This past weekend we finally got to see the highly anticipated and first blockbuster of the summer on the big screen. The Avengers assembled in historic fashion by drawing a record breaking $207 million in it’s opening weekend, which ended Mr. Potter’s three-day opening reign for The Deathly Hallows.
Man, just think if they added Harry Potter as an Avenger, now we’re talking big money!
Superheroes: Now more than ever.
I’d say that Superheroes are officially trending as we speak, and I see no end in sight. Fans and critics continue to rave about this ultimate team up film, which isn’t surprising for fans, but critics have always had their doubts and concerns with most superhero flicks. All action, no story. But with recent hero movies, I believe the storytelling has actually improved, along with impressive CGI.
For me, I can’t get into a movie without smart storytelling and characters with believable on-screen chemistry. And my biggest concern with The Avengers ultimately surrounded both of these topics. After an hour into the film I knew it would no longer be a lingering issue for me, I was pleasantly proven wrong by the high standards presented by producers of the film. But what really captured my interest was the massive attention to detail on all things CGI related. I was completely convinced that even I could restart an engine on a flying aircraft carrier!
It made me think about old superhero shows like Superman and Batman and how campy they were. Rear projection was often the go-to bit in Superman and nowadays we can create new worlds with the magic of computers. And we can do it in way that is tasteful and imperative to the script, it allows the filmmakers to take an audience to the very boundaries of imagination. Movie magic, I say!
Reboots are one thing, but actually going back to the very beginning where it all began is a powerful subject, one that all of us can get excited about. Knowing who Spider-Man is great, but discovering the truth and living it with him is a formula unique to only him. And same goes for all other superheroes. Filmmakers must remember that it’s about the character development, otherwise audiences won’t be able to relate or have the same emotional attachments the main character may have. Of course we want to see Spidey swing amongst skyscrapers and pull off the upside down french kiss, but before all this happens we need to get an understanding as to why he must kiss upside down.
A great example of how this practice actually works is in The Avengers, this film only worked because of separate origin stories for each of the main four characters. Everything was set-up and then strategically knocked down by specialty director, Joss Whedon. A man who knows characters dealing with extraordinary abilities very well (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and knows how to direct clever dialogue, his clever dialogue. Whedon was able to take all those complex back stories and roll them into one giant movie experience that delivered on all levels.
Origin stories are starting to develop more frequently, filmmakers are beginning to understand that people want more from the characters, they need to relate. And relating to superheros can be a difficult thing. After all, their often indestructible. But their also often human before being transformed into a caped crusader. And this must be capitalized on.
Set-up for Success?
A case can be made for The Avengers as the peak of the four franchises (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America), and I think that mostly stems from the success or failure of the independent character movies. The separate films share a commonality of financial success, even if some of the films received negative reviews, they still were able to attract a large attendance. And by creating a mash-up of all four movies, you are blending all fans together for one blockbuster experience like no other. This is something even the grandparents can’t miss out on. Which seems like spot-on marketing to me.
Go see it!
Bonus Features – Avengers Style
- The Avengers 2 has been green lit! Boom.
- At the end of The Avengers, stay through both of the end credit segments, there’s two additional scenes you don’t want to miss.
- This is the first Marvel film to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
- To prepare for the role of Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner was trained by Olympic archers.
Here’s a behind the scenes look!