George R.R. Martin Reviews THE AVENGERS

The Game of Thrones creator makes no secret of his love for Stan Lee and Marvel so of course he saw The Avengers movie. Here's what GRRM had to say.

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By Mark Julian - 5/18/2012


George R.R. Martin, also known as GRRM amongst his loyal fan base has been a fan of Marvel and DC Comics for years. He wrote a letter to Stan Lee back in the '60s about Fantastic Four #32 and Avengers #9 and more recently summed up the difference between Marvel and DC quite succinctly. As a fan of comic books, I imagine Martin was eagerly anticipating Marvel's Avengers movie just as much as the rest of us. Here's what he had to say about the film.

I liked THE AVENGERS a lot... but maybe "loved" is too strong. I do have quibbles.

I definitely want to see it again, this time in 2D. I did not think the 3D added much, and the process made many of the scenes too dark. I am really not in love with today's 3D process. Yes, sometimes it works very well, as on HUGO, but mostly it doesn't.

Lots of lots of great stuff in THE AVENGERS, which most of the world has commented on, so I won't. The action scenes were spectacular, and overall I thought they did very well with Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Nick Fury. All great characters, all handled well, their interactions were one of the best part of the films.

However, I think they wasted the Black Widow and Hawkeye. Hawkeye is actually one of my favorite Avengers, so that saddened me. I missed the dynamic from the comics, where it's Hawkeye who is the cynical smartass (not Iron Man), always in conflict with the super straight guy Captain America. I guess, having capitalized on the undeniable talents of Robert Downey Junior to create a terrific character in Movie Iron Man, they did not feel there was room for a second wise-cracking iconoclast. Fine, but it left Hawkeye without a personality. Or much to do.

Same's true of the Black Widow. Scarlett Johanssen looked great in that outfit, but she seemed to be there only as eye candy. The shot in the middle of the battle where she pulls out a pistol was silly. I don't know who this Black Widow was, and I don't think the screenwriter did either. She wasn't the original comic Black Widow, the Russian femme fatale who seduces Hawkeye into trying to kill Iron Man. She wasn't the later comic book Black Widow, who dons a costume, comes over to the good guys, and teams with first Hawkeye and then Daredevil. She was just... there.

My own golden rule for these Marvel movies is simple -- stay with the way Stan Lee did it, and you won't go far wrong. THE AVENGERS should have done that. Hawkeye was not actually a founding member of the group, he came in later... around the same time Iron Man and Thor were leaving. Black Widow came in even later than that. So I would have followed Stan's scenario, left them out of this first movie, and replaced them with... Ant-Man and the Wasp! Who WERE founding members of the Avengers. They wanted a woman in the group, sure, but the Wasp would have done just as well as Black Widow, and Ant-Man... hey, I love Hank Pym.

All that being said... these are, ultimately, just quibbles. I did really like the film. The Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form next year in San Antonio is really going to be a fanboy bloodbath, with AVENGERS, PROMETHEUS, and THE HOBBIT all contending for the same rocket.

'Nuff said.



The Avengers is an American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast, which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America to save the world from destruction.

Development of The Avengers began when Marvel Studios received a grant from Merrill Lynch in April 2005. After the success of the film Iron Man in May 2008, Marvel announced that The Avengers would be released in July 2011. With the signing of Scarlett Johansson in March 2009, the film was pushed back for a 2012 release. Whedon was brought on board in April 2010 and rewrote the screenplay that was originally written by Zak Penn. Production began in April 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio in August 2011 and New York City in September 2011. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.

The Avengers was released in the United States on May 4, 2012 in 2D and 3D.









Running Time: 2 hrs 23minutes
Release Date: May 4 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG 13 for for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, and language
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgård, Mark Ruffalo, Amanda Righetti, Scarlett Johansson and Lou Ferrigno The Incredible Hulk (voice) .
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Zak Penn (initial screenplay), Joss Whedon (revised screenplay)



