The Avengers: Some Assembly Required (movie review)

Discussion in 'Movies & TV' started by niky, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    That was a good plot arc.

    ...but nothing that emotionally tense. I've got another one from Iron man actually. The scene where Pepper is in the office with Obadiah.

    That's 3. They tried in Avengers to achieve the same effect, but they never did. It doesn't really matter whether it's a group or individaul, they should still be able to make the group seem vulnerable to something (or humanity in general).

    Naturally.

    What I'd like from you is to admit that Iron Man outdid Avengers in every way. The goal was the same (I find it pointless for anyone to compare with Batman btw), but Iron Man was a better movie. More charisma, more emotional investment, better plot, better villain (and that's saying something because Iron Man's villain wasn't great as you point out). Iron Man beats Avengers at its own game. And that's nothing to be ashamed of, Iron Man is on my top 10 of all time list.

    You mean like a strong emotional or intellectual connection to the characters and their plight?

    I'm not sure I can handle more spiderman.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  2. Terronium-12

    Moderator
    United States Brooklyn, NY
    PSN:GTP_Newtype

    Did you not take notice of Tony's reaction? Did you not notice that was thing that sent them off, allowing them to set aside their differences?

    Also, and this is more to the point, why should his death make them seem vulnerable?


    It sounds to me like this is what makes Iron Man a better movie to you.

    Which, as already pointed out, is already there if you're familiar with the books. Only thing that needs to be established in the movie is motive. If you're emotionally drawn in then that's on you, but The Avengers isn't supposed to evoke emotion, not at this juncture anyway.
  3. Dragonwhisky

    Premium
    None GTPlanet
    PSN:dragonwhisky

    The only thing I recall they did to explain this is the scene after Thor snatches Loki from the transport. Loki asks Thor how much dark energy the all father had to use, (conjure?) to get him down there.

    I will have to defer to the modern day experts for the specifics on dark energy use since I sold my comic book collection almost 30 years ago. Wished I had not.
  4. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    No, it's not fair to say that you should fully understand and bond with the characters because you read the comic books and just show up to the movies to see them punch people and blow things up... and somehow it's still a good movie.

    The movie needs to stand on its own legs.
  5. Terronium-12

    Moderator
    United States Brooklyn, NY
    PSN:GTP_Newtype

    It does stand on it's own. You realize this didn't just happen out of the blue, right? That's what Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America were all for; to setup the premise, just as it did in the books.

    Completely eliminating any canon that comes from the comics, the entire purpose within these movies are self-fulfilling; you watch them, you follow the story they tell and you're either invested or you're not. You watch The Avengers and you may wonder what the Tesseract is (a loose form of the Cosmic Cube), you may wonder what the Chitauri are (which, by the way, are unlike their movie depiction), you may even wonder who the purple guy is at the end of the movie - that's it.
  6. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    Reconcile that with this:

  7. Terronium-12

    Moderator
    United States Brooklyn, NY
    PSN:GTP_Newtype

    And I stand by that. You don't walk into the theater, purchase a ticket for The Avengers and then complain about whatever it is one is to complain about when you're unfamiliar with the premises established within the preceding movies relative to the main cast, and are therefore unable to attain proper interest. Nor do you show a lack of interest in being unable to follow the story in all of it's elusiveness which by the way, is again, self-fulfilling, when you have no prior knowledge from the books.

    The latter comes off a bit egotistical perhaps and that's not my intention, but basically the connection the audience should feel is toward these group of misfits defending against what no one else can, or at least no one else we're supposed to know of.
  8. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    None of this has anything to do with me or is really reflective of any of my criticisms. My lack of emotional engagement in the movie has nothing to do with whether or not I understand the premise. It has to do with a general lack of real strife (see the scenes in Iron Man I pointed out).

    For the record, I watched all of the other movies.

    I didn't have trouble following the story.

