Avengers Didn't Have a Good Story?

Avengers Didn't Have a Good Story?

One of the points that is often brought up against the Avengers movie is that its story was weak. Here are my thoughts on the matter...

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By blackster - 11/26/2012

The Avengers has come and gone. The Dark Knight Rises has come and gone. But the Marvel vs DC wars rage on still. Or perhaps more specifically, the MCU-ers vs Nolanites. It's an interesting war this one. To me, at least. I actually enjoy both the MCU films and the Nolan Bat-films. So, as I read all the arguments made for or against these films, what I get out of it all is a better understanding what what did or did not work in these films. At least for the audience. And since I myself aspire to be a writer someday, well, it's kinda helpful understanding these sort of things a bit better.

Now, on to the point of this...

I have read one specific argument made against the Avengers. And that argument is that the story in it was weak. When I read that, I thought and thought, and I realized that yeah, the story kind of sucks. There really isn't much to it. It's isn't detailed, it isn't deliciously complex. It's just sort of a cliche asshole-wants-to-take-over-world-and-heroes-go-to-stop-him deal. It's simplistic.

Ah! But therein lies its genius. It's simplistic. Simple. Easy. Easy to understand. Easy to process. And while that could be a bad thing if your film is hinges on the story. The fact of the matter is, Avengers doesn't hinge on its story. Avengers was never supposed to be about the story. It was about the characters, and them coming together is a great big Superhero mash.

Now, thankfully the solo films did the job of introducing the masses to these characters. So they had the advantage of not having to waste away precious screentime trying to explain who all these f***ers are. Instead, we get to focus purely on the team dynamics. Pretty much this was how the film was structured:

1) Most characters being introduced individually
2) Characters meeting each other and forming initial character dynamics. Some get along. Others don't. Some members are trusted, some not, some feared.
3) Then the circumstances created by Loki forces them together, and through this hardship, they all learn to work together.
4) Final Battle. They're a team, and now they're kicking ass. (Note: Everybody brings this up so I'll briefly address this. The team readily accepts Cap as the leader because if you remember, early on in the film they are all given information about each other. Cap is the one with military leadership experience, and everyone knows this. Thor kind of does too, but his leadership in the attack against the Frosties ended... uhhh.... badly.)

That's kind of a handful when you have to do all that with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, (Hawkeye... not so much so I'll put him in parenthesis), and even Nick Fury. Now of course you want the audience to enjoy themselves, so you've gotta fill in levity and action to get them laughing, happy, and their blood pumping with excitement.

So how would a complex plot fit into this? Badly.

There is already enough the film is dealing with. And you don't want to add in even more. Because if you do, it all starts to feel claustrophobic. They'd then become more prone to the exposition/plot-dumps that Nolan's films are a little notorious for. And would just be slowing down the film, and sucking out the fast-paced joy and energy which made it a success in the first place.

So yeah, that's pretty much it. You've gotta look at films in different ways. You should never treat all films like a check-list of things to do. Avengers... Did it have a great plot? No not at all. But in this case it wasn't needed. In fact, it might've been detrimental to the tone and pace they were going for.

Avengers 2 might be a different story though (no pun intended). Now the characters have been established as team. Their dynamics set. Their team-work is effective. There isn't as much that they have to establish with the heroes. So that the sequel will probably be a bit more about the drama against the villain and certain other complexities within the team dynamics. The kind of drama and complexities that Iron Man 3 seems to be taking Phase 2 in. A more "personal story". See? Whedon and MCU know what they're doing. Have faith in the guys and enjoy the films.

GuardianDevil - 11/26/2012, 4:13 AM
Interesting article, I thought the story was just fine like u said simple and fun, my biggest problem with this movie is that I think Hemsworth was a disgrace to the almighty Thor, Hemsworth did a great acting job but they made it seem like he was weak, another thing was that I didn't mind Cap's costume in his solo movie but whenever he changed his costume in Avengers he looked like a piece of plastic, and that's not the Captain America that I grew up with, however Cap's costume was just a minor thing that i would have done differently, Thor's appearance was the only thing that truly bothered me, but regardless i still can't wait for more Avengers movies, great article dude, you raise some good points.,

Btw I am both a Nolanite and an MCU-er they are both awesome film series.
ArtisticErotic - 11/26/2012, 6:29 AM
First Act= Boring

Middle Act= Decent

Last Act= Really fun.

