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May 6, 2012

Avengers Movie Review: The Good, The Bad and How I Would Fix It

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Written by: E. Ortiz
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For months, there has been a lot of speculation among comic book readers whether the Avengers movie would be satisfying. Even popular Marvel Comics writer Ed Brubaker received flack about it weeks before its release.


Our own Nerd Caliber writers debated whether the movie would be entertaining, such as Dave Palmacci’s Why The Avengers Movie Will Suck and Steven Savage’s Don’t Worry About The Avengers First Movie. After watching it this weekend, I decided to share not just what I liked and disliked about the movie but also some suggestions of what they could have changed and where new fans can go to read more great Avengers stories. I will do my best to avoid spoilers, but I make no promises.

The Good

Much credit to the financial success of the Avengers film must go to Joss Whedon, as he not only directed but co-wrote the film. It’s great that Marvel hired someone that knows how to work with a lot of cast members (Buffy/Angel), has a great handle on science fiction (Serenity) and with mysterious government agencies (Dollhouse). He can also write great dialogue and humor (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog). I can’t think of a better director than Whedon that could juggle all those factors perfectly into this movie.

I’m not a big fan of the superhero versus superhero stories, especially since Marvel has been beating that horse to death (Avengers Versus X-Men, Civil War, X-Men: Schism… serious Marvel, are your villains just not interesting to you guys anymore?). However, I was entertained throughout the movie as to how they fought each other, whether it was with words or fists, and how in the end they had to learn to work together.

Also, I think this is the best version of the Hulk I’ve seen on the silver screen.

The Bad

Is it just me, or are they trying hard for superheroes to be as maskless as possible? Yes, I know everybody loves the actors, I do too, but if I pay money to see superheroes than I want to see superheroes with their masks. I mean, even the Ultimate’s version of Hawkeye has cool shades.

How I Would Make It Better

Any real fan of the classic Avengers would only be annoyed with one major thing, the lack of Henry Pym and Janet van Dyne, aka Ant-Man and The Wasp. Even though the fanboy in me is pleased that Loki was their first villain just like in the first issue of the Avengers, it just didn’t feel like an Avengers film without them. And before you say that someone with miniature powers would be useless to the team…

From Fables: Super Team (Volume 16) by Bill Willingham

Heroes with miniature powers find solutions to problems that gamma-radiated or Asgardian-born fists could not solve. Now if Marvel prefers to introduce Ant-Man and the Wasp with a film of their own first, what I would have done is introduce them as part of a group of SHIELD scientists hypnotically controlled by Loki like the character Professor Erik Selvig. Sure it’s cool that they tied in Selvig from the Thor movie, but wouldn’t it be a bit cooler if the scientist was Henry Pym instead? Even if the producers felt having two characters with miniature powers was too much, Henry’s other superhero personas, such as Giant-Man, would fit in the action perfectly with the alien invasion at the end.

If You Want To See More

If any of you want to see a more thorough origin and other adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, I would definitely check out the cartoon series The Avengers: Heroes Assemble! (Marvel Super Hero Collection). The episodes where they fought Kang and Ultron are the most fun I had watching a superteam work together since the good old JLU days.

For reading, there are a lot of great sagas in the Avengers series. I would recommend ULTRON UNLIMITED, The Korvac Saga (Marvel Premiere Classic), Under Siege, and Mark Millar’s The Ultimates. I would also recommend strongly to stay away from every Avengers story written by Bendis. Yes, all of them.

In Conclusion…

…this is a great superhero film and definitely worth viewing many more times. If you are looking for something with that is more thought provoking in a superhero movie, I would wait for The Dark Knight Rises. If you are looking for something more Oscar-worthy, I would wait for the Hobbit. But if you are looking for a good story, funny dialogue, and tons of action, don’t miss this.

As great as the Avengers movie was, what would you change? Are there any other Avengers graphic novels you would suggest for us to check out?

About the Author

E. Ortiz
E. Ortiz has been working as a freelance journalist, videographer and editor for almost ten years for many different organizations: from MoCCA to FUSE Music Television. Nowadays Mr. Ortiz is the brains behind Nerd Caliber and sometimes you can see him leading his team at conventions.



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  1. I’m waiting until the crowds die down a bit, but i’m pretty sure this is going to be one of the best action flicks I’ve ever experienced

  2. bill

    thought it was bland. incredibly bland. none of the actors are believable in their roles, but at least stark makes it fun.

    normally when I get to see movies for free, the only good thought coming out of the theater is ‘at least I didn’t pay for it’.

    the avengers was no exception.

  3. Dave Palmacci

    I agree but I have to be honest and say it was better than what I was expecting (I wasn’t expecting much).

    Here it goes; I guess count this as spoilers because I really can’t tell what one person considers a spoiler and what one doesn’t.

    The warning is there, now ready?!……


    Here we go…

    What I liked: The scene showing Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America standing together on the big screen was something I’ve wanted to witness for a very long time. I mean, it wasn’t just them it was the fact there’s a damn Avengers movie is awesome, it was hard for me to hate this movie as I hated Thor and Iron Man 2. I also liked the Hulk/Bruce Banner in this.

