With the amazing Avengers trailer and extended trailer that was released during the Super Bowl, I began to think. Wouldn’t it be cool to review all 5 Marvel movies leading up to the biggest Super Hero of all time. Hell, if we are waiting for The Avengers to assemble in May, why not assemble all 5 reviews in one blog.
This will mean that I will have to format the reviews into “mini-reviews” that do not go as in-depth as I normally would for this type of situation, and I will be forced to keep my thoughts very focused, and to the point. So I am thinking I will write the review from the point of view that the reader has already watched the movies and also format it in a likes and dislikes format with a very brief general description of each film. The reviews will also go in order of the release dates of the films. Ready? Set? Go!!!
The movie did a great job of explaining the origin of Iron Man and it made the character a household name.
Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow were perfectly cast as Tony Stark and Pepper Potts respectively and also have a fantastic chemistry on screen.
The CGI was really well done and I may be in the minority but I liked the idea of Jarvis being an Artificial Intelligence that was pretty much used as Tony’s sidekick.
Jeff Bridges does a great job as Obadiah Stane, the mentor of Tony Stark that then turns into his nemesis.
The flight scenes and action scenes really drove the movie and did not distract from the overall story at all, if anything you could not wait to see Iron Man in action.
The “Usual Marvel After Credits Scene” debuted in Iron Man with the introduction of Nick Fury and talk of “The Avenger” Initiative.
Even though he would receive a larger part in the sequel, James Rhodes (Terrence Howard,) was completely underutilized in this film.
I didn’t like that Stane died at the end of the movie. It seems to happen more and more lately and I thought it would have been interesting if he would have lived. He could have been locked up and we could have seen him dealing with not just losing the fight with Tony, but also the position that he had in the company.
Marvel again does a fantastic job of casting with Edward Norton and Liv Tyler as Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. Norton was able to accomplish something I didn’t think anyone would be able to, he made me care about Bruce Banner and The Hulk.
The origin being shown in flashbacks during the opening title sequence worked really well for the movie and I really believe it is one of the reasons the movie was able to draw me in much quicker than I thought.
The CGI of the Hulk was pretty well done but they really did a good job with the transformation CGI when Banner changes into the Hulk. It looked grotesque but natural at the same time.
There was not an over abundance of scenes that were strictly there to add humour to the film but the scene with Bruce and Betty in a heavy make out had me laughing out loud. The idea that his escalated heart rate could lead him to change into the Hulk had me literally laughing out loud.
I loved the idea that the Abomination was the heavy for the Hulk to fight but I did not like the character design at all. It just looked and felt very underwhelming to me. Hell, Emil Blonsky was much more impressive to me after he had the procedure down, but before he fully transformed. If the character would have looked more menacing I may have bought into it more. This single aspect of the film lowered the score for me, as I really did enjoy this movie but the underwhelming villain did bring it down a bit for me.
I find it tough to believe that Betty would just be willing to jump into the sack with Bruce after dating Dr. Samson. At some point when he was missing, she made the decision to go on with her life and it just seems weird to me that she had no real conflict with the decision.
I liked the idea of the suit of armour being mae portable by having it be a suitcase. It shows that Tony has thought about the situation coming up that he may be needing to suit up when he is not able to access the machine that puts the suit together I also loved the look of the suit as it brought back memories of the “Silver Centurion” armour of the comic.
The War Machine armour looked really cool and just looked as it does in the comic, once it was suped up by Hammer Industries. It definitely looked and seemed to act like it was a mobile tank. The fighting style differences for the two suits in the final fight with Whiplash really stood out.
Speaking of Whiplash, Mickey Rourke was amazing in the role. The Marvel movie staff has done a terrific job of casting overall but this is the first villain that I started to root for during the movie. He was a real bad ass and the whips and harness looked really cool and offered something different to base the villain around.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has a much larger role in this movie. Clark Gregg owns any scene he is in as Agent Coulson. Samuel L Jackson really has more screen time than I thought he would and I did not mind. He symbolized the Avengers movie in a way. The more we saw of Fury, the better the chances would be of the Avengers happening.
