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April 25, 2012

Don’t Worry About The First Avengers Movie . . .

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Written by: Steven Savage
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Yes my past posts have often been on culture, conventions, and fascinating people.  But for a moment, indulge me, as I take a look at the question “Will The Avengers Be Bad.”

Last week, there was a discussion here that, unfortunately, the Avengers would probably suck.  I’d like to contest that somewhat.

See, I’m pretty confident in it.  In fact, advanced reviews look pretty good.

I didn’t figure the odds were even in its favor of being bad.  The core cast is good-to-great.  It involves Joss Whedon, which is a good sign.  There’s a ton of money behind it.  There’s several mostly-good films leading up to it (Iron Man 2’s worst problem was trying to be several films).  Also the people behind it probably know the risks of whiffing this one.

So, me, no, quite confident, quite looking forward to it.

What we really need to worry about is Avengers 2, because I see several reasons it could fail, and fail spectacularly.


Hard To Duplicate:

Avengers itself is a strange mix of careful planning, a perfect storm, and capturing a kind of “lightning in a bottle phenomena.”  This has been built up to, in a time where such properties are interesting to people, and you’ve got a lot of people who came together at the right time.  Thus even if the first film turns out to be awesome . . . it may be extremely hard to duplicate the success.

It might even be hard to figure out what made it successful in the first place because of these many factors.  When you try and duplicate such a situation you may well screw it up . . .


The Avengers film is in many ways about personalities – both the characters and the people involved.  Whedon is Whedon.  Chris Evans for my money is a fantastic Captain America.  Downey Jr. pretty much owns his role.  Hemsworth brings Thor to life with shameless gusto.  Samuel L. Jackson needs no introduction because his sheer badassery is known to all.

If anyone somehow becomes detached from the movie, you’re risking undoing the entire thing.  The very pronounced personalities and talents of the characters, cast, and crew are needed to keep this heady mix going.


Turning The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg Into Pate:

Even if the elements that makes the Avengers work can be captured – or even built upon – a hugely successful film runs the risk of inviting tinkering.  There’s always that thought you can do a bit more, make a bit more money, do one more thing . . .

As we all know, such approaches to getting a bit greedy or believing your own hype can backfire horribly.  The Avengers could quickly become a victim of its own success.


Same Old Same Old:

Though I think this is less of a risk, if Avengers works out, there’s the temptation to just do the same thing again, meaning Avengers 2 will pretty much be Avengers 1.  I can’t see that going over well, especially as such duplicates tend to be pale shadows.



Finally, if Avengers is as awesome as we all hope, that’s going to set expectations very high for the next film, and the risk they won’t be met.


So me?  I’m sure I’m going to love the Avengers.

I just have my doubts on what comes next.

Steven Savage

About the Author

Steven Savage
Steve's a Geek 2.0 - the professional geek. A happy transplant to SIlicon Valley, his crusade is to help geeks, nerds, otaku and more turn their hobbies into careers. You can visit his website at



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  1. Dave Palmacci

    Haha, good article Steven 😉 we shall see, I really want it to be good despite the flack and hate I did receive (but that was expected). My skepticism comes from comparing previous movies that have done very similar methods of marketing and hype, all have which have done poorly. I’d also like to add I’m not on board with the Messiah that is Joss Whedon. Ok, he’s done great work for Firefly and Serenity but look at what else the guy has done; he wrote Alien Resurrection… need more? He did an episode of Glee, and while you can throw in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel I have to contest those shows are no match to what directors like Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott have done.

  2. To address your points.
    1) I can understand your skepticism due to the marketing. Let me counter by noting the problem is that, by now, all marketing looks way too much alike. I’ve felt the Avengers marketing was pretty good, but definitely cookie-cutter (and why it was easy to mock in Avenger’s on a Budget). Whedon’s techniques seem to make it easy to shoehorn in “money quotes” and the like. So in this case I’d blame marketing – which may be something I/you/both of us should explore . . .

    2) As for Whedon, I don’t think of him as a messiah, so skepticism is warranted. He’s not a Nolan or Ridley Scott at all – but I don’t think he tries to be. He’s got more of an oddly pop-culture, more initmate sensibility. However for a film like this, with clashing egos, he’s a good choice. Though this does beg an interesting point of what other people could be involved – though I think a true geek like Wedon was needed.

    I’d like to hear your insights on my theories that if Avengers is good, Avengers 2 runs the risk of falling apart. I still can’t believe Marvel is going to maintain this momentum.

  3. […] 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 […]

  4. […] The Avengers Worked. So I saw “The Avengers,” and I feel my last column on the film was justified. It was great, and I’ve seen it twice. My only complaint is odd food cravings, but if […]

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