Comic Book Movie Review – Ultimate Avengers

With most of the Marvel animated movies available to stream on Netflix, I figure there’s no reason to not go through and watch them.  So, over the next I don’t know how many weeks, you’ll be seeing reviews for them.  That starts today with Ultimate Avengers.  This movie is based on the Ultimates series written by Mark Millar and drawn by Bryan Hitch.

Ultimate Avengers

Directed by Curt Geda & Steven E. Gordon

Written by Greg Johnson, Boyd Kirkland & Craig Kyle

Starring
Justin Gross as Captain America
Grey DeLisle as The Wasp
Michael Massee as Bruce Banner
Olivia d’Abo as Black Widow
Marc Worden as Iron Man
Nan McNamara as Betty Ross
Nolan North as Giant Man
Andre Ware as Nick Fury
David Boat as Thor

The movie starts off with showing the events that caused Captain America, who was not admired by all, to be frozen in ice.  In the present, it is a specific search that finds Captain America’s body in the arctic, in hopes to re-create the Super Soldier serum.  The retirements are being run by Bruce Banner and Betty Ross.  Captain America’s body is brought back to New York to be examined, but to the surprise of everyone, Captain America wakes up.  Also going on during all of this, the Chitari are attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. satellites.  The Council tells Fury to activate the Avengers.  So, Fury goes around recruiting everyone, because no one on the team was recruited beforehand.  But through great difficulty, everyone is recruited.  In the case of Iron Man, he’s slapped out of the sky by Giant Man, and told about the team.

So, now this reluctant team is sent on a mission to capture a Chitari infiltrator on a S.H.I.E.L.D. base.  Things go completely wrong when no one follows orders, and the Chitari escapes having download everything from the databases.  Everyone is frustrated and the team disbands.  After not a lot of time, Chitari ships attack S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, but everyone comes back together to stop them, and succeeds.  Unfortunately, while everything was happening with the team, Bruce Banner had been working on developing the Super Soldier serum for himself, because he believes that it would allow him to control The Hulk.  He puts himself through the Super Soldier transformation, turns into the Hulk, and tells Betty Ross that he’s in control of it.  He goes off to the fight, and immediately loses control.  Once the Chitari are defeated, Hulk attacks the Avengers.  Captain America keeps trying to distract the Hulk until he can be hit with a sedative.  Eventually, this works, and the Hulk is put down.

Now, it’s been a while since I read The Ultimates, so I don’t exactly remember when things happen in the series.  I do remember though, that I only liked the first half of Ultimates 1 and 2.  So, I’m not really looking forward to Ultimate Avengers 2, but I digress.  Let’s discuss this movie.

Like with the DC animated movies, the animators try to recreate the art style of the comics.  And in this case, I think that’s a weak point of the movie.  There’s just something about Bryan Hitch’s style that doesn’t translate well to animation.  I especially don’t like the way Iron Man looks.  It’s the mask.  It just looks like it’d be really awkward to wear.  Giant Man and Wasp are other costume redesigns I’m not a fan of.  To me, they look busy just for the sake of being busy.

And no, I don’t really like the story.  Their first mission failed, and without really discussing anything.  Without a come together moment, they were able to all work together to defeat the threat.  It was an unearned ending.  And I know that you have a time constraint, but maybe you shouldn’t have spent half the movie on recruiting people.  Because let’s face it, the recruitment process was pretty boring.  And there wasn’t really anything revealed in the recruitment process that couldn’t have been developed later in the movie.  No one knows that Tony Stark is Iron Man?  That’s fine.  Have people be more shocked when it’s revealed after the failed mission.  Giant Man is a jackass?  Show it after the mission failure.  Sometimes you need to deviate from the source material a bit in order to make your project entertaining.

However, I thought they did do a good job of showing how Captain America was trying adapt to living in the future.  There were several of these scenes, and they had some real emotion to them.  The voice acting is alright.  Not really good, but not bad either. Oh yeah, I should note that I do like Ultimate Thor.  I like that it’s just as likely that he’s insane as it is that he’s a Norse god.  I think it’s a nice touch for the character.

But maybe I’m just jaded.  The Avengers live action movie was really good.  I really enjoy The Avengers cartoon that’s currently on television.  So maybe in my mind, I’m comparing this to them.  And it just doesn’t stand up to either of those.  In the end, I don’t really think this movie is worth seeing.

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