    Just admit Iron Man beats Avengers at its own game and I'll leave this thread alone.
  9. Terronium-12

    Moderator
    United States Brooklyn, NY
    PSN:GTP_Newtype

    I'll do no such thing. :lol:

    No, seriously, I can see where you're coming from in all of it but I just don't agree. Iron Man has such a gritty upbringing because that's just the way it actually panned out. I felt no more emotionally involved in that (or any part of the movie for that matter) than I did prior to reading it in print. Why should The Avengers have played out in a similar way to evoke such emotion?
  10. Brett

    Premium
    United States Oklahoma

    I viewed The Avengers on Friday and in 2D. I am considering seeing the movie again. Would it be worth seeing in IMAX 3D for those of you that viewed the movie in that format?
  11. FoolKiller

    Premium
    United States Frankfort, KY
    PSN:FoolKiller79 or GTP_FoolKiller for GT5P

    Hulk was...eh...controlled in that instance. It's a different take than I have seen in most comics and cartoons, but it works just as well as the schizophrenia seen in the current cartoon series.

    Vulnerable to themselves doesn't count? It was basically a new version of the sub-plot of Iron Man 2.

    There are three kinds of story plots (at their base):
    1) Boy meets girl
    2) Boy overcomes impossible odds
    3) Boy overcomes himself

    A group dynamic cannot have story 1, so you are left with 2 and 3. I think you expected story 2 but got story 3. And you got a story 3 subplot.

    So, you can see how some of us may be more attached and affected by that scene?

    I find them equally good in most aspects, but Avengers had better character dynamic and pulled Stark out of the spotlight long enough to enjoy smarter dialogue and interaction where Iron Man found itself using sight gags. And Avengers allows Iron Man to shine even more, as it creates a contrast with equal egos. It actually built a lot on Iron Man's character. His interactions with Banner showed how much more serious he can be, yet we also get to see how much he will show off his intellect when that is the only advantage he has over everyone in the room. If anything that shows better dialogue and character dynamic. Even his romantic-ish scenes with Pepper didn't feel slightly awkward for the first time.

    Do keep in mind I do rank Iron Man above the Batman films, for the simple fact that Nolan isn't making superhero/comic book films. He's making sci-fi detective stories. That doesn't make them bad films but I don't enjoy them as much.

    Never had to work in a group where none of you had anything in common or even similar thought processes and had to complete an important task?

    I'll accept that for wide appeal you need to be able to grasp everything without the comics. But if after five previous films in the continuity you can't understand and bond with the characters I don't know what to tell you. There is nothing taken away in this film if you have done that much. Even without those you are only missing backstory. You still get an introduction to the characters.

    The dark energy reference is a mystery to me as well. But I can see it having a tie into something like Enchantress or the Dark Elves. It will possibly play a role in Thor 2 or at least be explained there. I'd not be surprised if Loki's co-conspirator hunts him down to punish him for his failures and Thor has to protect Loki and defend Asgard because Odin sacrificed his energy to send Thor to Earth. And then that could tie back into Avengers 2.
  12. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    Sure does. Point me to a scene with some actual concern for someone's well being the way we get in any of the 3 scenes I mentioned in Iron Man. In a movie like this, we need to feel that something is on the line.

    It was like a band-aid. Rip it off and it's over. In my opinion, they didn't do that justice either.

    I'll give you that. The interactions between characters was better in Avengers than Iron Man.

    They were supposed to be slightly awkward before. That was kinda the charm. The guy was so smooth, but he couldn't be with her.

    The Batman movies, like you say, are just something else. I love Batman Begins, but it's not the same animal at all.

    It's really difficult to get emotionally invested when the characters feel indestructible. I liked all of them. I just didn't worry about any of them.
  13. LaBounti

    Milwaukee,Wi
    PSN:Labounti

    I didn't say he wasn't.
  14. Sanji Himura

    United States Azle, TX
    PSN:supermanfromazle

    Foolkiller is on point here, however you all have lost focus on the target.

    1. Give Joss Weldon a good script... Check.
    2. Give Joss Weldon a few million dollars to play with said script... Okay!
    3. Make Marvel/Disney $200.3 million on opening weekend domestic gross... Done and Done!