I really love Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. She is beautiful but also played the role of serious ass kicker to a “T.” I will admit to freaking out the first time she wore her S.H.I.E.L.D. costume and the moves she used during the fight were so fluid and deadly. I suppose it was a viscous ballet so to speak.
The kiss shared between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts was a huge moment in the movie. It allowed the two characters to finally share a moment that was building for almost 2 movies. It really gave the movie an emotional lift, and would not be the last emotional lift we would be left with by a movie over the next 2 movies to come.
There was a heavy tease of Captain America in a few spots of the movie. The first time is when Tony is going through the Army storage case of his father’s and amongst all the things in the case, there is a copy of actual Captain America #1 comic with him punching Hitler on the cover. The second tease is a little more straight forward as Agent Coulson holds a partly assembled shield of that resembles the one used by Captain America. he asks Tony “Where did you get this?”
The after the credits tease scene was one that got me excited for an upcoming movie like nothing before. We were treated to Agent Coulson arriving in New Mexico and phoning Fury to say that he found it. In a large crater was Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Epic!!
Although I did like the idea of Whiplash being contracted by Hammer Industries, I just didn’t buy Hammer as being competition to Tony at all. Maybe if they would have been played up a little more by other people in the both movies, it would have made the weight of the two forces joining much greater.
I thought Don Cheadle was a great fit to replace Terrance Howard as James Rhodes aka War Machine. I was not so keen on the him just keeping the suit of armour at the end of the movie. It would have been a much better decision if they would have Tony actually give his blessing to Rhodey to keep the suit, even if he would have said “For Now.”
I was extremely excited when Whiplash was shown with the whips and harness as it was not a full suit of armour that Iron Man would be fighting. After the first movie, I thought it would be overkill to have the villain be a guy in a suit of armour. Even the drones was a little different take on the suit of armour but then the final battle happened. To my horror Whiplash was in a suit of armour. I know people will say “We it gives him more defense against two Iron Men.” Not true. How many blows did the armour absorb? None. They could have had him fight with the whips but also use them for defense to deflect any blasts and it would have felt fresh.
MY SCORE: 7.5/10
Once again Marvel hit the ball out of the park with the casting choices in this one. Chris Hemsworth was fantastic as Thor, Sir Anthony Hopkins was amazing as Odin and Tom Hiddleston was lights out as Loki. This trio not only carried the film but really had a great chemistry amongst them that was very real.
Kenneth Branagh was the right man to direct this movie. He was able to convey a sense of realism to the realm of Asgard and to the belief that the Norse Gods were on Earth. The way that he had the story flow between both realms and not lose a step was really a credit to his dedication to the film and to the story of the Asgardians.
More Agent Coulson! Clark Gregg stole every scene that he was in and I actually looked forward to seeing him on screen throughout the movie. His sense of comedic timing is top notch and the scene where he interrogates Thor at the S.H.I.E.L.D. compound was very intense and gave him a sense of credibility as an authority figure.
The CGI was simply fantastic and really added to the film and was not a distraction like it was with Green Lantern. Whether it was the Frost Giants, The Destroyer or any of Thor’s attacks with Mjolnir….it all looked fantastic. This film really gave Marvel a chance to push their CGI into directions it had not been before and it passed.
The humor of the film was done perfectly. The majority of it either surrounded Thor being a fish out of water on Earth or it was generated by Kat Dennings character Darcy. There was a real chance that the humour could have gone terribly wrong but I have to give credit to the cast and Branagh for pulling it off.
The means by which Thor defeated Loki was very similar to how he defeated The Destroyer. In both cases he used his smarts to gain the victory. With The Destroyer, he recognized to get the behemoth off of the ground and it’s sure footing to put it in a vulnerable position. With Loki, he actually outsmarted him twice. It showed that Thor was a quick thinker, along with being a powerful God.
Any scene dealing with Thor and his worthiness was simply epic. Whether it was the heated exchange between Thor and Odin in which he was banished in the first place or the moment that he was deemed worthy to wield the uru metal hammer again, it was the highlight of the movie to me.
