In the lead up to the Superhero Summer of 2016 – the few summer months in which we’ll get Batman v Superman, Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad and X-Men: Apocalypse – I’ve decided to look at some Superhero movies (and maybe there opposite TV Shows) that have come out in the past. From DC to Marvel I’ll have a look at the existing movies in each company’s franchise and when the new films come out, I’ll review them in this space as and when I see them.
Got it? Okay. First up (this was a tough one) The Avengers.
This is the film that completely changed the formula to how Hollywood Blockbusters are made and presented to the world. Following this movie, ever single studio in Hollywood was bursting to make their own Cinematic Universe. DC started plans to make a Justice League franchise and Universal Studios started to put together plans for a shared ‘monster’ universe.
So, as I’m sure you all know The Avengers came out in 2012 and is directed by Joss Whedon. It stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Evans as Steve Rodgers/Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanov/Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and finally Tom Hiddleston as Loki.
It’s central plot is based around Loki, brother of Thor, coming to Earth from Asgard and trying to conquer the Earth by turning the Avengers against each other and unleashing an army of aliens upon New York with the Avengers having to team up and stop Loki’s evil plan.
This film took 3 heroes that already had their own movies – Iron Man, Captain America and Thor – and put them all together and added a few extra characters, something never attempted in cinema before, to create the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is still ever expanding today. It was a huge risk for Marvel Studios who only as recently as the 90’s had to sell off Spider-Man and the X-Men to avoid going bust. Did it pay off? Hell yeah it paid off. The film is fun, action packed and entertaining on all levels.
First of all, the way the characters interact with each other in the film is brilliant. They bounce of each other with one liners and insults that, for the first half of the film, makes you wonder if they could actually be a team. An example of this being when Thor first appears to Iron Man and they fight in a forest over who takes Loki prisoner. But when the time comes, they form a team that is seemingly invincible in order to stop the Earth from being enslaved.
Secondly, the performances in this movie are amazing. Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Loki, last seen in Thor, and gives it his all as he produces one of the best villain performances since Heath Ledgers Joker in The Dark Knight. Hiddleston/Loki uses humour and menace to plant seeds of doubt into the heads of the Avengers, turning them against each other, but when he goes to far and actually kills off a friendly, happy S.H.I.E.L.D agent (Phil Coulson, played amazingly by Clark Gregg) the Avengers realise that Loki can’t get the better of them and they must ‘avenge’ the death of Coulson.
The CGI in this film is once again glorious, the same as it was in Iron Man and Thor. The creation of the helicarrier is one of the best uses of CGI seen within the film and in current cinema to date, in my opinion. It looks so realistic that you often forget that it’s not real and that there isn’t really a giant floating aircraft carrier in the sky protecting us.
This whole movie was amazing, it broke records for its opening weekend and for the world wide box office. It introduced a lot of new fans to the comic book/superhero movie genre and cemented the superhero genre as an actual genre and it is now one of the most common type of film seen at the box office in recent years. This year alone we have 6, SIX, comic book movies coming out. Starting with Deadpool last week (a film included in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men Universe), Batman V Superman on the 25th of March (the first of DC‘s Cinematic Universe), Captain America: Civil War on April 29th (Marvel‘s first film of the year for their Cinematic Universe), X-Men: Apocalypse on the 19th of May (another addition to the X-Men Universe), Suicide Squad on the 5th of August (DC‘s second film of the year) and finally Doctor Strange in November (Marvel‘s second film of the year).
It’s safe to say The Avengers changed the Hollywood landscape and it is by far one of the best superhero films that are out there. If you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you to do so. You never know, you might just turn into a geek like the rest of us.
The Avengers: 4.5/5