The crossovers are the biggest fun that is there in the world of comics. Superman is fighting along with Batman… Wolverine takes on Spider-man… What can be cooler than that? Little surprise then that Marvel Avengers is one of the most awaited movies this year. It brings along almost all the heroes: Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man – only to fight for the good cause and bring some destruction along. No doubt this movie will be compared to the Dark Knight Rises and the Amazing Spider-man, which are soon to hit the screens. The year 2012 is pretty rich on super-heroes saving the world!
To start with, this is a good action movie. It does its best to keep us on the edge of the chairs with mouth wide open. There are fights, flights, a little bit of suspension, explosions, more fights. There are super-heroes, super-heroes and even more super-heroes. Sounds like the recipe for success? Well, it is all not so clear cut.
I am personally a great fan of movies based on comics. Well, the better question is who is not after mind-boggling Dark Knight and fantastically good X-men: First Class. But the distinction has to be made. There are just some movies that are so off this planet, that you just wonder how they managed to get filmed. This refers mainly to last year’s Captain America. The movie was dull, and it was so mainly because it had nothing to tell us specifically about super-heroes. Captain America was boring, uninspiring and just a soldier on his duty. He lacked some spark that distinguishes the good comic movie from bad. He was too artificial to believe in.
And that is the catch that Avengers failed to spot and surpass. The movie is artificial in the very traditional for Marvel way: you just keep wondering what on Earth is going on there. Forget about motivations, feelings and deep thoughts (things that are always present in good comics movies despite the popular belief); when the plane crashes down, the main characters are shaken as if they are sitting at home and just jump on their sofa. When it is hard to believe that the action is going on in the same universe, the movie starts to look like a buffoonery: some people in weird costumes fight other people in weird costumes. The special effects lose their appeal and epicness. How can we believe in the world collapsing when the aliens attack only Manhattan? Do screen-writers think that Manhattan is the heart of the world?
There are bright spots, of course; actually, the movie should have been named “Iron Man and Hulk steal the show” because of the immense charisma and awesome dialogues given to these two characters. Robert Downey Jr. knows his part perfectly, he knows how to play “billionaire playboy” well. In fact, these two characters are the only two that look and sound like living creatures. The rest behaves as if they were found on the Damien Hurst’s exhibition and were taken out from formaldehyde. The jokes between Iron Man and Hulk are humorous; there is some chemistry between the actors… But that’s probably about it. The fact that there are other Avengers means that jokes are seldom and precious, and you just wait in despair to hear the next one.
So instead of the next Dark Knight or next First Class, Marvel produced next Transformers 3 or next Captain America: mindless, pop-corn style and silly. It fails to hold the attention, it does not amuse. This is another mass-product that does not touch and therefore should not be touched. All you want is to see the Dark Knight Rises and hope for the best.
P.S. The extra material after the final titles suggest we will see the sequel rather soon – I hope they will name it “Iron Man 3”