Saturday, May 12, 2012

My sort of Avengers Review.

 Spoiler Alert! Don't click this link if you haven't seen Serenity, Avengers, or the first season of Game of Thrones..

Tor asks what about Death in Fantasy makes fans Rage? 

This is perhaps an even better question than the recent one in Salon Magazine inquiring about the lack of heroic characters on Television.

Alas I'm not a very good person to discuss this particular topic. I'm among the group who dislikes both Whedon and Martin for the exact reasons stated in the article. I feel they kill characters off for no reason except to shock their audiences. The same way William S. Burroughs and Thomas Pynchon randomly add Non-sequitur buggery into their books..

This brings us to George R.R. Martin. I enjoyed A Game of Thrones until nearly the end. That ending however so soured me to George R.R. Martin, I've never bothered to read any of his other works. I expected, upon going into the series, that Eddard would be the main character throughout the entire character. The same way Rand Al' Thor was in the Wheel of Time. Instead, I found myself at the end of the first volume with no main character, and as a result no reason to continue reading the series. Unfortunately for me, I'd listened to some one who liked the series and bought all 4 volumes sight unseen based on their recommendation. Volumes 2-4 have yet to have their spines cracked. I'm not going to say that Martin has no right to kill off his characters, technically I got exactly what I paid for, but I certainly have a right to be perturbed by it.  I bought a book and was entertained throughout 90% of the book, but the ending basically nullified my enjoyment of the whole. It made me angry that I had now "Wasted" time which I had previously enjoyed.

I think, in my opinion, that is the reason why this causes so much trouble among fans. The "Main character" or "Primary POV" becomes an almost surrogate. Eddard then, is the reader, thus it is the reader who is beheaded. I know I've heard from other people that other characters are the "Real" main character. Everyone from Daenarys to Jon to Arya to whomever you please. Heck, when I first read the book I assumed Bran would be the main character, I was actually highly unhappy when he was injured, and only once I realized "Oh this is a plot device for his father's story" did I continue to read. Killing off fan favorite characters is something which the other man referenced, Joss Whedon, is well known for.

I feel I need to be honest here. Basically, well.. I've never liked Joss Whedon.. So I don't honestly care when he kills off his own characters. He can kill off as many Buffy characters or Firefly characters as he likes. I never got into Buffy, Angel, Serinity, Dollshouse or any of his other series. I don't care about Cabin the woods or his run on Spider-man. I simply dislike the guy, his writing style, his penchant for including random show tunes, and most importantly I dislike the feel of his work. I liked Avengers in spite of Joss Whedon, not because of him. (I feel exactly the same way about everything Tim Burton has done since Batman).

 I enjoyed the Avengers, mostly, all except for the one scene referenced in that article. I felt it was pointless. I felt the movie was called the Avengers, and that it was inevitable that the Avengers would assemble, regardless of any one specific event. None of those characters was going to let Loki and the Skitari conquer the world. Simply put, it was stupid. They killed off a fan favorite character for effectively no reason except to make people angry, either the Fans or the Characters.. regardless of what little logic this contains. This isn't the same thing at all as killing of Tara, a character that Joss Whedon Created. Coulson was a character created for Jon Favreau's Ironman and I for one am very disappointed in Marvel for allowing the character to be killed off in this way. It's something I feel wouldn't have happened if Favereau had been tapped to direct the Avengers (which, again, in my opinion would have been only fair and fitting since without his stunningly good Ironman, we wouldn't have gotten to where we are now).On the flip side to this problem is, by Kevin Feige's admission and Joss Whedon's own assertion, Whedon wasn't responsible for this. It was a choice made at Marvel, written into the original script even. Would it have still happened if the guy who created the character had directed the movie? I don't know, and it is unlikely we will ever know. All I do know is, I'm sorry that we won't get to see the human honey badger on screen anymore.

This brings up a problem though. With a specific scene which I dislike so much, and a director I dislike so much.. How come I enjoyed the movie so much?  So far this year, I've seen two films, both from Disney, both capable of transporting me to nearly euphoric plateaus of fun. The first, John Carter, had me quite nearly cheering at the screen. It was such a good movie, and in my opinion faithful adaption of the spirit of the source material, that I couldn't wait to see it again and nearly bought another ticket that same night. Avengers I've seen twice already inside of it's first week!. The only other movie I've ever done that for was "Fellowship of the Ring".

Granted, like John Carter, there are parts of the Avengers which I simply don't like. The bit which launched this article being the main one, but also because I just felt the movie didn't really fit that well with all of the preceeding ones. Maybe it's because I was disappointed they didn't give more information on what happened between the endings of the other various films and this one. How long had Captain American been working for shield? How long had Dr. Selvig been working for shield? How did Bruce Banner get from his cabin in British Columbia to India. Why did they reference so many things from the deleted scenes of the other movies? What the heck happened to War Machine to make it so he didn't show up? Were him and General Ross dealing with other threats?  I realize most of these things are not questions the casual viewer would even consider, but to me, they are important.

It was still a good movie, and I look forward to being able to sit down and watch all 6 of the films in some sort of order.

Right now I'm leaning towards the following.

Iron Man
Iron Man 2
Captain America
"A Funny thing happened on the way to Thor's Hammer"
Incredible Hulk
"The Consultant"

Incredible Hulk and Thor seem to both have taken place about the same time..  "The Consultant" which takes place during Thor, explains why it was Tony Stark and not Nick Fury or Agent Coulson who goes to talk to General "Thunderbolt" Ross also.


Brian Murphy said...

Thanks for the review! I'm going to see this tonight, finally, and will report back.

I've only seen Captain America and Thor (I never saw either Iron Man film, believe it or not). Is there any references I might not get?

Lagomorph Rex said...

Well Iron Man 2 is pretty big in setting up "SHIELD".. and also explaining a couple of other items.. Honestly I'd watch them just becuase they are really good films.. way better than Thor anyway.

I'd reccomend watching the Edward Norton hulk, and especially watching the deleted scenes as several of them are referenced.. I hope it portends the release of the "Norton-Cut" (The way Letterier and Norton wanted the film released rather than the way Universal wanted the film released, and is also the reason Norton didn't return to play Banner) edition we've been promised for 5 years..