The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Marvel’s The Avengers Sucks Because…

with 12 comments

1.  This is the third time The Hulk has made the screen in a Marvel film, and Bruce Banner has been played by a different actor each time.  Not that it matters a whole lot since the producers want The Hulk on screen about a thousand times more than they want Bruce Banner on screen moping around about how he can’t contain his anger, but how about some consistency in the role so that some more subtleties can be played out before Hulk smash?

2.  Thor and Captain America didn’t garner the attention of either Iron Man film (or the second Hulk film for that matter), so the writers of The Avengers had to find a way to sew the backstories of those particular characters into the film as seamlessly as possible so as not to confuse the audience.  They succeeded only moderately in doing so.  I had no inkling about Thor’s brother, the other-worldly power source at the center of the film, or that Captain America took an ice nap at the end of his titular film.  Nick Fury and SHIELD are pretty interesting with all their weapons and espionage and sabotage and camouflage, yet play just tangential roles in the previous Marvel films.  Fury and SHIELD could sustain an entire film (they actually have), and having an entire film as background would have helped fill in more background for The Avengers.  And none of this is to mention Black Widow or Hawkeye, both of whom play significant roles in The Avengers and whose back stories are stitched into the film using only a few threads.  Ten minutes in, and I felt like I had fallen asleep in Math class the day we learned addition.  Zack Snyder faced a similar problem a few years ago when he brought Watchmen to the screen.  He compensated by having a title sequence that was almost a film unto itself and that brought the audience up to speed with a universe much less familiar to most everybody than the Marvel Universe.

3.  Speaking of Watchmen…  The Avengers might well be called The Plagiarists, or at least The Borrowed A Lot Frommers.  The plot of The Avengers seemed very familiar:  Assemble an All-Star Team of dysfunctional, sociopathic crime fighters while the bad guys plot to import aliens into Manhattan to whoop some human ass.  About halfway through the shenanigans of The Avengers, I was thinking that maybe Alan Moore should have been credited as a screenwriter since The Avengers parallels his plot from Watchmen.  Furthermore, how many times do we have to see New York City attacked or destroyed?  It’s a trope dating back at least to King Kong.  Can’t anybody find a different place to destroy, especially now that NYC has actually been attacked by terrorists?  September 11 was at the root of a significant change at the climax of Watchmen when it went from graphic novel to film, so why does the popular The Avengers get a free pass to wreck the city?

4.  3D has reached it’s saturation point.  Nothing can be done in the medium that hasn’t already been done in the past 5 years, and now it’s all a matter of throwing every conceivable gimmick at the audience in tandem with rapid-fire editing to create a spectacular but shallow viewing experience.  The end results all too often are tedious, boring, uninspired…  I’m afraid that 3D is going to become so passé that it will lessen films that have real potential, most notably Ridley Scott’s upcoming Prometheus.

5.  By the time the closing credits were rolling two and a half hours after we had settled in our seats, I was making counter-arguments in my head designed to talk my girlfriend out of breaking up with me for taking her to see this piece of celluloid bombast.  In my world, taking the other half to a particularly bad film is grounds for a shot across the bow if not an all-out torpedoing of the relationship.  I somehow survived this one (at least thus far), the same way I somehow survived taking a girlfriend to see Lady in the Water six years ago.  Maybe I have some credit built up.  I sat through Hope Floats and Stepmom some time ago and didn’t push the eject button on that girlfriend.  Same with Vanity Fair.  And speaking of the closing credits…  the Marvel people yet again pulled a played-out gimmick by putting a  surprise that changes the plot at the very end of the film.  It turns out that the bad guys The Avengers fought this time around were only the second- and third-tier bad guys–Gotcha!  Providing the Marvel people can find yet another guy to play Bruce Banner (Ashton Kutcher?), there are even badder guys to fight in a few more years.

Anyhow…  Marvel’s The Avengers sucks.

