The Stickman Reviews : The Avengers.
Space Penguin Issue #1 is currently being worked on as we speak. I will post a blog when I have a release date for it. Until then...the match up you've all been waiting for! THE STICKMAN AND THE AVENGERS, TOGETHER AT LAST.
Editor's Note: If you're thinking of seeing the new Avengers flick, you should read this great (and spoiler free) review written by The Stickman. Oh since the film has now made its way to North America, his boasting has lost most of its sting. ;)
This was to be expected obviously. I can't imagine Marvel planned this film with a "Better keep this one on the cheap just in case" mindset going on. Millions upon millions of dollary doos have been spent making this look fantastic, and it really does show. I mean, sure, Super Hero films generally have a high standard for CGI and SFX but The Avengers blows the likes of Thor and Iron Man out the window with the sheer scale that's been realized here. There's very little here that doesn't look the part, and even when it's at it's most ludicrous and over the top, you'll still believe these things are happening because they really do look great. And, FINALLY they've perfected the look of Hulk, it only took them two disappointing franchise starting attempts to perfect it. It's clear that a lot of people worked on this film and a lot of money was sunk into it. This is a good thing, as it's easily the most visually impressive Marvel film to date, and the most ambitious Super Hero film ever.
Every character gets their fair share of screen-time.
This must of been real tricky, not only does this film have four of the biggest super heroes on the block teaming up (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hulk) but it also has to cram in all the side characters it's been introducing throughout all the films over the last 5 or so years and give them their fair share of the limelight as well. Amazingly enough, it manages to pull it off. As you'll expect, Robert Downey Jr, as always steals the show as Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, there is not a single line from this guy that doesn't ooze with humor and charisma, it just makes me want Iron Man 3 all the more. That said, the other characters are all amply featured and showcased, with Thor perhaps being the only one who I felt wasn't much the focus, a surprise considering his brother is the villain. That said, Thor is the weakest character of the bunch in my opinion so I'm more than happy for Hawkeye and Black Widow to squeeze in and show off their awesomeness as well. Bruce Banner as a character is much better in this film than he was in his own, and the Hulk is...well, the Hulk, he's awesome. Captain America is also great, although I felt his aftermath from the previous film was lacking somewhat. All in all, you're going to be chuffed to bits no matter which hero you clamor for the most. Even if that character is Samuel L Jackson because, I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear, he is a major character this time and not just a cameo.
Has a great sense of humor.
When you've got intergalactic Norse gods, super soldiers from the past and a man who turns into a giant green monster, you really do need to have a sense of humor about things. Thank god then, that The Avengers isn't the kind of film that takes itself overly seriously all the time. As you'd expect, a lot of the humor comes from Tony Stark, who's on stellar form as always and not afraid to dish out the self-aware humor about the odd quirks of each character, particularly Thor and his hammy speeches and weird get-up. It's not just Stark who gets all the laughs though, every character gets to do a bit of stand-up, second place definitely going to The Hulk for reasons I won't divulge but will become apparent when you see the film. Comic Books are crazy, stupid things and whilst the films are a ton of fun and often great, they are pretty insane at times as well, I'm glad the people making this film knew that. Obviously, with the fate of the Earth in the balance, it's not all gags and giggles but there's a nice balance which makes for an enjoyable, popcorn-tastic experience.
The last hour or so (Wasn't keeping time if I'm honest).
If you've been watching the trailers and clips, you'd have been expecting to have seen the entire film by the time you sit down in the cinema. Well, you're mostly wrong, most of what you've seen makes up the last hour of the film, and what an hour it is. Sure, there's a lot of build-up and character moments but lets face it, this is The Avengers, we want to see all our favorite heroes having a fucking massive battle with lots of explosions and being amazing. That's where the last hour comes in, and what an hour it is. Without spoiling anything, this is basically the big battle of the film and it all takes place in New York (I'll get into that a bit more later...) and it is something else indeed. You think you've seen the money shot? Just wait until you see the REAL money shot, it's going to blow your fucking minds. It's not even that what comes before is bad or slow by any means, it's just that this...this is what we all wanted to see. And it delivers.
The 3D is impressive.
I've heard mixed things about the 3D so don't fork out the extra dough to see it that way just because I said so, but I was really, truly blown away by the 3D in this film. Now, let me explain my situation, this is my 3rd Real-D 3D film I've seen at the cinema (I'd seen Spy Kids 3D before that but...yeah), the two films I'd seen before that were Avatar, and Clash of the Titans. So I'm not sure whether or not it's the fact I'm not used to the spectacle like everyone else, or that it really is a brilliant post-conversion job like I felt it was. Everything is given so much added depth, and the above mentioned final battle is truly phenomenal with the geeky glasses on. Again, don't go and see it purely because I said so, it's a lot of scratch to fork out when I know some people have disagreed on this particular point. I'm just saying that I thought it was great...don't hit me if it isn't...PLEASE.
It doesn't disappoint.
Years of hype, a cluster of blockbusters that were all building up to an even bigger blockbuster event film...surely there was no way it was going to work? Well, it did. This is the film we all wanted, it's every bit as action packed, funny and nerdgasmic as we all hoped and dreamed for, this is the definitive popcorn Super Hero film through and through without any doubts. It has replaced Iron Man as my favorite non-Batman super hero flick with great ease. I feel for you yanks, I really do...sorta...not really... *Sniggers*. The wait must be killing you, but I assure you it's going to be worth it if you have any love of the "Marvel Cinematic Universe".
A little on the long side...
Don't get me wrong, for a film this big I wasn't expecting or wanting a short film but, clocking up at well over 2 hours this is a lengthy film for what it is and it really does feel it at times. I'm not saying the film is boring in any way but you will notice the length. When you throw in all the crap at the start as well, you better clear your day for this film, worthwhile a pursuit as that may be. And oh yeah, that brings me onto the adverts...what the hell? Okay, so we know America is getting new Dark Knight Rises and Amazing Spider-Man trailers when the film lands there...what did the UK get? Shit all as it turns out, two actual film trailers which were Brave and Snow White and the Huntsmen, neither of which were shown in 3D! The only 3D thing I saw was an advert for chewing gum...what a drag. Oh well, guess I shouldn't complain, it just meant I got to the film quicker.
Where's Spider-Man in all of this? HMM?!
Okay, okay...I know there's a new Spider-Man film out in a couple months time, and I know the film rights to the character are owned by Columbia Pictures, not Marvel but really guys? You're going to set the climatic battle to a Marvel film in the heart of New York when you can't feature the web-head ? Really? Wow...I mean, the ending battle of The Incredible Hulk was set in New York as well but this was an epic full frontal war! To the average cinema-goer they are going to be pretty damn confused as to why Spider-Man wasn't there to help. It's not really Marvel's fault as such but they could of chosen a better location. Let's just assume Spider-Man was on holiday at the time.
If you've been following the Marvel films since 2008 you'll have already bought your ticket or at least intend to go, I know this for a fact. All I can do now is tell you that the wait was well worth it, this is the crossover film you've been waiting for and, not unlike myself, it will satisfy you in every possible way, I mean, hell it's even got 3D titty jiggling...something for the guys, FINALLY.
If you haven't seen Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor and Captain America then, not only are you a terrible nerd and you shouldn't be on this website, but I would also stress that this is probably not the film for you. Don't get me wrong it's not going to be confusing, but you're missing the build-up, the backgrounds to each character...the hype to see it happening after all these years. To the people that have? Go see this film, right now...or whenever it comes out in the USA, hurr hurr. *Troll Face* U mad? Yeah, u mad...