The story is basic and to the point, it's nothing new or special. I think overall the movie is very enjoyable but not one of my favorites of all time.
marvel72 - 11/26/2012, 6:33 AM

in the words of stan lee......

SageMode - 11/26/2012, 8:19 AM
Great article.

But if you really look at it, every single movie's story and plot could be simplified through description. Its just that THE AVENGERS was a movie that didnt take itself too seriously. You dont need to be heavy in drama for it to have a good story. And Nolan's stories in his trilogy are no more complex than any other......

BATMAN BEGINS: Ra's Al Ghul wants to bring destruction to Gotham, Batman has to save it.

THE DARK KNIGHT: Joker wants to bring chaos and disorder to Gotham, Batman has to save it.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: Bane and Talia Al Ghul want to finish Ra's work in destroying Gotham, Batman has to save it.

If you were to take all the individual stories within the MCU, you could very well say that that's a complex story itself.


Haha. Nice one.
FirstAvenger - 11/26/2012, 8:35 AM
Yossarian that would have won best picture, Joss Whedon should be fired.
CorndogBurglar - 11/26/2012, 9:26 AM
Movies don't have to have complex plots to be good.

Same goes for CBMs.

Look at the comics, which these movies are based on. Not every story is complex. Quite often, the story does simply revolve around some dick villain wanting to take over the world. Simple as that.

I fail to see why this is a problem when dealing with the comic on film...
manymade1 - 11/26/2012, 9:55 AM
The photo at the top made me lol.
superotherside - 11/26/2012, 9:57 AM
Actually I agree. It didn't need to be that complex. Because it worked well the way it did.
6of13 - 11/26/2012, 11:20 AM
Movies do not always need to be cerebral. Avengers did exactly what it was supposed to and it did not need a complex plot to drive it. Form follows function.
HulkinOut - 11/26/2012, 11:34 AM
Yeah the story didn't need to be complex. I never understood why these comicbookmovies outway story son much over action (not saying that story isn't important), but whats the point of having superpowers if they only use it once or twice(I.e. Thor, captain America, GL). For me these heroes work as a vicarious thrill.
gamecreatorjj - 11/26/2012, 2:05 PM
The Avengers didn't have a good story, It lacked alot of things that make a movie.

But even though parts are weak, the parts done well, were done fantastically.

Im tired of people calling it the best, it's up there, but not the best, definitely the best Team SuperHero Movie
SomTingWong - 11/26/2012, 2:23 PM
avengers had no flaws as far as i`m concerned. it was the best cbm yet and as i read the first part i almost stopped reading. the avengers was a great movie.as for the avengers 2 it will be about all of their worlds being torn apart and them having to stop it while keeping their cool.
Kalel219 - 11/26/2012, 2:53 PM

"It lacked alot of things that make a movie."

Could you please explain that?
FrozenMarvelite - 11/26/2012, 3:27 PM
The Avengers was truly flawless. It is easily the best CBM. Great article btw.
OverlyManlyMan - 11/26/2012, 4:51 PM
What do you mean nothing new. It was the first time superheroes from their own franchises joined forces.........jeeeee luigi!
Ghostt - 11/26/2012, 6:22 PM
Nice read. I dig it
Ghostt - 11/26/2012, 6:24 PM
Biggest flaw was all the chitauri dying after the ship blew up. That was a fail.
GoILL - 11/26/2012, 8:34 PM
Good stuff man, I felt that Avengers and Dark Knight Rises both had rather simplistic and predictable stories to them and that's fine with me. I feel the dickriding defenders for either movie who post on this site try to make these movies out to be greater than they really are by bringing the stories up for these films.
Ghostt - 11/27/2012, 8:27 PM

sure, man. we are all connected to the mothership. I totally see where you're coming from.
NightForce - 12/1/2012, 12:11 PM
Whats the deal now that all great movies need a complex plot? Yes The Avengers had a simplistic story but it was supposed to! Its not supposed to be a mind [frick] it wasn't that kind of movie. Look at most comics the stories aren't that complex either. I don't see why it should be so different for the movies.
@gamecreatorjj, please elaborate sir. Don't say stuff like that unless your gonna give evidence.

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