Saturday, October 13, 2012
Marveling at the Avengers
I meant to write this a few weeks ago.
When I first saw The Avengers, I loved it. You can read my original review of it here.
But I have since re-watched it several time, and each time I have enjoyed it more.
And I think back at how impossibly difficult it was to make this film work.
I look back on other franchise mashups in the past:
Alien vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason, even Star Trek Generations met with limited success and enthusiasm. The problem is that you have characters who are central in their own movie and they must then share screen time with others. This almost always leads to a diminishing of the main characters.
The only time I can ever remember this working well was in Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. And that only worked because they transposed the genre to make it a parody of all the other films.
But the more I watch The Avengers, the more I appreciate that the characters are as good in this movie if not better. Tony and Bruce are particularly well-defined and fun to watch.
The movie not only doesn't screw up the franchises, it is the best Marvel movie ever. And it holds up so well.
When I try to think of who should get my award for best movie, I try and follow the great John Nolte's principle of finding something not only good but something timeless.
Say what you will about any of the Star Wars movies, but all of them are timeless.
I just re-watched The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and it is still as potent as it was a decade ago. I don't know anyone who still watches that year's Oscar winner Chicago.
The Avengers is a movie that I will be watching 10, 20 years from now.
For best picture of the year, I had been leaning towards The Dark Knight Rises, with its deeper and more mature themes. But I remind myself that darker is not always better. The Avengers is bright and fun.
But most of all, it's a great movie.
I don't know what the best picture of the year is yet, but it is definitely between these 2 so far. There are only a few movies that I have yet to see that I believe could qualify:
-Argo (which I'm seeing tonight)
-Cloud Atlas (long shot)
-Lincoln (but the trailer doesn't make me optimistic)
-The Hobbit (tough act to follow from The Return of the King)
-Les Miserables (the trailer still gives me chills)