    Now the bad stuff and what Marvel needs to recognize to not have the second movie go into the toilet because the mid credit scene shows someone that makes me far more interested in Avengers 2. If they screw that up then I will riot on Marvel. Since there are people who summarize their entire review of the Dark Knight solely based upon the voice of Bale’s Batman and ignore plot, character development, and good screenplay (even though his voice had the reason of masking Bruce Wayne’s identity… ) then I’m going to pick apart the dozens of things wrong with the Avengers even though I overall thought it was a decent movie.

    1) Marvel… do we really need a punch line EVERY 3 MINUTES?! From EVERY character?! Hawkeye and Iron Man are semi-wise guys in the comics, NOT Captain America, Thor, and Loki and everyone else in the damn movie. There were so many punch lines that when the “serious” parts came I didn’t take them serious. I felt absolutely nothing for the *someone* who died, I just didn’t care because it still felt like a quirky joke.

    2) Marvel hates masks and costumes. Captain America and Iron Man aside, one of the coolest things about characters like Hawkeye was his costume and mask in the comic. I can understand changing things for a movie, but to do the typical Marvel stunt of sucking all creativity out of costumes and going for the all black no mask no cape look is getting boring. They did it with X-Men, now they’re doing it with Avengers. People like to claim; “oh but it makes it more realistic… “ then don’t make a superhero movie. Superheroes have costumes and uniforms, are we expected to have cosplayers in the near future dress in all black and street clothes? “Ah but I want to see the actors act..” yeah, because there’s far too many Oscars going to superhero actors… I mean I was in tears with how beautiful the acting was in Thor.. (I can’t get any more sarcastic).

    3) Speaking of masks and costumes, what the hell was the deal with Loki? He would randomly go in and out from his Asgard outfit (which I thought was very cool and they did a good job with) and his black.. regular-joe outfit. There was no explanation for this why he would shift in and out from costume to costume.

    4) The failure of Loki’s villainy. If Loki could possess certain people with his little spear thingy, then why didn’t he just do that to all the Avengers and get it over with? Why not possess Tony Stark instead of SHIELD members? (cuz there would be no movie I know, but why even bother with this scenario in the first place?) Secondly, Loki is all about mischief and deception he doesn’t need his spear thingy. They could have convincingly had it be that Loki wants to be taken captive so he can influence the chaos and arguments amongst the Avengers. This then could have led to stronger willed characters like Captain America seeing the fighting is part of Loki’s plan so he goes to try and get rid of Loki from the ship but it’s too late and now the Hulk is loose and bada-bing-bada-boom. No, instead Marvel makes the Avengers act like arrogant teenagers which became this very forced typical predictable Power Rangers storyline of the new team members always fight with each other, then learn to work as a team and cooperate only after shit goes down yaaaay!

    5) Hawkeye was too over the top and Thor was too weak. They made Hawkeye out to be this character that just so happens to have the perfect arrow in the perfect situation (Hawkeye was my favorite Avenger so it takes a lot for me to come out with this, but BS is BS). The arrow that is made to press 2 specific buttons on board the SHIELD ship?… really? That means Hawkeye would have had to be sitting around one day and say to himself, “ya know what? Someday I think I’m going to need to destroy the entire SHIELD airship. I could make a mini warhead arrow, but no, I will make a mold of the top level authorized command deck buttons and then create an arrow from that mold that will press these buttons when the time comes…” at the beginning of the movie SHIELD has dozens of scientists trying to figure out the Teserak cube and Hawkeye is the one that figures out what it does? On to Thor, I know he’s the God of Thunder and you can’t have him going around doing everything, but they made it appear like Iron Man was his equal. I can see making the Hulk and Thor neck and neck, but Iron Man is no match for Thor. They also made Thor have the dumbest first appearance in the movie, it was so random.

    6) Why do villains always need humans? This goes back to Loki possessing people, if he can teleport back and forth from this alien home world to earth why can’t he bring the aliens with him? Why does he need a human scientist to build a machine that uses the Teserak Cube thing (Cosmic Cube I prefer)? So what purpose would the Teserak cube be in the year 1900 if they need 2012 technology to make it be of any purpose? And Loki needs humans to drive him around in an SUV, I took note of that.

    7) Characters were all over the place at the end. The action scene at the end (that were entirely made for the 3D ticket sales) got a bit confusing and incoherent with reference to where they would leave characters off and then when the film returned to those characters they would be in an entirely different area, there was no continuality.
    8) Tony Stark gets a special 3D holographic debriefing file because he’s Tony Stark but everyone else gets a regular manila folder print out from Kinkos?
    9) We don’t need AC/DC every time Iron Man shows up.
    10) The first appearance of the Hulk he’s a mindless juggernaut about to kill everyone on board the ship, yet Banner comes back later and has full control over the Hulk? … “oh I’m always angry” ah yeah that explains it!… wait, huh?
    The other thing I liked is the mid credit scene which as a comic book fan I feel was the best tidbit of any Marvel movie. This raises the expectations of Avengers 2 which by God I hope they don’t screw up or make bland. We shall see.

  4. Dave Palmacci

    hmm I see the comment field doesn’t like my line spaces…

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