#6 – Marvel’s The Avengers

2012_Avengers_PosterH:5 In the very first film of its kind, Marvel successfully combined three huge franchises (and one sort of dying one *cough* Hulk) to create a wonderful new team-film. As demonstrated by star stuffed films like New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day, obviously it takes more than a huge roster of famous actors to make a movie work, and often so many big characters actually hurts the movie, because there isn’t enough screen time to go around. But Joss Whedon handled the challenge beautifully, giving each character enough screen time to have their own progression, and to take the film’s main protagonist – the team itself – and allow it to grow along with them.

V:2 As much as I love Loki (specifically in Thor 2, in which he was by far the best part of an otherwise underwhelming film), I just couldn’t believe him as the leader of an alien army to wipe out the earth. His motivations for conquest seemed petty and weak, and his alliance with the Chitauri leader felt forced at best. Loki is at his best when he is acting as his title – the God of Mischief, not the God of Invading Planets.

U:5 As stated, marvel broke huge ground by creating the first successful team-up movie in any franchise. Combining characters who each have their own films is no small task. Just look at how sad Batman Vs Superman turned out, and they even had the benefit of seeing Marvel’s proven example. Now imagine being Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon and the pressure and stress of trying to be the first people to do so. For that fact alone, Avengers certainly gets full points for uniqueness.

S:3 Perhaps it’s because they already had four “main” Avengers to split their time between, but it felt like some characters got pushed to the back burner. Maria Hill felt like a generic filler, and Clint Barton/Hawkeye didn’t get nearly the screen time he deserved, spending more than half the movie brain-washed. Same goes for Eric Selvig. Fortunately both characters got more spotlight in later films.

M:5 With so many huge characters to work with, it’s no wonder Avengers has some hugely memorable moments. Perhaps one of my favorite Marvel moments is the confrontation between Thor, Iron Man, and Cap in the park – “Doth mother know, you weareth her drapes?” Combine that with multiple epic Hulk moments – “I’m always angry”, “Puny god”, and punching Thor in the face – plus many more, and you have plenty to fill a blockbuster of such epic proportions.

Final Score: 20 This movie changed the Marvel landscape forever. Although the first Cap and Thor films didn’t quite live up to expectations, the runaway, record-breaking box office success of Avengers ensured that they would have plenty of funding to create some huge sequels (even if one didn’t turn out so well). And despite some questionable costume choices (I’m looking at you, Captain America), it was such a blast to watch again and again. It also proved to skeptics that Disney’s $4 billion acquisition of Marvel was the best choice they ever made.

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