    The point is that without Joss Weldon, who does moonlight in the comics industry, you will probably get a mess of the Avengers. Weldon knows the comics industry inside and out from his work with 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', so he knows how to navigate with multiple egos in comic book lore.
  15. FoolKiller

    Premium
    United States Frankfort, KY
    PSN:FoolKiller79 or GTP_FoolKiller for GT5P

    Earth was on the line and until they could get along that wouldn't change. There was no suddenly huge obstacle to overcome at a point when things suddenly felt bleak and all hope was lost, but then it wasn't that kind of story and wasn't cut out with a cookie cutter story mold. But then Joss Whedon was never big about sticking to traditional storytelling. It tends to be why I like him so much.

    In the first Iron Man, sure. But the second? Any non-business interactions were just awkward after they were supposedly together. Granted, it's been over a year and there was room for her to get comfortable, but she just had a whole new confidence altogether that seemed more like the kind of woman that can tie Tony Stark down.

    [spoiler]Even Iron Man in the end, since sacrifice was the one thing he didn't do?

    I'll admit, I expected him to live, but I did in his own movies. I did not expect how he woke up. I've seen similar situations where Thor hit him with some lightning to jump start his reactor, especially after their fight earlier in the film. So, I got caught off guard that it was a Hulk yell that jolted him.

    And at least he got his shawarma in the end.[/spoiler]
  16. SlipZtrEm

    Moderator
    Canada Toronto
    PSN:NewAesthetic

    [spoiler]My personal theory on that bit was since she seemed afraid and ran away, Hulk gave chase in a fit of anger about these supposed team mates always fearing him. Your mileage may vary.[/spoiler]

    Saw it again tonight with a friend and it still stands up, with one small problem:

    [spoiler]Where'd Hawkeye get the small aircraft, exactly? It's made clear it's part of the gigantic ship's squad on his infiltration return, but he definitely didn't have it with him in the beginning of the film when he busted out of the SHIELD compound. I'm sure there's plenty of possible explanations for this, but I found it odd.[/spoiler]
  17. niky

    Moderator
    Philippines Philippines

    [spoiler]They could have stolen it from another SHIELD facility. That plot hole might be sewn up with the thirty minutes of missing footage that's going into the DVD/Bluray release.[/spoiler]

    Felt it was a brilliant move. I love Norton as an actor, but he just isn't Bruce Banner. Too intense.

    [spoiler]I felt it was more showing that Banner has more control over the Hulk than previously shown. He chased down the girl earlier in the movie because he wasn't in control of the transformation... but later got a handle on it. Later on, he's... mostly... in control...[/spoiler]

    Same here. It had less of that "Smallville" vibe and more of an authentic young Spidey vibe to it. The kid playing Parker is perfect. I hope the movie is as good as the trailer.

    Much as I loved "Iron Man", and I agree with you about the real and palpable dramatic tension in some scenes, I can't.

    The general direction of the story and some of the scenes were absolutely excellent. But Iron Man suffers from some of the clunkiest, most idiotic dialogue outside of the Fast n' Furious franchise. It was more evident in 2, because things had settled down, but when you re-watch 1, you can't help but groan every time they mention an "unfortunate training exercise." or the absolutely senseless telephone dialogue between Tony and Rhodes when he's on his way to rescue Pepper from Stane.

    It's a very lopsided movie... mixing perfectly great writing with perfectly bad writing. Perhaps because Robert always gives his five cents when working out his part, it comes out in the end as nearly brilliant, but there's a reason I only gave it 8.5 / 10 when I saw it.

    It's in IM2 that it really falls apart. There are still some gems there, but the logical inconsistencies, plot holes and bad writing just mow them over.

    One only hopes they get the script bugs ironed out of IM3.

    -----

    As FK says, the dynamic is different. They would have never been able to go into any of the characters in as in-depth a manner as in a stand-alone movie. If you come in expecting that, I can understand being disappointed. But I didn't expect the characters to get half-as-much character development as they did. So what's there is a bonus.

