Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Avenging Superheroes - Part 1

Next summer the superhero movie to top all superhero movies is coming out: Avengers. And I couldn't have cared less a few weeks ago. My brother told me about Iron man, my friends talked about Thor, and still I didn't budge until the day the trailer came out and I watched it. I've never had my mind changed so fast, and all it took was one name. It wasn't the trailer itself that impressed me, it was the discovery that Avengers is written and directed by none other than Joss Whedon. (I think my exact reaction was "Why did no one tell me?")

Suddenly I went from not caring less about Avengers to being very, very interested in seeing it. But I was already behind the game. I didn't know any of the main players. So I set out to find the characters' original movies and watch them. This meant stalking the library for Thor, Green Lantern, and Captain America, and getting the rest on Netflix.

Ivan Danko
Iron Man 2

"Did you see Iron Man 1?"
"No, it wasn't available instant view on Netflix. The library had two copies, but managed to lose them both. So I read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia instead."

Besides, the villain in Iron Man 2 is more cool. No, seriously. Maybe not the character himself, but his weapons are cool. This is definitely a symptom of the villain being cooler then the hero...

Tony Stark is, in his own words, "a billionaire playboy philanthropist." He's also dying. I can't help but wonder, in a society as advanced as this, isn't there some better method of preventing shrapnel from penetrating to your heart? Can't you do surgery, or something? I feel very sorry for Tony; not because he's dying, but because the writer's are clearly putting him through everything for the sake of the furtherance of the plot.

My favorite character, though, was Tony's friend James Rhodes. I love that sort of friendship in a film. Romance is all fine and well, but romance is overdone. I like just seeing ordinary friendship built on mutual trust. James stole the Iron Man suit, but Tony trusted him with access in the first place. It was James who didn't trust his friend, which he later realized and apologized for and everything was happy.


Betty Ross
My mom talked about the Incredible Hulk sometimes, the man who turned giant green when you made him angry. As children we always thought that was funny. As a film, it's still funny. It's so totally an old superhero they're trying to bring up to modern standards, but I always got the Jolly Green Giant and The Incredible Hulk mixed up and so all I can think is "Oh, he's big and green!" I don't care how dramatic the music was, how flashy the cinematography was, or how long the movie was. Nothing can eliminate the entire dated feel of the storyline.

The cinematographer clearly thought he was brilliant, but he only succeeded in being distracting. There were a couple of really pretty shots, and there were a lot of really flashy ones. Instead of cutting from the character talking to see the look on the face of the character listening Frederick Elmes would show us both at once, in a split screen or an inset. I never knew which one to look at or pay attention to. To make things worse, the movie was way too long. 2 hours and 18 minutes is one way of measuring it, the fact that it took a full minute for anyone to say anything was another, and the really long and drawn out fighting/rampaging scenes was yet another.

Also, the villain is more cool then the hero! Bruce's dad can blend with the elements. And elementals are just plain cool. Also, elementals are the good guys. Raging green hulks are the ones you should be afraid of. The reversal of roles was confusing, disorienting, and dissatisfying. The real villain was the idiotic military commander who tortured Bruce into changing.

Incidentally, Bruce is also the name of Batman, so we have two superheroes with the first name. How shall we ever keep them straight?

Remind me what makes Hulk a superhero again?

In Conclusion
Patiently waiting for the library to get the other movies on their shelves. The last time it took two months. Meanwhile I'm going to stick to animated superheros like... Megamind!


  1. LOL, Katie!

    I haven't seen those and don't really plan to. I too prefer to stick to Megamind. ;)

    Thor, however, looks cool. If you see that, I'll be looking forward to your thoughts. :D

  2. I've never gotten into superheroes. I suppose the Incrediables count as an exception?

  3. I think they do. I'm actually going to do the Incredibles next, at some point.