The after credits scene in this movie was geared towards both Captain America and The Avengers. Loki was shown as being an influence on Earth with his manipulation of Dr. Selvig and the Cosmic Cube was formally introduced into the Marvel movie universe.
The movie was just too short. I know that Branagh was concerned with losing the audience, as Thor could potentially be a tough movie to sell to the general public. He wanted to keep the pace flowing and brisk but it did come across that Thor defeated The Destroyer a bit too easily. It did show how powerful he was but he never seemed to be in any danger.
A little more interplay between the “brothers” would have made the turn of Loki much more heart wrenching. I think they should have had more scenes showing them as young boys being trained to fight by Odin orspending time with his mother Frigga. Create a series of moments for the audience to get emotionally involved.
More development for the Warriors 3 and Sif. Branagh did a good job displaying enough of each character so we would get a basic understanding of who they were, but a little bit longer movie could have allowed them a little more time to shine.
I was very skeptical of Chris Evans being cast in this film but the guy was amazing! He really played the role as best as I think anyone could have. Hugo Weaving owns any scenes that he is in and Marvel was very smart to cast him as the Red Skull, he ate up any scene he was in. Tommy Lee Jones and Hayley Atwell were great in their roles of Col. Chester Phillips and Peggy Carter respectively.
This movie tied every aspect of the Avengers together except for the Hulk. We had Hydra looking for a weapons artificat from Odin’s throne room in Norway, Tony Stark’s father working on the process to change Steve Rogers into a super soldier and they refer to “Agent” Peggy Carter, which links her to S.H.I.E.L.D.
I feel that the scene were Cap sacrifices himself to save America was maybe the most touching and saddest scene in any of the Marvel movies. It was a fantastic scene that had people actually sniffling in theatres. That moment is what I will always remember from the movie.
Tommy Lee Jones was absolutely brillant in this movie. His comedic timing was pristine and he had me laughing with his very dry and blunt delivery more than once during the film. He really added depth to the movie.
I was so excited to see them incorporate not only Cap’s original shield into the movie but also his comic book costume. I loved the idea that he was used a celebrity to sell bonds and the campiness of the costume was used well. The idea that he saw the costume as being symbolic was a great move and it easily explains not only why he would ask for his body armour to look like it did later in the movie but also the costume he receives in The Avengers.
I love the little nod to Bucky using the shield and gun in the train sequences as he was Captain America at the time in the Marvel comic book universe and he used the shield and gun in the same pose. His death was never shownb as we assumed he dioed after falling off the train, but could we see the Winter Soldier in the future? This made me smile!
The after credits scene was the first official teaser for The Avengers and the theatre I was in went crazy when they saw the characters interacting together. It was a crazy and surreal experience.
There were times that the CGI came off as weak to me and the scene that stands out is the one with Captain America jumping over the massively huge tank. It just looked tacky and I kind of rolled my eyes a little bit when it happened. I know he is an enhanced super soldier but even if they tried a different looking jump it may have come off better. It just looked “off” to me.
I wish we could have seen a little more on the background of the Red Skull. I know that they had to kind of do a brief gloss over of it but the character is right up there with Loki as the most interesting in the Marvel movie universe. They each really were head and shoulders above the villains in the Iron Man movies and The Incredible Hulk.
A little more development of Bucky Barnes would have been great too. I really like the Bucky Barnes that was the Winter Soldier and later Captain America in the comic books. The movie seems to be setting up for this and I for one can not wait. This would be an amazing moment if done right and perhaps we will get the Bucky background when he returns.
On the topic of Bucky, I would have loved to see more interaction between him and Steve. Kind of like the relationship between Thor and Loki, it didn’t have that same emotional impact when he died. It would have added so much weight if that would have been present in the movie.
There we have it. A mini review for each of the 5 movies leading up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time, The Avengers. I do think the first Iron Man is the best of the lot with Thor coming in a close second but all 5 movies are way better than I ever thought they would be.
When May comes, we will witness a movie event like nothing ever seen before.