    -----

    As for fear of the characters dying... I guess that depends on how well you can suspend disbelief. Come on... who actually believes any of the heroes will die? :D
  18. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    What?

    Ok, you're walking dangerously close to fanboy here. Non-traditional storytelling? You've got to be kidding me. Not cookie cutter? What?

    This was an incredibly formulaic script that follows all hollywood conventions to the letter (just as all of the other movies leading up to this one did). It's not that this movie was trying to be something different. It was trying to be the same, but it didn't manage. I don't need to list the various situations where you're supposed to be worried about the characters (but aren't). But there are plenty.

    Different movie. Not as good.

    Iron Man 2 has no bearing on whether Iron Man 1 was a good movie (just as episode I or VI doesn't affect Episode V). It stands alone. And if your main criticism of the movie is that you didn't like the training exercise joke...

    I did not go in expecting in-depth character development. So that has nothing to do with anything I'm saying (and how is anyone getting that from what I'm writing?). Here's my complaint in the shortest possible form:

    At no point do you ever take Loki seriously.

    There are a variety of reasons for that, from indestructible superheros to bad motivation/writing for the bad guy. Blame it on Loki or blame it on Thor. Either way, that's my complaint.

    There's a difference between intellectual belief and emotional belief. Intellectually you know that the Iron Man writers are not going to kill Tony Stark. Emotionally, you still think he's screwed when they take the hood off of him in the terrorist shot.
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  19. McLaren

    Premium
    Monaco Dallas, Texas
    PSN:Partyboy_78

    No argument here. I think Ruffalo nailed it personally.
  20. FoolKiller

    Premium
    United States Frankfort, KY
    PSN:FoolKiller79 or GTP_FoolKiller for GT5P

    You are constantly pointing out that there is no ultra-bleak, all hope is lost moment. Despite having a God to use we didn't have a situation that required a deus ex machina moment. As opposed to having a blatant machina ex machina (would that be right?) moment the way Iron Man did. Now, how many real life problems go through those up and down moments? Not drawing a scene out trying to make us think a tragedy will occur is stepping outside the norm.

    Or better yet, you point out this:
    [spoiler]How would you feel if he proved to be a physical match for Hulk? We know he's a close match for Thor, but instead of the huge one-on-one battle found in every movie we got something that honestly felt more natural. Sure, it didn't feel like a compelling story element, but why does it have to? [/spoiler]
    Sure, Avengers follows a typical comic-style blockbuster formula at its base but it's hard to justify a team coming together without the big things. But some of the near-cliche story elements everyone expects aren't there.

    Did you find the sight gags during suit development added to the story? Some of them were Wile E Coyote worthy. Made worse by the fact that part of his cockiness is that it is deserved. He is always right, until him screwing up is a chance to add comic relief.
  21. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    You're talking about the "low point" in screenwriting terms. Which I believe was this (I'm not sure I remember the movie timeline well enough to get this entirely right):

    [spoiler]
    The moment Coulson died (before he shot loki).
    Thor was presumably headed for his death (but you didn't really think that would happen)
    Hulk was presumably lost to the group (but you didn't really think that would happen either)
    Coulson was dead
    The 2nd engine was either lost or about to be lost.
    Hawkeye was still a bad guy
    Loki was escaping with no one left to stop him. (Iron Man/Cap were occupied)
    [/spoiler]

    You didn't recognize it as the low point it was supposed to be because you didn't believe what you were supposed to believe.

    That's not really what I'm getting at.

    [spoiler] Last of the Mohicans has a similar final battle that's over very quickly. But you're still emotionally drawn in. It takes nothing away from tension of the scene. [/spoiler]

    Can you agree that my point is correct? You're never seriously concerned about Loki?

