REVIEW: My Views On Marvel Studios' Phase One Films
The Avengers. It was a film that was unprecedented, and did something that had never been done before by putting six different superheroes into one film to create a huge summer blockbuster that smashed box office records and won the hearts of audiences everywhere. But before the film could be shown, the heroes had to be introduced. With that idea we were given Iron Man and its sequel, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. In this review I am going to go over each of the five films and give my opinions on all.
It all started with Iron Man and from there, set off four other films which led up to one of the best cbm's ever made, Marvel's The Avengers. Click for my take on these five films after the jump...
(STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges)
To the cbm that started it all, I will say that this(while not my personal favorite) is the best out of the five films. Top notch acting, superb and focused action, believable special effects, and a good solid plot made Iron Man hit the top of the ranks fast with fans and critics alike. Robert Downey Jr. delivered an awesome performance as the one and only Tony Stark and had great chemistry with both Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrance Howard as Pepper Potts and James Rhodes respectively. This film introduced the world of Iron Man to audiences and made people believe in an armored warrior who took down baddies with nothing but his fists, his genius and sharp wit. Among the dark and depressing yet equally rousing The Dark Knight, and the fantastic Helboy II: The Golden Army, I will say that with Iron Man thrown into the mix, 2008 was a great year for comicbook fans.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
(STARRING: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth)
Next was what many consider a step up from Ang Lee's Hulk, The Incredible Hulk. I will say that I love all versions of Hulk that have been interpreted to the silver screen, but in my opinion, this version was not the best. I always felt that Hulk in this was too cartoonish and just never seemed real when sharing the screen with the real-life actors. However, the action was what it needed to be for a Hulk film, and that, was what the film did right as compared to the last Hulk film. The acting was excellent as well, with smooth performances by Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Liv Tyler as Banner's love interest Betty Ross, and William Hurt and Tim Roth as the film's antagonists, General Thaddeus Ross, and Emil Blonsky/Abomination respectively. The special effects could have been better, and sometimes the effects really put me off when watching the film. Nevertheless, it is a true Hulk movie and even has a great end scene featuring Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr.).
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
(STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke)
This follow-up to Iron Man, even though successful critically and commercially, it was considered by many fans to be a disappointing sequel and the weakest of the five films, with the complaints focusing on the fact that it didn't seem like a stand-alone Iron Man flick, due to the heavy presence of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the many references to The Avengers. In my opinion however, I never really understood all the hate. I have always seen it as a cool and fun superhero flick. As with the first, all actors gave great performances save maybe Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, who seemed a little dry as compared to Terrance Howard's performance as Rhodes in the first film. The villainous Whiplash(portrayed by Mickey Rourke) served as a solid contrast to Downey Jr's witty and heroic persona. All in all, with great acting, special effects, and action, I have always seen this follow-up as a great sequel to one of the best cbm's ever made.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
(STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins)
As my personal favorite, I was amazed by Thor. The film itself was a visual treat with some superb acting by Tom Hiddleston as Thor's evil step-brother Loki, and Anthony Hopkins as Odin. As surprised as I was to find out that they had cast Chris Hemsworth as The Mighty Thor himself, I was not let down by Hemsworth, as he proved to be a likable protagonist and comfortable contrast to the searing, villainous performance of Hiddleston. I cannot stress at how much Hiddleston as Loki truly stole the show. He made me feel sorry for him and despise him both at the same time, as Loki's situation in the film was truly saddening. Hiddleston as Loki made a very fantastic villain and later carried on to be as equally menacing in Marvel's The Avengers. The special effects were also a highlight of the film, along with the solid action and interesting score by Patrick Doyle. It is a great cbm and a must-see for fans of Thor's tales.
My rating 4.5 out of 5 stars
(STARRING: Chris Evans, Haley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones)
Last but not least, the final film to introduce Marvel's The Avengers had alot of heart, and didn't cut corners. Chris Evans really shined as Steve Rogers, and captured the morals and honor that Captain America represents in the comics, and throw that in among some stellar acting by Tommy Lee Jones, Haley Atwell, and Hugo Weaving as Captain America's arch-nemesis Red Skull, and I believe we have a winner. My only complaint with the film is that it was a little dull in some places and could have used a bit more action, but other than that, the film was a great superhero film and finally gave audiences a great Captain America movie, with inspiring scenes, dazzling effects and great direction by director Joe Johnston.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
So my fellow CBMer's, this is where the review comes to a close. I hope you enjoyed this little article as much as did writing it, and I hope that you saw this article as an interesting read. I know that there are a plethora of thoughts and opinions that vary from mine that are just scratching at the surface to be shared, so please, feel free to share away and discuss your views on the review in the comments section below. Happy posting!
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