This article is part one of an ongoing feature on my blog, “The Road to the Avengers“, which hopes to convey my thoughts on the current films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, culminating on my thoughts of The Avengers when it is released on Friday, May 4th.
Iron Man (2008) came out of nowhere for many people. While comic book fans know Tony Stark quite well, Iron Man had never enjoyed the kind of success that, say, Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, or the X-Men had enjoyed up until 2008. However, the film released with an electric buzz, drawing even those with no love for comics into the theater for the thrill ride. Its success makes sense, looking back at it. Iron Man is a perfect vehicle for sleek, sexy technology (special effects) and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. ensured we’d be in for a ride with a charming and witty Tony Stark.
As Friday, May 4th draws nearer, I’m feeling the need to go back and take a look at Marvel Studios’ previous releases. Some may not know that Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) all take place in the same cinematic universe, dubbed the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”. The culmination of this plan that has been at least 7 years in the making comes on May 4th, in the form of The Avengers (2012). In any event, here’s a little blog programming for the next week or so:
I’ll talk a bit about the successes of the film, how it was received, and how it fared against The Dark Knight back in 2008. Clearly the two movies aim at somewhat different audiences and play to completely different strengths, despite some of the parallels that can be drawn between Batman and Iron Man.
By RottenTomatoes.com standards this is the Marvel Studios film with the least amount of critical acclaim. I’d like to try and delve into why that is, but it may be difficult for me because I enjoy the film a lot and tend to disagree with the consensus on this one.
Iron Man 2 is my least favorite of the five. It’s certainly not a terrible movie, it’s quite palatable and somewhat fun to watch, but it falls far from its predecessor. I’ll talk about why that is, and what I’d do differently, despite the fact that I’m not a professional writer.
I fall in the middle of the spectrum on Thor opinions. With little prior investment into the character and mythos of Thor, I’ll speak of the newcomer’s experience while watching the movie. There were a lot of people that absolutely loved this movie, and there were some that thought it was terrible. I think there’s an interesting discussion to be had about Thor.
Thursday, May 3rd – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
As with all four of the main franchises leading up to the Avengers, they all have their own feel to them. Iron Man’s playboy sensibilities certainly come out in his films, the Incredible Hulk is incredibly brooding, and Thor feels like quite the fish out of water. Captain America’s filmmaking has a very distinct and deliberate feel to it, and I’d like to share my thoughts on why it may be the best personification of a Marvel character on film.
Friday, May 4th – The Avengers (2012)
I don’t quite know what I’ll talk about with this film as I haven’t seen it yet, but by the time you read my article, I’ll probably have seen it twice, so look back here on the 4th or 5th to see my thoughts on The Avengers.
With all of the films, I think it will be interesting to take a look at the groundwork they lay for the Avengers and since this will be my first time watching all of them within close proximity of each other, I’ll be able to quantify my feelings for each and rank them more accurately than I have in the past. As always, feel free to comment, let me know if there’s something specific you’d like me to talk about in the articles. Onward, to the Avengers!