My mind is awash with ideas to expand the Marvel cinematic universe. I kid you not, I could hash out the rough plot to 30 new Marvel movies in the next few days. The Avengers was amazing. I guess that's what happens when a seasoned veteran of the comic book world writes and directs a movie. Over the next few days, I could literally come up with general plot lines for about 30 new Marvel movies. Seriously.
If you haven't realized it by now, The Avengers was awesome. I think it beats out The Dark Knight as the all time greatest super hero movie. I was talking with my wife after the movie, and she said that she was starting to get the feeling that if you've seen one super hero movie, you've seen them all. To a degree, there is some truth in that. The basis to most good super hero stories is that some ominous force is bent on world domination or wiping out all of mankind, and a hero (or heroes) must face overwhelming odds and fight their own personal demons to save the world. What makes a movie great (The Avengers) or bland (2003's Hulk) is the execution of the plot. Bravo to Joss Whedon.
The characters were nearly spot on in their page to screen transfer. Fury was the manipulator constantly working for the good of humanity, no matter the gray areas he ventured into. Iron Man was the selfish jerk who thinks he's better than everyone else. Bruce Banner was still the genius with the big heart and the even bigger anger management issue. The Hulk still loved to beat up on bad guys and even his friends. Thor was still the Asgardian dedicated to justice. Captain America was still the voice of reason (though they could have made him a little more reasonable in a scene or two to keep with his comic book character) who helped to rally everyone. The Black Widow was still the deadly femme fatale with a deep and layered background. Hawkeye wasn't quite the wise-cracking marksman he is in the comics, but he was still good, and I'm grateful they included him in. Maria Hill wasn't quite the same as she was in the comics. In the comics, she was a somewhat competent mid-level bureaucrat, not Fury's right hand person (where was Dum-Dum Dugan?!?).
One thing that separates Marvel from DC is that in the Marvel Universe, the good guys are always fighting each other. It's something we've come to expect. The fights between heroes have almost become more tantalizing that a good throw down with a villain. The Avengers did not disappoint. The fight between Iron Man and Thor was great. The spirit of the fight was right out of the pages of the comics themselves. The Hawkeye and Black Widow fight was great. What really amazed me was the Hulk/Thor fight. I didn't think they'd be able to do it on film; I thought we'd be relegated to animated fights (Hulk vs., Planet Hulk) if we wanted something good. Now my hopes are up that Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, a Juggernaut/Hulk fight, a Thing/Hulk fight and a Wolverine/Hulk fight are feasible on the silver screen. And don't say anything about Fox owning rights to the other characters; with the 1.5 billion it's probably going to make from world wide theater release alone, they can afford to buy the rights.
|Just like nachos: full of cheesy goodness|
Here comes the almost spoiler. I was a bad fan boy and didn't see the midnight showing. I should have, but didn't. It was high up on my list to see, but I hadn't gotten around it yet. I was browsing through yahoo articles yesterday when I came across an article that had a spoiler about the villain at the end of the movie, one of those clips that's thrown into the credits. I was tempted to wait and be surprised when I saw it in theaters (which would have caused to convulse in sheer ecstasy), but I decided to go ahead and spoil it. After all, it couldn't be my favorite villain of all time who I was hoping beyond all hope could be brought to the big screen, could it? Oh yeah, it could. So I went and saw it last night. That scene opens the next movie up for so much. While I won't directly spoil the surprise, it'll open up the door to some really great cosmic heroes (and villains, and the morally ambiguous) like Nova, Quasar, Drax, Ronan, Rocket Raccoon, Starlord, Adam Warlock, and many, many others. Again, thank you Joss Whedon. You are my hero.
Now, for a few things I would have thought would have been different. During the final battle, I think Fury would've been down there fighting himself, not monitoring the situation from the helicarrier (nerdtastic, by the way). I think he should have been leading the Howling Commandos. They could have split the fighting with the Avengers. And where was War Machine? He was in Iron Man 2, why couldn't he have shown up, or at least referenced? Same thing goes with other super heroes and super hero teams. What have they been doing during this whole time?
Anyhow, while there are few minor things I would have tweaked, I think Joss Whedon did an absolutely amazing job with the Avengers, and I eagerly await the next installment in what is promising to be a multi-billion dollar franchise to rival Star Wars itself.