Thursday, November 17, 2011

Joss Whedon's Vision for Avengers

Yesterday, I was privy to see the Avengers trailer, not for the first time, in my Trinidadian cinema, Palladium – more vintage a cinema than anything else.

No one got the nerdgasm much but they liked the action and unbridled grit displayed in the trailer. What worked for me was the NIN theme song…if you don’t know the fragility of it…GTFO.
I haven’t been a fan of Whedon for some time now. Dollhouse, his recent Buffy/Angel comics, as well as his run-in to end those particular series, left a lot to be desired to me. While he draws my ire, many seem to take to him as the director of Avengers. Now, I hated his Astonishing X-Men run, as reviving Colossus, rejuvenating the Pryde romance…only to lampoon her in space…reeked of failure to me. That Ord plot, woefully followed by Matt Fraction recently, was not cohesive and interesting to me, and Whedon didn’t win me over on Runaways, which I already had high standards set based on Brian Vaughn’s propensity to kick the proverbial ass on that book.

That bias aside, if Favreau or Branagh weren’t directing Avengers, then I really couldn’t fathom another person…so when Joss was announced, I settled. Then again, have you seen Star Trek by Abrams? He has me with all his shows, his films, his tenure as an epic storyteller…and also, he handles ensemble casts pretty well. But Joss did Serenity and Firefly…so I could still live with that.
Now, here in lies the rub.

Favs Iron Man 1…brilliant but the sequel…scrappy to me. Ken…did fabulous on Thor…set the stage swimmingly for Avengers. Now…you’d think both would have a hand in Joss’ film? No! Not as much.
Joe Johnston’s Cap…too cheesy, poor acting and pretty average to me (still better than Campbell’s mediocre Green Lantern though!)…and Evans, well Chris Pine’s Kirk was what Rogers is to me, so I guess…I’ll settle for Pine.
Well…we have a decent enough director…Evans, Robbie D, Hemsworth…capable indeed. Enter Scarjo’s crap excuse for Black Widow, a peripheral figure to me that doesn’t deserve a place in this film…but wait…Hawkeye by Renner…I may just go for that!
Sam Jackson? Ohhhhhhhhkay!
Now I guess with no Pyms…it’s clear…this isn’t the 616 Marvel Avengers…It is Ultimate Avengers!
And I read all the Ultimate Volumes till this very day…and I’ve seen what Millar, Hitch and Yu can do…oh yeah…so by looking at the costumes, the wanton violence in the trailer, the lack of a clear cut villain besides a shackled Loki…this reeks of the Ultimate Universe.
Now that ain’t a bad thing…it’s a modern update. The costumes, the villain, the secret Aliens attacking NY…the fact that Loki is a prisoner until he goes berserk, the fact that Banner is domesticated until he loses his docile disposition…and goes Hulk…all point to Joss’ modern upbringing in storytelling…and he’s going ULTIMATE.
Fans of his X-Men stuff can tell…he prefers to tread new waters rather than go old-school 616…and after the debacle of X-films that strayed from continuity, his lack of getting Wonder Woman off the ground…he opted for the most modern continuity.
I don’t mind…but who can defeat this team?
They are powered to the max, and Thor flicked off the Destroyer like nothing…so add in Hulk…and it’s a bit overpowered right?
Loki using the Hulk to go after Thor could have been a spectacle as I can see the Laufeyson handling everyone else…but really…whether it be Skrulls (no I doubt!), the Chit’auri (maybe?) or the Kree (I fricking wish)…an alien race versus Hulk and a demigod…kinda doesn’t seem sublime to me. Then again, with such a Mike Bay trailer and RDJ’s one lines by that frowning goatee…may prove me wrong.
I heard that teases of Black Panther, Doc Strange may rear their head…but maybe…if Loki was smart and enlisted otherworldly help…maybe…Thanos…wielding the Infinity Gauntlet could make sense and prove a righteous opposition?
Also, this can unlock the cosmic realm for the spinoffs of Inhumans, Kree, Adam Warlock etc…Guardians of the Galaxy? It’s a multitude of possibilities and Joss loves aliens…no doubt.
But if it’s just an alien race that flies planes and super tech…then Joss…sorry but you can sit on Mike Bay’s lap.
The villain will make or break this film…and it cannot be just Loki…especially as that female director has to anchor him in Thor 2. So Joss…start revealing more…get a more succinct trailer…and shed light on that haphazard SHIELD organization that Fury/Coulson is running around hiring with…if not…gimme some Cobie Smulders in tights…we’ll call it even.
I am cautious when it comes to Joss and this film…don’t blame me…after all, when Norton’s HULK and the extra-credit scene got flushed, I had a seizure. He’s the guy I felt could have added an extra dimension…instead…I got Cap and IM2, which not even a decent 616 film like Thor couldn’t purge and cleanse my soul of.
While those individual films bore a 616 feel to them with a virtuous Cap, a haughty Stark, and an endearing Thor…when I saw the Ultimates vibe…I kind of got cynical…because to me, Ultimates was more about action and style…and not discrediting it…but it lacked some substance for me…
I hope that Joss takes the best of both worlds…and proves me wrong…also…Ultron post-credits anyone?

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