    Yes, the suit development added to the story. It was a way to demonstrate that the suit was not easy or quick, but the work of testing and engineering. It helped further demonstrate Stark as an engineer, explain the genesis of the suit, demonstrate that the suit was in itself a technical achievement, and identify him as a self-made superhero. Big stuff actually.

    The sight gags were a way to keep it interesting and fun (not that I needed them), and partly just to show some difficulty with the task.
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  22. FoolKiller

    Premium
    United States Frankfort, KY
    PSN:FoolKiller79 or GTP_FoolKiller for GT5P

    Think about how the characters reacted to those things. Only one of the things you named ultimately affected anyone. Even the characters weren't led to believe all hope was lost.

    [spoiler]Only Coulson's death bothered anyone and it wasn't presented as a tense threatening moment because he doesn't even rank the same as side kick status. Even Loki expected Thor to survive the fall and the only concern with Hulk was that he'd not come back, but Stark knew Banner better than that and didn't worry about him.[/spoiler]

    Was it supposed to be tense? You are looking for a specific emotional draw to satisfy something you demand from a story. Sometimes a story doesn't have to fit a specific criteria to be enjoyed. You can like a character without having to fear for them.

    I did but because I am familiar with how he works as a character and that nothing is as it seems with him. The fact that his army were basically cannon fodder did take away from it and I still expected to see him prove to be more of a challenge. From your perspective, I can see how there was no concern.

    Tony Stark, aided by a supercomputer AI, miscalculated that 3% force would throw him I to the ceiling and bend him over in a way that would paralyze most people? The icing issue made sense and felt normal, but being slammed around uncontrollably with deadly force was over the top, especially when he didn't have his full armor on to protect him.
  23. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    That was their role (each one figures they don't need the others). But you are still supposed to recognize the problem. [spoiler]Hulk isn't supposed to be worried that he's leaving. Thor isn't supposed to be worried that Hulk is leaving. But you are.[/spoiler]

    You're missing me still. I liked all of the characters (didn't fear for any of them). Liking the characters was not the problem. And I'm not looking for something from this story that it didn't attempt to create. This is a case of tried and failed....

    ...and that's not a problem? This is a fundamental flaw in the movie. The bad guy needs to pose a threat. Otherwise we're just having a nerdgasm watching special effects and guys in costumes.
  24. FoolKiller

    Premium
    United States Frankfort, KY
    PSN:FoolKiller79 or GTP_FoolKiller for GT5P

    I'm not sure that I was. No one worried, not because they didn't care, but because they were confident there was nothing to fear.

    It wouldn't be Whedon's first time where a situation that would be guaranteed death for normal humans turns into a fantastic spectacle without adding melodrama for emotional impact. Maybe it's a writing weakness, but I more often than not enjoy thinking, "Somebody's gonna get hurt. AWESOME!"

    I get you, but I'm suggesting you may be wrong. I suggest it because I've know The Avengers long enough to know that short of Death Star equivalent entities a team of "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" has little to be concerned with and winning is not often a matter of if, but how and implementation.

    Um, I just admitted that Loki and his army didn't meet my expectations.

    Was it disappointing? Yes. But I was concerned he had a trick (you know, his specialty) up his sleeve up until the end.

    And I'll be the first to point this out:

    [spoiler]Nuke in the mother ship kills all the aliens on Earth too? Are the Chitauri actually just a hive mind? No wonder they were so easy to kill.[/spoiler]
    That was a big cliche.
  25. niky

    Moderator
    Philippines Philippines

    You guys still at it? Wonder if you'll make this last till Avengers 2... :D

    If it was just that, I'd take it as such. But the "five agents" phone conversations... wherein Pepper Potts, at no time, tells them how many agents are with her, points to many of the phone conversations being poorly scripted covers for deleted lines or scenes... and there was a deleted scene in that later phone conversation. Poor editing of the script.

    Again... I think it's largely due to Downey Jr. that his lines were so good.



    I think "Iron Man" had the advantage of drawing on real-world parallels to execute the terrorist subplot. If it didn't, or if you didn't know anything about the Afghan/Iraq conflicts... then it wouldn't resonate as clearly. And from what I recall, it didn't resonate as well with non-Western... and non-male... audiences, anyway. It's a cultural thing.

