Monday, February 6, 2012

"Avengers" Super Bowl Trailer Review

As all self-respecting Marvel comic (and movie) fans know, a big, flashy "Avengers" trailer ran during last night's Super Bowl, and maaaan ... was it pretty or what? (the answer is "yes")

The question is: will this movie be just another pretty face, or are we going to fall head over heels in love with it?

"We have a Hulk."
Yes, you do. And an archer, a spy, a super-soldier, a norse god and a "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist." The questions is: do you have a plot? It's clear that the movie is being marketed with the characters, and that makes sense. If you've seen any of the other Marvel movies, the thought of having all of them together in one movie is a great selling point. However, you'd better be able to tell a good story once they're all assembled, or it's all for naught.

So far, I'm not seeing that. As @JasonWasulko pointed out, the plot is "Avengers don't get along with each other. Aliens invade. Avengers get along to fight invading aliens. " On the surface, that's fine with me, but I pray that Whedon makes it more interesting than that. I have a long-standing respect for the man's work and trust him to respect the property, BUT six cool characters running around punching things does not automatically make for a good movie.

So ... those were Skrulls, right?
At one point in the video, you can see something jumping out of those alien ships. I've slowed it down to review it frame by frame, but I can't pick up on any detail that confirms or denies that the enemy is the rumored alien race of Skrulls. As long as the villian is not invented especially for this flick and they are something that stems from the comics, I'll be happy. My biggest concern is that the heroes end up being the only element of the story that are straight from the books. The villains are every bit as important to include. We know we'll have Loki. Anyone else?

The Genuine Article
To me, one of the best things about this movie is that we are getting the exact version of the characters as they appeared in other movies - the genuine article. The costumes look the same, the effects look the same, and all of the actors (except for Ed Norton) are returning to reprise their characters. This just adds so much credibility to the film for me. By starring in their own movie, each character and actor has earned a seat at the table, giving us what will be an unprecedented movie-going experience. Where else have we ever seen several major movie characters all together in one film?

In Conclusion
Ultimately (no pun intended), I have faith in Whedon to pull it all together and not skimp on the story. Right now, it's clear that the marketing is all about who's in the movie, and maybe it should be. I just want this to work so badly that I'm craving signs of great storytelling and I'm not seeing that quite yet. That said, May 4 is still a ways off, and I certainly want to go in spoiler-free(ish).

In the end, maybe it's better that this is all we know so far. I, for one, will be there opening night, ready for the ride of my life with the immortal Lando Calrissian's line running through my head: "C'mon old buddy, don't let me down."

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