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101 Comments
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dirtygymsocks - 5/18/2012, 6:14 AM
Agreed
GeekyCheekyChic - 5/18/2012, 6:16 AM
Mr. Martin.... I'm guessing ultimate avengers is something you missed. Also guessing you saw a different cut of the film because mime didn't have an underused black widow. I could dispute more but its made a billion so nuff said right back at you.
RorMachine - 5/18/2012, 6:16 AM
Woah! Strong words from Mr Martin. I agree with im on Hawkeye but not Widow, I though she was handled very well. Ok, so a few of her scenes at the end were a bit silly (the jumping and grabbing on to the alien craft etc, and she did look a tad silly firing two handguns in the midst of a super powered war), but overall I think Johannson was great and had plenty to do. Seems like ol GRRM is something of a purist too, he'll have plenty of supporters on this site!
SCOURGE - 5/18/2012, 6:17 AM
I agree with just about everything he said, except for the Ant Man and Wasp part.
Shaman - 5/18/2012, 6:17 AM
It's weird how many people thought the opposite and felt Hawkeye and Black Widow were two of the best characters in the film, Hulk being the best and completely stealing the show. And personally, i never was a fan of Pym and Van Dyne so i guess that's a huge reason why me and him aren't on the same page.

However, i most certainly would've prefered Black Widow being substituted by MS. MARVEL! BRING IT!!!
Anthrax - 5/18/2012, 6:18 AM
What baroness said
MarkJulian - 5/18/2012, 6:19 AM
Tymminator - 5/18/2012, 6:21 AM
I agree about Pym and Wasp, but I think they are just trying to play nice w/ E.Wright. Still an awesome movie.
thecap - 5/18/2012, 6:22 AM
Hawkeye was under Loki's control about half the movie, which I thought was pretty sweet...
thecap - 5/18/2012, 6:23 AM
The Hawkeye vs. Black Widow fight was one of my favorite scenes by the way...
Tymminator - 5/18/2012, 6:24 AM
@Tea, great point. Cap would not be in the picture indeed.
StrangerX - 5/18/2012, 6:25 AM
I think he basically said what all the fans have been saying from the beginning.
TheMyth - 5/18/2012, 6:27 AM
Meh, he even states these are just "quibbles" to him so I wouldn't call him a purist.
RorMachine - 5/18/2012, 6:28 AM
haha, Tea exactly.. runs into the same problems with hypocrisy all purists do.

"If it followed the comics, we should have Wasp and Pym and that's THAT!"

"But what about Cap?"

"Oh [frick] that, I like him"
marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:29 AM
i wonder how much it would have made if he made his changes.

but i bet marvel will take it like it went lma.

and i love this part

I don't know who this Black Widow was, and I don't think the screenwriter did either. She wasn't the original comic Black Widow, the Russian femme fatale who seduces Hawkeye into trying to kill Iron Man. She wasn't the later comic book Black Widow, who dons a costume, comes over to the good guys, and teams with first Hawkeye and then Daredevil. She was just... there

on man wait till he sees a midget bane and a clawless/whipless cat women,he my die lol.
RorMachine - 5/18/2012, 6:29 AM
Themyth, actually I guess that's true he didn't let it ruin the movie for him.
Duhdaduh - 5/18/2012, 6:30 AM
Martin is king in my book, but i feel like he's just nit picking here...a lot of his complaints are details that were already skewed before Joss even came on board, affected by those characters' depictions and inclusions (and exclusions) laid down in the past movies. Joss did the best with what was handed to him, if he went back and changed things that were laid out in the past movies it would just be a mess.

plus, this is the movie canon of the avengers, as different as the ultimate universe vs the 616...its a whole different experience, why does it have to be verbatum with the classic comics? if i want to see everything the exact same way as the comics, i'll read the comic. its refreshing to see something new
Kosiji - 5/18/2012, 6:31 AM
I agree with this article.
MarkJulian - 5/18/2012, 6:32 AM
I do believe he said this was just a quibble and that overall, he enjoyed the movie. Sheesh!
marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:33 AM
@tea

