Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Avenging to the Ultimate

Since the first film came out during the time I’d stopped updating my website and before I started this blog it never got covered by me and as I’ve just finished watching the second film I figured lets talk about both. Although with emphasis on the second obviously.

Released early 2006 Ultimate Avengers took Millar and Hitch’s first Ultimates storyline and made it an animated film. Unfortunately, they did that by dumbing the story down for time and audience reasons. In my opinion, while nowhere near as good as the original comic series it was an ok film, with Ultimate Cap and Iron Man getting good showings. The wife beating storyline was lifted and the aliens were nowhere near the threat they were in the comic. I can understand why most of this was done, Millar and Hitch had 12 comics to get their story across. Ultimate Avengers had less than an hour and a half and some of the scenes would have ramped up the rating of the film, but you can’t help miss them when you know they should be there.

The second film creates a totally original story and it’s better for it. Starting that the Aliens are defeated just set back was a great idea. Kleiser, a great character from Ultimates who was wasted in the first film finally got a good showing, though his defeat was one of the more disappointing parts of the finale. We also get the wife beating storyline rear its head in the only way I think the movie producers could have gotten away with and I’m glad to see it. The second seems to symbolise more of a departure to sticking to Ultimate timeline and mixing from normal Marvel Universe to create a match that suits the film, with an introduction of Iron Man’s Armoury and Tony switching to the War Machine Armour.

Both films have fantastic animation, but some of the design leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe it’s the fanboy in me but a lot of the character design just comes off bad. Mostly going for the Ultimate designs is all well and good, and it’s understandable going with the more well known green Hulk. What annoys me is, although it’s Ultimate Thor the designers have taken away his beard making him look more like he belongs on a Californian beach than the battlegrounds of Asgard. Also super spy Black Widow has her top unzipped and showing a whole load of cleavage, to be expected in this kind of production, but I was expecting her to zip it up when it came to going into action. Plus the new design of Black Panther was awful in my opinion and instead of looking regal, T’Challa looked like he belonged in a wrestling ring. Lets not even get into this new morphing into a panther power he’s found.

All in all, the Ultimate Avengers films are good fun for the superhero fans looking for some light entertainment, though anyone who has read Ultimates volume 1 will find the first a bit annoying.