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I should also mention that I've seen the movie twice at this point and my issues with pacing that I never even mentioned up there were verified by my sons' inabilities to sit still. They sat mouths agape at Cap and Thor (which I didn't even really like) but were totally antsy here.

While I am glad I went to see it, it wasn't worth the second viewing whereas I've seen IM two times and Cap three times already and will still go back to those movies.

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1. Blade 2

2. Avengers

3. Captain America

4. Iron Man

5. Everything else (I've yet to see Thor or Incredible Hulk. Doubt I will at this point.)

Blade 2 trumps all. That will never change.

I was talking Marvel Studios, of which Iron Man was the first movie.

If we're doing that then my list is thusly:

1. Blade 2

2. X2: X-Men United

3. Spider-Man 2

4. Iron Man

5. X-Men: First Class

6. Captain America

7. The Avengers

8. Hulk

9. Everything else.

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I'm sorry, Dread. As the token Avengers Curmudgeon on these boards you are disqualified from list revisions. I'll give you X2, though. It's awesome. It actually improves upon the first film which almost never happens. It's what I hope an Avengers sequel will accomplish. I will be seeing Avengers again next weekend with my dad. I know he will dig it as much as I did.

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I should also mention that I've seen the movie twice at this point and my issues with pacing that I never even mentioned up there were verified by my sons' inabilities to sit still. They sat mouths agape at Cap and Thor (which I didn't even really like) but were totally antsy here.

That's really bizarre; I've seen the movie twice as well, and all the kids in both viewings were completely captivated. Heck, in one showing you could actually hear tiny hands clapping at every single big moment where the heroes made an entrance or hit Loki really hard.

I'd agree that the movie didn't do a ton for character development, but considering the sheer amount of action and exposition that was going on, it's passable. I'd say they did a pretty decent job with Black Widow and Hawkeye to a lesser degree, since the story dealt with what the battle meant to them personally (Black Widow getting the red out of her ledger; Hawkeye getting back at Loki for mind-raping him). The ones that had the least development were Cap and Thor, and apparently there's a bunch of character stuff with at least Cap that was left on the cutting room floor for time's sake.

All that to say that yes, it's an epic battle crossover story that was light on character development, but considering how damn good of an epic battle crossover story it is, that's alright in the end.

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For myself, I only had one prerequisite for AVENGERS. Fun, and I had a ton of it.

I agree with Darryll on this. I wanted a fun movie. I got fun.

Sure, the movie had a few issues (mainly pacing for me). However, I had fun and thus, my expectations were met.

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Dread a reviewer here in Oz called it a standard 'paint by numbers' movie making, which sounds similar to what you mean by safe?

It didn't need to have massive character development, isn't that what the character movies are for?

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That's exactly what I mean. Super hero films don't have to be that, though. I think things like Watchmen and The Dark Knight show that. And I don't have to accept sub-par stuff when I know we're capable of better than putting a bunch of recognizable characters on screen and being satisfied by it.

And before that gets jumped on, I'm not saying dark and gritty, I'm saying intelligent.

Honestly, I enjoy watching a bunch of Avengers: EMH episodes more because it takes more chances.

And character development is needed in EVERY story.

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And character development is needed in EVERY story.

Normally I'd agree, but in this case I'm not sure.

I've been reading the original Lee/Kirby Avengers run, and it's exactly the same as the movie in a lot of ways. Their origin story was basically just "Loki's doing some shit; let's go stop him. Hey, we should be a team!" No characters get developed whatsoever.

Now, I don't mean to suggest that modern movies should follow the storytelling tenets (and limitations) of silver-age comic books, but I am saying that there is huge precedent for this type of story. You can call it standard, traditional, or normal, but I think if it's done well (as The Avengers is), it might be more accurate to call it classic. Yes, if you're judging it based on certain criteria that other stories utilize then it falls well short, but considering that this is a single episode in what is basically an ongoing saga, I don't think it's fair to judge it negatively for focusing on the traditional aspects of the superhero story—especially when just making this movie work at all was probably a Herculean feat.

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I will say this: the movie does make a fundamental assumption that you've seen all five leadup films in the way that they establish the status quo. And I think that that might explain the lack of character development here; the writing assumes you've seen the character development there, and focuses more on bringing them together as a team for the first time rather than developing the characters in an established team dynamic (which I think we will be getting down the road).

Does that make sense, Des?

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I *loved* this movie, but yes, character development was virtually nonexistent. This was one for the fanboys. As a fanboy, I enjoyed the hell out of it, but the points being made are very, very valid ones.

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The thing is, Avengers does have character development. It's very, very basic development and so simplistic as to be almost invisible amidst the chaos but it's there. First of all, these are individuals who value their individualism but by the end they value both the team dynamic and each other. They become a team rather than some vague initiative. Those are really broad strokes but it counts as development.

Then we have the individual arcs. This won't take long. Iron Man learns to be a team player. Captain America begins to realize that Shield may not share his values. Black Widow pays back some karmic debt she believes she owes. Thor comes to terms with his brothers madness. Hulk comes to terms with his anger. Hawkeye gains a personal stake over cold professionalism and Agent Coulton learns what that big gun can do.

They all have arcs. Granted, they are tiny, almost insignificant arcs that are buried in the action and adventure but they count. Now we must speculate. What if they had spent more movie time developing complex, adult internal dilemmas for these characters to wrestle with? Everyone, except for Dread, would have complained about a lack of explosive action. The target audience (Kids. That's important to remember) does not want a movie full of colorful navel gazers. The arcs that are present barely fulfill the requirements but I think the filmmakers made the right choices for the most part.

I still wanted less Iron Man, more Captain America but whatever. I can imagine pretty vividly the changes I would make and that's enough for me.

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^I concur with the above.^

I *loved* this movie, but yes, character development was virtually nonexistent. This was one for the fanboys. As a fanboy, I enjoyed the hell out of it, but the points being made are very, very valid ones.

If by fanboys you mean everyone who saw and enjoyed the previous films in the series, then yes. The Marvel Studios movies have pretty much made everyone a fanboy at this point.

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I have a question. In the part where Loki ran interference at the art history exhibit while Hawkeye scanned that guy's eye to enter a room. What the heck was the outcome of that? I have no idea what they wanted in that room or where it fit in the bad guys' master plan. Can anyone fill me in?

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Gee, thanks for not reading the entire paragraph where I explained that first line. Absolutist argument at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

That, people, is knee jerk pouting.

I was being glib when I said I only read the first line. I just don't have a lot of time to argue on the internet these days. I read the first two. That's because comparing a modern film that has been in the works for five years and has had hundreds of millions of dollars thrown towards it with a disposable comic book that was being made by guys barely making a living wage 50 years ago is a ridiculous premise.

Look, I liked the film. I went and saw it a second time. It was really hard not to see its flaws that time. And the audience on the second viewing as also different. Interestingly, a lot of the comedy shit the bed in that viewing.

The Hulk stuff holds up wholecloth for me. That's about it.

I am certain I will never watch this again. But I am certainly going to give the next one a try.

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