After going home over the easter and getting a chance to re-watch one of my favourite films of last year, The Avengers on Sky Movies in HD, it got me thinking about how much of big deal the film was. I mean the hype for this film was insane and that is no exaggeration. The film was 4 years in the making after its post-credit announcement via Nick Fury in Iron Man 1, it could have easily crumbled under the pressure and failed miserably. But it succeeded and not only that but it was a fantastic piece of work and considering the way that films are made The Avengers really was and still is the kind of film that’s special and unprecedented in recent film history. So with that in mind I’m going to talk about why The Avengers is badass and is still relevant one year after its initial release.
To say that there was hype for The Avengers would be an understatement. The anticipation for this film is biggest I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. I mean sure I’m only 23 at the moment so I can’t say much about my lifetime, but I know hype when I see it. As previously mentioned when Nick Fury showed up in the post-credits scene of Iron Man and said that Tony Stark wasn’t “the only superhero in the world” and said he wanted to discuss the “Avengers Initiative” the Marvel fan base blew up. Ever since then over the course of the next four films, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, we got introduced to the team as individuals and got more and more teasers leading up to the eventual film. The first preview we got of the film was at the end of Captain America and even though it was like only 30 seconds of footage it sent fans insane. It was watched several times online and some people went back to the cinema several times just to see the preview again haha.
Marvel knew how to market their films and get the hype and excitement going from 2008 to 2012 when The Avengers eventually arrived in cinemas.
Then in October of 2011 the first trailer came out and that’s when fans took to the internet and raped the hell out of the repeat button as they watched the teaser trailer over and over. On iTunes Movie Trailers the trailer was downloaded over 10 million times in 24 hours which broke the website’s record for the most-viewed trailer at the time. And with each subsequent trailer the hype and anticipation got more and more uncontrollable. I travelled from Marvel.com to YouTube to IGN to Facebook to Superherohype and many other places and the fans were freaking out all over the place. With all of the footage, images and interviews with Joss Whedon, Kevin Fiege and the rest of the cast involved by the time May 2012 came along fan expectation was at an all-time high and luckily for most the film satisfied their needs and then some.
Even though Marvel had all these plans going down on their side of town it didn’t mean that there wasn’t any competition for them. In 2008 Iron Man went up against the giant that was Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and we all know how that battle went down. While Iron Man was indeed a success and made people see Marvel films in a much more serious a realistic manner, against the hype and success of TDK it didn’t stand much chance. TDK is highly famed film that apparently changed the way comic book films are made because its complex story elements, drama, dark, realistic and gritty tone, and obviously the incredible performance of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker. The film is loved by everyone comic book fans and critics alike and it’s noted as the best comic book films in existence. After July 2008 TDK set the bar for the next set of comic books films.
Luckily we learnt in 2011 that DC can’t do anything outside of Batman films as Green Lantern came and failed while Thor and Captain America fared a lot better. It wasn’t until last year when Marvel saw some real competition for their Avengers film with The Dark Knight Rises. 2012 was the year where The Avengers went up head to head with The Dark Knight Rises. The Avengers came out first and rocked the world which meant that TDKR had a lot to live up to, however when it came out it did just as well and in some cases better than The Avengers when it comes to box office numbers and reviews. Until this day opinions about both films are divided, some prefer the light-hearted, comedic and self-aware elements of The Avengers while others still prefer the dark and gritty realism of TDKR. It seems like the competition between Marvel and DC will continue for a while now.
2012 was a hectic year for comic films as these two titans went up against each other for summer supremacy.
It should be obvious but it has to be noted that I don’t think The Avengers would be the success that it was without Joss Whedon. His writing and directing changed this film’s story and characters from being very basic and lacking in substance to something that was pretty stylish, witty, comedic and serious when needed. Whedon was clearly a fan of the source material and comics in general and given his amazing track record with his television series including Buffy, Firefly and Dollhouse the man knows how to handle a massive cast of characters and make them all feel relevant and necessary to the plot. Recently I watched Dollhouse and I’m currently watching through Firefly and I’m seeing immediately comparisons to The Avengers. in the dialogue and character departments.
Some say the film could have been done with another director and while I guess that is probably true I still don’t think it would have been as great without the awesomeness that is Joss Whedon. The man is all-powerful!
Okay this post is becoming longer that I originally thought it’d be so I’ll end here for now. Be sure to come back for part 2 where I’ll discuss the other key reasons why I think this film succeeds so much. Thanks for reading and I’ll see ya later!