Written by seeker70

May 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. Having not seen the Avengers yet, but being a comic book geek from long ago, let me take a stab at #3. Historically, the Avengers are based in NYC, so that’s why it’s set there. That’s just always the way it is in the Marvel universe. Fair? No. Logical, of course not, if I’m a villain, apparently all I need to do is move my evil base of operations about 100 miles in any direction and I can do whatever I want. But that’s the way it is. Willing suspension of disbelief.
    Keep in mind that the Avengers started in the early 60s, and it, along with DC’s “Justice League of America” were designed as gimmicks to join forces of some of the more popular characters (marketing) with some of the lessor characters (to help market them). The formula has always been the same, and Watchmen was working off of it, not the other way around. Although Alan Moore’s work is an excellent take on the superhero community and its role within the greater world, and I can’t recommend Watchmen enough.
    As far as confusing the audience, let’s be honest, they don’t care, and frankly, rightfully so. The average American knows enough about the main characters to accept what they’re given and roll with it. I think you’re overthinking it and forgetting that despite the medium, it’s still a comic.
    Sorry you didn’t like it. I, for one, and looking forward to it.

    Adam Vollmers

    May 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

  2. This film sucked because half of the main characters were poorly cast. The actors playing Thor and Cap are way too small for the part. They guy playing Thor should have been Cap and some big guy like Dolph Lundgren should have played Thor. They also just HAD to change Nick Fury’s race. That’s like getting Ed Norton to play Martin Luther King. Marvel Comics have gone downhill so far that all they can do is screw up the established nythos to claim a “fresh start”. The guy who played the Human Torch just sucks beyond words and should never be seen on film again. I hope the casting people are forever blacklisted from the business.

    Randall Flag

    May 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm



      May 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

      • Nick Fury was also in WWII (in the comic), so they didn’t make him 90! Why doesn’t anybody talk about that ageism?

        Adam Vollmers

        May 22, 2012 at 5:54 am

    • The Incredible Gorilla. -_- Apparently, radiation exposure can give you animal-like characteristics. It’s a sort of comic-book magic that says things are a certain way because…….because. YEEEEAAAAHHH, I could take this Hulk SO SERIOUSLY! I mean, who DOESN’T know that getting hit with radiation makes you move like an ape and shorten your nose? It’s just logic, people. (facepalm) What doofus thought that made sense?

      Jeremy Schafer

      April 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm

  3. Nick Fury’s character was changed from white to black in 2001 in the comics. In fact, his appearance was changed to mimic Sam Jackson specifically. So, there is a lot of precedent for Nick Fury to be black (and played by Jackson) in these movies.

    I thought The Avengers was somewhere between “okay” and “good.” They missed out on making a really remarkable movie, but at the same time, they didn’t really botch it in any identifiable ways to me… with one exception. I 100% agree with the argument of #1. There is no excuse for Ed Norton to have been replaced by Mark Ruffalo. The reasons behind the replacement have been vague, and before the movie even came out, I was disheartened by the lack of commitment from Marvel Studios. I don’t care what the reasons were for not bringing Norton back, they needed to overcome them all. I believe that if they had kept the original actor that this movie would’ve sung a lot louder for me.

    Stranger Danger

    June 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

  4. Right on spot. I totally agree. The Avengers sucks.

    Pink Doodle

    September 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm

  5. The avengers didn’t exactly suck, it just was for a mainstream audience. The marvel empire had built it up with the other films so that it did actually make sense, provided you had seen all the movies. The problem was that the films don’t stick to the comics, so the tensions between the characters are different. None of the main super-heros seem to feel anything towards S.H.E.I.L.D except resentment, creating an “Us” and “them” complex… leading the audience to wonder about their motives- for example, why would Captain America care at all about a country that wasn’t really his any more?

    Lordy, I'm bored.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

  6. […] no better at setting things up than the writers and producers at Marvel did last year with their incredibly idiotic The Avengers.  As a writer, I have learned how essential it is to establish context and background, but your […]

  7. […] was almost a year ago that I blasted Marvel’s The Avengers on these pages.  Adam was quick to jump to defending the film and has since engaged me in several […]

  8. […] post in the history of the blog, and held that record for over a year, until I ranted about the cinematic turd that was Marvel’s The Avengers.  Still, this one pops up pretty frequently when I check blog stats.  I don’t know if […]

  9. Gooood!!!!! Im soooo glad we understand how crappy this movie is!!! So now we know wat to do when avengers 2 comes out into theaters right?.. they made it worse now with auicksilver and scarlet witch and the marvel universe will still revolve around iron man like always….

    gregory han

    August 14, 2014 at 11:17 am

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