    "Avengers" tries to appeal to a broader audience, and cuts down on the "Rah rah America" rhetoric of Iron Man... to the point where all mention of the symbolism of Cap's costume comes down to a single conversation in the film.

    Of course... I tend to agree with you that it wasn't as symbolic or deep a movie, but I believed it was superior popcorn cinema, despite its flaws. 1/10 withheld on review due to them.
  26. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    You definitely were. Maybe you need to watch the movie again. All of the classic everything at the low point was right there. I don't believe that the screenwriters set out to write an inferior screenplay.

    Lack of drama and emotion are not good things. This movie could have been better. I'll be the first one to admit that some movies go overboard - trying to get the lowest possible low point to the point of unrealistic behavior by characters and laughably pathetic ploys. Like, the main character's cat (not having been in the movie beforehand) runs away just for the low point and comes back just after. Something silly like that.

    I've gone on rants about movies that try too hard to get low at the low point. Usually it's when characters behave contradictory to their character up to that point just for the sake of creating drama. Sometimes it's just the level of humiliation that the writers stoop to. Bridesmaids is one of the best examples I can think of. At the low point, Kirsten Wiig's character is behaving contradictory to everything prior and has to go through a seemingly unending self-destructive string of humiliation in front of everyone she knows just for the sake of making you feel bad for her (it backfires, you start to not like her).

    So trust me when I say that I'm not a big fan of drama for the sake of drama or obnoxiously unrealistic all-hope-is-lost moments. But Avengers comes off as emotionally flat due to lack of real concern for basically anyone, and that's definitely a flaw.

    Iron Man is an extremely similar movie that manages to not come off as emotionally flat and is better for it.

    No way. The ability to draw on real-world parallels is not necessary to achieve what I'm talking about. The fact that they did may have alienated some audiences, but you don't need to make a culturally relevant movie to have a dramatic movie.

    Alien, for example, is dramatic without drawing on real-world parallels. Pitch Black was more emotionally engaging with practically nothing resembling real-world. Star Trek II, nothing real-world about that. "Khaaaaaaannnn!!!"

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Think about it. You know what scene in Avengers is supposed to be the equivalent. And you know it's not as compelling.


    Edit:

    It really does irritate me to argue about this because I did enjoy the movie and I don't want to discourage anyone from seeing it. It's a good movie people, go see it. I'm nit picking because FK said it was perfect.
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  27. niky

    Moderator
    Philippines Philippines

    Hahaha... Feel free to continue... :D :tup:
  28. astrosdude91

    United States Houston, TX
    PSN:astrosdude91

    Saw it again tonight. Went to the cinema at the mall this time. And they gave me a Lego Avengers poster. I never got that the first time around.
  29. FoolKiller

    Premium
    United States Frankfort, KY
    PSN:FoolKiller79 or GTP_FoolKiller for GT5P

    Well, I put my money where my mouth is and saw it again tonight. Still loving it. And I looked for the scenes where some people had questions and will dive into them later.

    I'll get to the rest of your post when I have more time and something other than my iPhone in front of me. Upon a second viewing with your comments in mind I have found counters to some of your statements as well as points where I found myself agreeing with you.

    But I do want to address this part real quick. I never have used the word perfect. The closest I came was:

    But then I spend paragraphs describing why it is a great comic book movie. I still don't even call it a perfect comic book movie. The closest I get is to proclaim it the movie comic book fans have been wanting.
  30. Danoff

    Premium
    United States Mile High City

    Well I was referring to the 10/10, which I think is overly generous.

    To counterbalance your re-watching of Avengers tonight, I just finished re-watching Iron Man tonight. I find it to be a superior film in almost every aspect. I was specifically watching for bad dialog during phone conversations and abrupt bad guy changes and I can't agree with either of those criticisms. It's actually better than I remembered.

    ;)
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