it, I felt the magic had worn off quite a bit (especially the Whedon Quips™) which got me looking at the flaws and picking at them. Same thing happened with GotG. Outside of a few moments which you've posted, I felt the cinematography was really flat and quite dull; it's easy to see where the TV show criticisms come from. Aspect ratio didn't help anything.

As for the fight scenes, nothing really stood out for me except: supercharged Iron Man, Cap blocking Mjolnir, Thor whacking Hulk in the face with Mjolnir, Hulk punching the Leviathan, Thor going all crazy lightning on Leviathans, the long take and Hawkeye's crazy shots. These aren't even entire scenes (aside from the long take), but just one or two small moments in a scene which highlights how unexciting most of the the action is.

The comedy was pretty good the first... two or three times, but now I find it sticks out like a sore thumb at times, especially when Coulson dies. Have the same complaint about GotG but I find that this holds up better because this film isn't reliant on the comedy as much as Guardians. Hulk wrecking Loki does still get a laugh out of me, though. Can't remember anything else right now... Actually, Stark offering Banner blueberries was pretty funny.

The characters were introduced pretty well but I feel like Whedon just doesn't know what to do with characters like Steve and Natasha. They're incredibly dull in this and come across stiff as a board. He slightly improved on this in Age of Ultron but he had a point of reference with The Winter Soldier. Still a major step back from TWS though.

Thor was also pretty meh, but I dunno if I should lay the blame on Whedon or on the ending of Thor. He's pretty boring and severely lacks the hubris of Thor pre-banishment. Even a smidge would've helped.

Stark and Banner were pretty well written. No complaints there.

Score is overlooked by many. I really like it.

Edit: Also, I hate Thor's outfit in this. Hate Cap's goofy helmet too.
 

Sojgat

Member
I've watched this movie so many times, and I never tire of it.

The only major problem I have is Cap's stupid looking strapless helmet.

Fine!! movie based on a comic book property

Christian Bale is also the best Batman cinema has ever had.
Just because Affleck or Affleck's stunt double did a sequence ripped out of a Batman video game people are screaming best Batman ever :-/ haha.

Baleman and Batfleck are both pretty awful live action Batmen. Say what you want about the Avengers, at least it gets the characters right.
 

Red

Member
The Avengers is infinitely watchable. I'm not as high on the MCU as much of GAF but I gotta admit The Avengers is a good action flick. The NYC fight is very well done. Watching it close to AoU makes you realize how nicely everything relates spatially. AoU loses all sense of directionality in its fights, which makes things feel loose and disconnected. Even though its visual style was a step up, it lacked the connective tissue that made the action of The Avengers work so well.

Bruce's Hulk transformation and the space-whale punch is one of my favorite hell yeah moments in a movie. Great timing, set up, payoff. I think the script was also stronger than Age of Ultron, which has a lot of awkward dialogue and strange beats (eg. Hawkeye says, let's go to my safe house, cut to the next scene and Stark asks, what's this, some kind of safe house??? Or Ultron meeting the twins at the church, saying he wants to destroy the Avengers, then a quarter second shot of Strucker's compound and suddenly Ultron and the twins are there even though we are presented with two back to back night scenes as if no time has passed. Why doesn't Quicksilver harm the Avengers in the opening scene? Why does Scarlet Witch move like a ghost from a Japanese horror movie? How do the Avengers know Ultron escaped the Iron Legion by piggybacking on the internet? Why was nothing done about all the shit in Strucker's compound after the crew was wiped out? Why is the Iron Legion even deployed in the first scene if all they do is stand around and repeat "we are here to help"? Why does Quicksilver divulge his life story after meeting Ultron like, literally 40 seconds ago?)

I agree Cap's costume is bad. Very bad.
 

onipex

Member
This is one of those movies I like less each time I watch it. I remember loving this moving when I first saw it and now I just about hate it. It's better than the second Avengers movie but that one sucked to that's not saying much. It just doesn't age well for me. Captain America is broken, Thor is a total idiot, Hulk is weak, and shield is useless as always.

It's really just the Loki and Iron Man show.
 
Had sort of an Avatar effect for me. Where I enjoyed it in the theatre but had very little desire to watch it again, which wasn't the case with my favorite MCU efforts like IM1, GotG or even Winter Soldier. I just found it fairly forgettable outside of the initial spectacle.
 
Movie was alright. Pieces needed to be moved, things needed to be connected, it's a solid blockbuster, but it's still just a blockbuster so you're not going to explore the themes of the movie, it will just state them to you and move onto the action. Overall decent 6.5 out of 10 IMO.
 
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