I bet you were thinking “Eoin, how come you haven’t done a superhero best of, for 2012?” I just know that’s what you were thinking, wasn’t it?
Well, here it is; we had three Big Superhero epics this summer, but which was the best?
MAJOR SPOILERS ENSUE!
First up was The Avengers; Marvel’s team up of superheroes has been building over 5 films and was the biggest grossing movie of the year. But was it actually any good? Let’s go over the pros and cons.
- Seeing all of these heroes together must be a comic book fan’s dream.
- The final 30 minute battle in New York was spectacular and has some great visuals, despite seeming very “familiar”.
- The Hulk stole the movie, with him punching Thor off the screen, pimp slapping Loki all over the place and smashing shit up good, he was a definite highlight.
- Some decent one-liners, although maybe not as good as they could have been.
- Good performances from the cast and Loki was a fun villain.
- Great sense of scale to the battle scenes.
- The cast all get their time to shine and each character has their own personal journey to go through.
- There’s a flying aircraft carrier and that whole sequence practically kills the pacing. Watch as Iron Man spends 20 minutes fixing an aircraft carrier as the “Honest Trailer” says.
- Disappointing music score, which lacks the classic heroism of Superman or Danny Elfman’s Batman. It’s not a bad score, just not all that memorable.
- The final battle sequence really is too similar to Transformers 3 and the aliens are very generic looking.
- Speaking of the aliens, the Chitauri was it? They could have done with a bit more characterisation rather than just being video game characters that the team has to take out wave after wave.
- The first half does drag in places and the script could have been a little tighter. Iron Man/Tony Stark lacked the golden one-liners he usually has.
- How does Thor make it back to Earth after the Bi-Frost was destroyed at the end of the Thor movie? I know it was “dark magic” but that was just lazy writing and removed any drama from the Thor movie, basically making the events in it void.
So that’s the Avengers, but after that came The Amazing Spider-Man, the reboot nobody wanted. Actually I did kinda want it as I could never stand Tobey Maguire as Spidey. So let’s analyze this bad boy.
- I definitely prefer Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man; he was less of a whiny bitch (kinda) and was generally just more likable.
- Emma Stone is a Goddess and was lovely as Gwen Stacey, definitely a vast improvement over Kirsten Dunst.
- The visual effects were great and Spidey swinging through the streets were nearly photo-realistic.
- Rhys Ifans was good as Curt Connors and although underused, I think he did the best he could with what was given to him.
- Nice to see Spidey wise-cracking again.
- I liked the score and it had a decent theme tune, although not a classic.
- It just feels utterly unnecessary, there is nothing to really justify its existence; we’ve seen it all before in the Raimi Spidey movies.
- As I just said above, Rhys Ifans felt underused and the whole visual look of the Lizard was pretty dumb, he looked like a Koopa Turtle.
- Lacked any spectacular action scenes, although the visuals were excellent, there was too much romance and less Spidey beating up crooks.
- It tries too hard to be different from the other movies by using variations of “With great power, comes great responsibility” and it just didn’t work for me.
- Too much of the action takes place at night, giving the film a darker vibe than it needed. Not a huge deal but I would have liked more action set in the daytime.
- Peter Parker is kind of a dick to people, especially in the scene where he humiliates the “bully” guy Flash. I know that’s part of the “journey” but once again we’ve already seen this in the Raimi movies. It makes you empathise a little less with the character.
So on to the big daddy, Christopher Nolan’s Trilogy closer The Dark Knight Rises.
- I loved Tom Hardy as Bane, he was physically imposing and a genuine threat to Gotham City. I also loved his voice, a lot of people didn’t, but it made over 1 billion dollars worldwide, so clearly they are the minority. His speech outside the prison is my favourite scene of the movie.
- Anne Hathaway was great as Selina Kyle/Catwoman and she looked super hot in that costume.
- Michael Caine was fabulous as Alfred as usual and he really adds the emotional gravitas to the story. I also thought Christian Bale was fantastic and even his Batman voice wasn’t silly this time.
- Joseph Gordon Levitt was very sympathetic and really was the main character of the story.
- Spectacular action scenes, especially the opening prologue in the plane, which really grabs you. It looked fantastic in IMAX. It all has an awesome sense of scale.
- Amazing score by Hans Zimmer; at first I was underwhelmed by it but after watching the movie a couple of times I now utterly adore it, especially The Fire Rises, Imagine the Fire and Gotham’s Reckoning.
- Liam Neeson makes a cameo.
- Despite protestations from others (Cochise) I loved the ending and thought it was the perfect wrap up.
- If Gotham City is blocked off, how does Bruce Wayne make it back there after being in the “pit”?
- The first half is a little slow in places… I guess.
- The Dark Knight Rises is still a crap title.
- As mentioned above, the focus is almost more on Blake (JGL) than Batman. Call me old fashioned but in a Batman film I’d like to see more Batman.
- Did Bruce Wayne really need to try and climb out of the pit 3 times? That felt a little like overkill.
- Marion Cotillard’s death scene is the worst piece of acting I’ve seen all year.
- I would have liked more Bane, however I do understand people’s complaints about his voice, his accent is a bit over the place and you’re not really sure where he’s meant to be from. I actually hate myself for even criticising it, forgive me!
So we’ve gone over the Pros & Cons of each film, but which one is my personal favourite? For me it’s easy, The Dark Knight Rises by a considerable amount.
I found The Avengers awesome fun but it felt geared towards a younger audience and no matter what anyone says, I just couldn’t be bothered with the flying aircraft carrier. I also found the final action sequence way to similar to Transformers: Dark of the Moon… although it was awesome.
The Amazing Spider-Man introduced some interesting new characters but wasn’t remotely memorable and just felt like an unnecessary retread, despite some nice effects and Emma Stone’s hotness.
I’ve provided my thoughts which may be the ravings of a madman so holler back, here is a poll for you to vote which is best and feel free to post your thoughts below.