hi bud,a friend of mine just got bck from london and has giving me and the wife a huge box of stuff from a place called everton.have you ever heard of them and if so is this high end stuff or just stuff.havent opened the box yet so no telling what he bought,but its not ticking anyways lol.
Shaman - 5/18/2012, 6:38 AM
Duhdaduh- AMEN!!!
TheHitchhikingGhost - 5/18/2012, 6:39 AM
Quibble away, but I disagree whole-heartedly on the Black Widow front. Going into this I could have given two-shits for the character and was annoyed every time I saw her in the promos. I left feeling Joss cracked it and crafted her into the story very nicely. She's pretty much in every damn scene. Let's not forget Joss is also following the lineage of the character created in IM2, so he should take umbrage with that instead.
TheHitchhikingGhost - 5/18/2012, 6:40 AM
And honestly, I'm baffled no one thought to grab the Destroyer rifle from the Helicarrier to use in the final battle... especially if you're Black Widow or Cap.
valeriesghost - 5/18/2012, 6:42 AM
always good to get GRRM's opinion! in hindsight there is a lot to nit pick about, but what was great about the movie was soooo great that it makes the imperfections near invisible :)
getupkid - 5/18/2012, 6:42 AM
I just absolutely love the fact that both comicbooks and comicbook movies are beinf recognized as truely creative works by more "mainstream" artists like Martin. While I don't agree with some of his criticisms, it's refreshing to see that there are expectations of character developement and a real sense of the history of the original work.
marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:42 AM
no i didnt know what the place is thats why i asked,but im thinking i got a box of junk lol.and the 1983 1 pound coin(coin is what it would e called here anyways)is worth more lmao.

i just wanted to know what kinda gift to give in return and it dont sound like it has to be much huh,
figuresmaniac - 5/18/2012, 6:44 AM
There was no time to introduce Hank & Jan.
If they were introduced in the movie then people would say no character development, rushed, bla bla bla bla bla...
ColonoscopyKid - 5/18/2012, 6:45 AM
I guess not everyone wants to swallow Marvels baby gravy.
marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:46 AM
plus i think he stayed to long cause if hes waiting to long he will say something like,im tired of all this cueing (waiting)and wish they would just let us on the lift (elevater) already,im guessing he picked that stuff up there.
marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:48 AM
teabag - 5/18/2012, 6:45 AM
Report Comment Mark@ I'd get him a condolence card and inside write

" Sorry to hear your a cheap-ass "

:P

cheaper than you think this guy is worth mills lol.
hammerofharpel - 5/18/2012, 6:48 AM
I completely understand the comments and from a comic perspective, it was dead on and I agree...but:

What is forgotten is that this movie is in the Marvel 'movie' universe and in that light there is the problem.

1) Ironman was already established as the sarcastic one in the movies (Ironman I and Ironman II. You can't change that for this movie.)

2) Black Window was already established in IronMan 2 so you can't play too hard with that one.

3) There was already a storyline established for how the Avengers were going to get together from Captain America, Ironman, Ironman II, Thor, etc.

4) Hawkeye is a favorite of mine too but with Tony Stark being the sarcastic one, you can't have two in that role so I can understand why he was painted in that light.

The problem Josh W. had was how to take an already established storyline and make it work, and in that sense, I thought it was terrific. Ya, no question it would have been nice to have the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby version but Josh Whedon didn't have the luxury of starting from scratch. He had to work with what he had.
Just my thoughts.

marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:51 AM
last one tes is this pound, that has the queen on one side and 2 lions on the other,are these called coins over there or what,and thanks for the info.
marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:52 AM
so glad i didnt buy him something to nice so tyvm.
BIGBMH - 5/18/2012, 6:55 AM
I was just about to point out the Cap thing, teabag. Beat me to the punch.
figuresmaniac - 5/18/2012, 6:55 AM
@hammerofharpel 100% agree
erickrivers - 5/18/2012, 6:56 AM
Lame review.
"Why do people have to have orange juice they should just leave it in its natural state"
Rolls eyes
marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:57 AM
teabag - 5/18/2012, 6:52 AM
Report Comment Sounds like he came back a better man lol :P
not sure on that but he came back a sore man,he said his boy friend over there was hummm how can i put this,well he reminded him of some the horses i have,if you know what i mean.
marknjoanna - 5/18/2012, 6:59 AM
yes its silver and says pound on it but didnt know if they were called coins,thanx again.and if you ever have any u s a questions feel free ok.
bobevanz - 5/18/2012, 7:01 AM
Dude's smart, he's just as crazy as us lol
Fogs - 5/18/2012, 7:02 AM
Nice analysis, but I think it was just a bit too comicbook-oriented. Of course it's great to follow the comics as possible but this was a 2 hour movie, there was no way they could show all of the black widow backstory and origin, for example.

Basically what @hammerofharpel said :P

@DoubleD - dude, you talk as Hobbits were the center of the Hobbit story plot. Of course Bilbo's the main character but there's much more to the story than him.
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