Trilogy Thursday: Avengers Initiative Phase 1B
Max: Would the great experiment be worth it in the end? Would Marvel be able to generate a monstrous success out of combining all their superheros under one movie? Could a director (Joss Whedon) who has a huge fan following, actually create a property that would be financially successful?
Similar to my cohort T, the answer is an empathic, Yes.
Not only does The Avengers mix in two more superheroes in prominent roles (Black Widow and Hawkeye), they managed to make previously iffy characters like The Hulk become fan favorites. There’s lots of nods to moments earlier in the saga and the enjoyment found in The Avengers is unparallelled when having viewed all the other films.
The only problems with the movie are it’s simpleton storyline and a runtime that isn’t quite enough to answer some questions properly (like going into detail how Thor made it back to Earth). In the end though, those fail to matter since there’s so much enjoyment in the character interactions. The fantastic casting of all the superheroes really shines through here. It will be interesting to see what happens next.
T: What can I say? Five movies that promised the coming together of some of Earth’s mightiest heroes. All under one director (Each of the different heroes’ individual stories were presented to us under the direction of separate filmmakers.) and all working towards a common goal. We’d seen Hulk smash (although this Hulk would yet be a THIRD different actor with Mark Ruffalo), we’d seen Cap fight Nazis, we’d seen Nick Fury keep an eye on a hero or two, we’d seen Thor hammer his way back to Asgard, we’d seen Iron Man be…well, Iron Man, and we’d even seen Black Widow take a bite outta crime. What would director Joss Whedon do with such a team? Would Marvel live up to the promised adventure?
Starring, well, everyone, The Avengers very wisely takes viewers on an amazing ride with so much to enjoy. Bringing a threat to Earth via a villain we had already been introduced to in Thor (Loki), the understandable and believable (for the comic world) threat, the world needed a team to come together to defeat them. Enter the not-so-friendly-to-each-other group of heroes called The Avengers. Nick Fury leads them together in a fight against the extra-terrestrial threat that, of course, proved to extend far beyond that of Loki himself. The action, comedy, and drama that in encapsulated by this film is almost completely unparalleled in a superhero film. So many dynamics that are reached in this culmination of a 5-movie project if you will. With an amazing all-star cast, Whedon successfully brought the characters we love, added some new characters to enjoy and a villain or two to hate, and created a masterpiece that benefited from a great foundation of previous films. (One of the most enjoyable parts of the film is the continual true to the comics spatting back and forth between Iron Man and Captain America).
Max: No studio had ever attempted what Marvel tried. Disney released what was going to happen and bought Marvel at the perfect opportunity. They had grown into much more than a comic book company, they are a global phenomenon and comic book movies are not a fad. There are countless projects in the works that will try to attain the same success, but who knows if this will ever be replicated.
While everything is fantastic for now, I have to wonder what will happen when these actors change out of the roles. I mean sure it will continue just like Spider-Man or Batman, but some of this casting feels like it can’t be bettered. Marvel has already announced films that will lead into The Avengers 2 and now we are in The Avengers Initiative Phase 2.
When watched together there’s few franchises that have as satisfying conclusion as The Avengers. The fact that it ended up living up to the endless hype is phenomenal. The Avengers Saga is highly recommended.
T: Marvel made it. While each of the films are quite capable of standing on their own, they each are interwoven to create this awesome adventure of a tale that is not over. The inevitable sequel is on the way, but what remains to be seen is just how Marvel will tie in Thor 2, Captain America 2, Iron Man 3, and Ant Man movies into that film.
I loved The Avengers for all that it did, all that it stayed true to, and all that it used from the films prior to it to help tell the story. A great two trilogies that should be in every superhero fans movie collection when it releases on September 25 on Blu-ray!